Zuby is a musician, author, podcaster, public speaker, fitness expert and life coach. He is a completely independent rapper — known for his clean, positive and inspirational lyrics.
Zuby's latest album World of Zuby is out now on digital and CD — and available for pre-order on vinyl.
Music For All: Are you planning to tour to support World of Zuby? What would you say are the most difficult aspects of touring in 2022 — is there any advice you could share for a musician trying to route a mandate free tour?
Zuby: My live performances have been on hold since late 2019 due to all of the restrictions and uncertainty, so I'm very much out of 'the groove' but I'm going to get back into it this year. Whether that ends up being a tour or simply a number of individual shows, I don't know yet.
I think the biggest hurdle in 2022 for performers is going to be the ever-changing restrictions in certain locations, but if there is a will, there is a way. It could mean that some venues in certain cities and countries become off limits to musicians who don't want to deal with all the nonsense.
Alternatively, outdoor and private options could become more important. There are always opportunities. My advice to musicians and to anyone else is to stick to your convictions and to have courage. Things will get better.
As a musician, was there a particular moment that sticks out to you as the starting point for this shift away from free speech and expression in music?
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the tipping point was. In my opinion, things in the West started to go sideways after 9/11 and then really accelerated when massive social media use was combined with massive smartphone use - and a generation who were raised on these technologies started to graduate from universities and enter the workforce - bringing their ideas and neuroses with them.
However, the roots of these ideas go back centuries. Multiple things came to a head in the mid 2010s culturally, politically, and technologically, and set the stage for where we are now.
I can't help but notice many of the people who are speaking up against mandates in music have prioritized physical health and well-being. Do you think it's possible to reach musicians with the importance of personal autonomy and freedom if they're not first prioritizing themself as an individual?
I think it's difficult to get people to accept, let alone appreciate, the concepts of liberty and autonomy, until they fully accept the concept of personal responsibility.
One of the best ways to do that is to exert intentional effort to become mentally and physically stronger. Until then, people tend to default to looking outwards rather than inwards, when it comes to both problems and solutions. They desire and expect to be 'taken care of' rather than to take care of themselves. This mentality is appealing because it means accountability can be denied for one's own errors. If someone is fixed in this mindset, then the concept of liberty feels like a threat to them.
Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for musicians feeling scared to stand up against lockdowns and other restrictions?
It's now or never. Now is your time to stand up. Understand that silence is as good as complicity and the more you comply with what you know to be wrong, the more the noose will tighten. Think about the future you want your children to inherit and if you want them to be more, or less free than you. If you think of it that way, it's clear what you need to do.
This interview is part of a series discussing mandates, restrictions and censorship with musicians and music fans —read more of these interviews here.
Thank you for reading!
Listen to World of Zuby & the Real Talk with Zuby Podcast below: