Interview: Zama Rripa

Today we are sharing an interview with Zama Rripa: liberty-peace-love-minded-street-busking-singer-songwriter currently in Miami, Florida, USA by way of Los Angeles, California, USA.

1. First of all, tell us about how did you start your music career?

- All of my memories, from the earliest, are tied to music. The sense of hearing, to me, is the most immediate of the senses. From the beginning, from the womb, we hear before we see. It is more often sound, not touch or sight or taste or feeling, which wakes us from the unconscious. It is more sound that alarms and shocks or rouses us first, whether at a film or sporting event or whatever.Sound for me, is where the goosebumps come from. Music is the soundtracks of our lives, woven to our most profound and impacting memories and emotions. So, for me, the stimulation I understood, and responded to as a young boy, pursuing all styles of music from around the world. I was gifted a shortwave radio, and spent countless hours pursuing music from around the world. Through school, there was choir, so there was some formal voice training. Though I never formally studied the instruments I tinker with – guitar, bass, harmonica, drums or keys. I’m adequate and loud and noisy and can make the guitar express, but I certainly know my limitations on the instruments.

2. Who are your music inspirations?

- My music inspirations are really every music I’ve ever heard. No joke. There’s inspiration and value in everything. Everything - every song, all music - presents a possibility, an opportunity, to be alive, to feel, to breathe, to beat, FREEDOM. Being American, the core is rock and roll, folk, jazz, country, in all their divergent styles. There was always music in the house, and I moved constantly, every year or so, growing up, so I was introduced to more granular, idiosyncratic styles and tastes depending on where we lived across the US. Both my parents were military, and both had diverse backgrounds themselves – we were American gypsies. But inspiration, of course the usual:The Beatles, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Leadbelly, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday, Dylan, Hank, Aretha. Of course, there was the gospel and sacred music, I was raised protestant. For me, the inspiration is just as much the message, so I’m especially inclined toward the civil-rights anthems and protest songs of the past century. On this, there has been no better ambassador to the world than American music over the past century. I do have worries that American art itself -- especially American music -- is under siege by the technocrats and the state. Art is what lasts. Technology and states do not last, as history shows. That is the threat of art and music, to power. The last thing power wants is to be exposed, to have a mirror held up to itself. Art does that. Not only to the powers we allow over ourselves as individuals, but over the more literal powers the state wields over us, with the threat of violence should we not comply and submit – or if we simply criticize. We certainly need more art that calls out the injustices and outright tyranny heaped upon all of us from government.

3. Our readers would like to know more about your upcoming album. Any interesting facts?

- The upcoming album “American Soul” touches constantly on these themes. I always write, I’ve always kept journals everyday since I was a kid, and I’ve always picked up the guitar every morning. These songs seemed to have been summoned through me, as invocation. I felt like maybe I’ve had the antennae more polished and raised a bit higher the last few years, and these are some of the messages that came through. If you’re interested, there’s back-stories for each song at

4. What opinions have you recieved about your music?

- Opinions about the album have been positive, thus far. But give it time 😊

5. What do you like to do more: songwriting or performing?

- I love both songwriting and performing. For me, there is a deep-seated necessity for both. I need and bleed for the intensity of both. To express, to purge, for catharsis and connection, for peace. Always peace. Not that I am too familiar with peace, but that’s what the whole thing seems driven towards. The pursuit of grace and mercy and joy. I lose the light if I don’t frame it this way. I think we all do. I want the truth. Most of the time you don’t get it and you know it. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for, but you know it when you see it or hear it. But it’s the faith and practice and discipline and process that leads to the very infrequent revelations and truths, and that’s where the love is. That’s where the light gets in. The problem is keeping it lit, which brings us back to the process. That’s where the hopes and possibilities and dreams are.

6. Which countries do you want to visit with tour?

- I want to visit every country at some point 😊

7. How do you deal with haters?

- Haters gonna hate. That’s ok. I just ask, you can hate the sound or style or the way I look or whatever – the superficial and the appearance, but just never hate the message, because the message is love and peace.

8. What would you tell to your fans?

- What would I tell fans? Love each other and love everyone you interact with every day, every time, in full grace and mercy. I truly believe this is the only road beyond happiness, to true deep-seated joy. And let the music play, forever.

“American Soul” releases October 26, at all digital stores including:



Zama Rripa website:

Zama Rripa “American Soul” Youtube Playlist:

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