Interview: Zuri Talks with Epitome

“I am inspired by adventure.”

All Star Bassist, and all-around cool-girl Zuri Appleby is letting her passion for music drive her. She’s backed everyone from Nick Jonas to PartyNextDoor. We caught up with her before an epic tour stop to Australia. Zuri tells us what inspires her, and how her journey is a creation of her own reality.

From an Interview with EPITOME

Photography via Kyle Dijamco

Photography via Brittany Mac

Zuri, what color is music in your head?

The first thing that came to mind is blue, but then a rainbow.

What’s your favorite mythical creature?

I’m a Sagittarius, so a centaur. Half-human, half- horse body.

What has music taught you about yourself?

Oh my! (laughs) Music has exposed and taught me so much about myself. It shows you your insecurities, your strengths, your ability to adapt, overcome, go with the flow…. your ability to retain information. To connect with people I know, and don’t know. Music has shown me confidence. You can know all the music in the world, but if you don’t have the confidence to portray it, you’re going to hear that come right out in your playing. Music has shown me my level of ability to adapt and grow.

Beautiful. What inspires you?

I am inspired by adventure. I’m inspired by the unknown, although it can be scary. Things that are intriguing and mysterious. I’m so motivated to understand it and integrate it into what I have going on. Things like- deep space, deep sea, and mythical things. Things that seem so vast and undefined- those are the things that really motivate me. Big goals and big picture things motivate me.

I’m also inspired by the desire to connect and express very deeply. I read something that said artists are inspired to connect and also be alone, and it’s true. I’m inspired by connections but also doing things on my own.

Who has been your favorite artist to work with? And what artists do you admire?

In all honesty Drea DNur has been one of, if not my favorite artists because I’m blown away by where she pulls all of what she has inside of her. People have their natural talents, and their confidence but the freedom that she expresses- it blows me away when I’m working with her, when I’m watching her, when I’m listening to her- it all represents a different facet in her music. I just love Drea and her artistry.

My Dad is one of the most mysterious people I know. Its so funny because he’s so much of talker so it’s not like he’s holding back, but there’s so much vastness and eclectic knowledge in his music and how he expresses it. His inability to hold back when it comes to music I admire so thoroughly. The seriousness he applies in learning but also the joy and light-heartedness that also he couples with that, it helps to uplift people. It blows me away, he’s just a pure expression of an artist.



How is it navigating a male dominated industry?

Hmm! It is taxing. It takes a lot of awareness of subtleties, and confidence in your own abilities, and being unapologetic in where you stand. One of the most important things for me is- I’m not even aware of how it’s a “male dominated” industry, I’m not holding on to that belief. I’m more focused on knowing what I know, and doing what I know, and not letting that mindset keep me from opportunities. At the end of day, people want to work with someone who knows what they know. When you’re a woman who does your job well, they can’t argue with that. It’s important to be keep a conscious perception of what you desire to be at the forefront of your mind.

What do you know now, that you didn’t know a year ago?

The fact that confidence is 80% of it and 20% is what you’re capable of. If you don’t have confidence, you’re almost incapable of doing the things within you to do. I always felt like focusing on the technical and musical ability would give me the confidence. But it doesn’t work that way. You can know so much and do so much but if you don’t have that confidence it doesn’t mean anything.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to coming into myself, being aware of who I am, and where I stand. There’s so much more and I’m excited about, and how I can apply my confidence in music, conveying my truth and living in my truth.

Art by Emily Rose Thomson