Calgary-based artist Zenon+ performs at the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre on April 29.
(Eric Kozakiewicz photo)

Calgary-based artist Zenon+ performs at the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre on April 29. (Eric Kozakiewicz photo)

Calgary-based ZENON+ is heading to the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre this month

Soulful powerhouse and Calgary-based ZENON+ is heading to the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre on April 29.

Showcasing a gift for smooth, original alternative R&B that also cleverly taps into a plethora of other genres, vocalist ZENON, who will be joined by percussionist Bev Soriano, can hardly remember a time when they weren’t fascinated by music – a passion that was certainly encouraged by their folks who were also huge music fans from the get-go.

“I did grow up in a very, very musical household. My parents listened to music from all over the world,” ZENON said. “They were very well-rounded listeners. Both of them also grew up loving music.

“So as soon as spring hit, the patio doors were open and the music was playing on the stereo,” they recalled.

“I was also always very drawn to the idea of singing and performance. When I was a little kid, I used to go out into the backyard and I would take the broom part off of the broomstick — and I’d then use the long stick as a microphone and perform for our neighbours,” they added with a laugh. “It’s just always been a really big part of what I love.”

Through those formative years, they also performed in choirs as their own style began to flourish. Those choir experiences tended to be primarily classical in nature, and ZENON wanted to broaden those artistic horizons.

This included a foray into acting.

“I found that the performance and fun of being in a theatre program was something I liked more than a more strict, classical theatre program. It flowed better with who I was.”

But it was music that would ultimately take centre stage.

ZENON would eventually study music at Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2019.

As to songwriting, ZENON said that they’ve been crafting tunes as inspiration strikes.

“At the end of the day, I don’t like to force that artistry. It’s definitely more of a natural process.

“Often, I would say that with my best songs, the melody came first and then I just worked out the chords underneath it,” they said. “The reason I think this helps is that then you can create a ‘hook’ — something else that catches the listener other than the melody. I would say I’m more inclined to start with the melody for that reason.”

Meanwhile, a following has been growing and the industry has certainly taken note.

ZENON was the recipient of the 2022 YYC Solo Artist of the Year Awards and also performed live during the ceremonies, plus they were also the recipient of the YYC Music 2021 Prophets of Music Emerging Artist Award.

“I think the thing that keeps me passionate is the energy that you feel when you are onstage,” they said. “That’s something I talk to my fellow artists about that we all share — the energy you receive from the audience. And also being able to share my personal experiences through music is always way easier than talking about them.

“If I could write a song when I need to have a serious conversation with somebody, it would be so much easier! But not everyone is onboard for that!”

Ultimately, being onstage is a compelling place that simply feels like home.

“It’s very natural.”

For tickets, go to lacombeperformingartscentre/events or check out eventbrite.com.