An Interview With The DJ and Producer, ZEKE THOMAS On His Latest Empowering Single, ‘Dealin’ With It’ And Much More!
Posted On 23 Feb 2018
Zeke Thomas is a renowned Open Format DJ and Producer. As the son of NBA Hall of Fame player, Isiah Thomas, Zeke Thomas was born in the heart of Motown, Detroit, MI. For the past four years Zeke has been an official NBA All-Star DJ whom was also the youngest assistant programmer at the second largest radio station in America, HOT 97 in NYC. He’s performed on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, ARISE360 TV, FUSE Network and has been featured on VH1 producing for Lala’s Full Court Life cast member and friend, Po Johnson, MTV and more.
Zeke has collaborated, shared the stage and performed for numerous celebrities including: Diana Ross, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Taryn Manning, Chuck-D, former NBA player and DJ, Dennis Rodman; Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Pitbull, and Cher just to name a few. He’s also performed residencies in NYC, LA, Orlando, Miami and Chicago.
More recently, his surviving sexual assault broke on Good Morning America (http://bit.ly/ZekeGMA). This extraordinary man been using his platform to speak out on the rampant issue of sexual misconduct and assault. He was chosen as the first male advocate for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and released a PSA for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Zeke is donating the proceeds from his song “Dealin’ With It”, written about his experience, to NSVRC and GLAAD: https://youtu.be/sl4OxPEA27c
Learn more about Zeke Thomas in the following All Access interview:
Thanks so much for your time! We know musicians are busy people so we appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself! So where does this interview find you today?
This interview find me in the middle of New York fashion week. It’s been an amazing week thus far. Legendary brands like Ferragamo to brands I wear everyday like ASOS and Original Penguin have been so gracious. But seeing friends like Jerome LaMaar and Jacapo Olmo have their moments is the best.
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? What is one big goal for you in 2018?
2017 was a year of growth. Deciding to go public with my trauma was difficult but it allowed me to grow as a person and artist and it will be reflected in not only the music I made during that period but also in the things upcoming.
Growing up, did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would have? Has music always been a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
My life has really been in constant change. I’ve lived in a lot of places and out of suitcases a lot in my life. So I wouldn’t wish that part of life on anyone. However music is something that’s been in my veins forever. I give credit to Detroit and a loud out tune singing family.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city has influenced them as an artist. How do you think your home has affected you and your music?
Detroit gave me a love for music.
Chicago gave me a love for a groove.
New York taught me about dance music.
Miami taught me about Latin influences in a good rhythm.
Indiana taught me about rock and lyrics.
And London made me fall in love with music all over again.
What was it like being the official NBA All-Star DJ? Is it everything that you expected from it? Do you think you will continue to do it for awhile?
I love working with the NBA or any event associated with Basketball. It’s what I grew up on it’s my fathers love and it’s allowed me the ability to grow and make mistakes so I thank the game for that. Being the child of an athlete you have pressures and expectations but you also get opportunity and often times people go unthanked or don’t realize the effect that it has. So through all the noise I want to thank Mr. James Dolan for allowing a gay black boy to move from Indiana to New York.
Let’s talk about writing your powerful single “Deal With It.” What first inspired you to write this song? Your message at the end of the video is incredibly touching and moving. What was the immediate reception like from people? What has some of the feedback been like from your fans?
The feedback all around the world has been amazing. Its so dope to hear from people on Instagram. I am excited to give more.
Are you currently working on anymore new music? When can fans except a new single from you?
I have tracks coming out so get ready. First I’ll be dropping a record called “Shade Box” with my friend and artist Johnny Ionella. This is for the dancers and the circuit.
Also excited about a record I have coming out with another friend and artist Owen Ryan.
And my little sister Sonta. I’m excited.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates that you would like to share with our readers?
New York is getting all my love right now. I missed my home. I’ll be at Public Hotel and The Ritz next week. But travel plans to Chicago, London, and LA are right around the corner.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? Do you think that you are happiest when you are performing or in the studio recording new music?
Artists need to remember at all times they are performing. Energy!!! No one wants to come to a show and not feel that they were just given their whole life!
I am happiest performing. No question about it. Those lights come on. I’m in heaven.
We are living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that music is going to reflect these challenging times?
The obstruction that is going on in our country and around the world is sad. Record amounts of poverty. It’s harder to be black in this country then it was in the 1930s. We aren’t ok. We are sick and the only way to cure this problem is not just by speaking up but by action. Go to think tanks. Go to conferences. Engage your friends in political conversations. As Michael Jackson said “they don’t care about us”
You have collaborated with so many incredible artists so I am curious to know which one stands out the most to you so far?
Honestly it’s the people that go into making the music not just the artists themselves. Creative Genius Laurianne Gibson. Super Songwriter Eritza Laus, and the all around talented Cannon Mapp. They all have inspired me and been there for me in the process of me becoming this artists.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Michael Jackson. There is nothing else to say.
What do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I hope my fans take away the love for and also dance!