Your talent can find you, you just need to allow yourself to be a vessel. Zacari, the singer who stole the show on Kendrick Lamar's quadruple-platinum 2017 single "Love," has been singing since he was 8 years old. His childhood was packed with music, whether it was honing his singing skills in church or playing the saxophone and acoustic guitar at high school shows. After graduating, he saved his money and with some assistance from his parents, went to Alaska's Musician's institute and made his musical career his focus.


His saxophone work on friend J-Louis' songs put him in the right place at the right time. TDE's Moosa Tiffith just happened to come to their studio with Isaiah Rashad in tow. This led to Zacari appearing on Zay's 2016 The Sun's Tirade cut "Wat's Wrong," which also features Kendrick Lamar. Later, Zacari found himself in a studio session with K-Dot, letting the Compton MC hear what he had in the stash. He played him a song called "Lovely" and Kendrick loved it; a day later, he asked for the song and turned it into what would become "Love," one of Kendrick's biggest songs yet.

After signing to TDE at the top of this year, Zacari dropped his TDE debut, Run Wild, Run Free, in March and never looked back. Zacari, who is already working on his next album, has never let up and uses that mentality to push him forward, with the support of a strong team.

Get familiar with Zacari in this week's edition XXL's of The Break.

Age: 25

Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.

I grew up listening to: "Some of my first musical influences were acoustic songwriters like John Mayer. My dad played a lot of blues, house and soul. A lot of Marvin Gaye, a lot of B.B. King. Every morning we had a stereo in the house playing shit."

My style’s been compared to: "The Weeknd, Zayn, Justin [Bieber], The-Dream, Miguel. A lot of different people. That kinda helps me realize, maybe I'm not any of these people. I don't get offended; I look up to all of these people."

My standout records to date: "The biggest song is 'Don't Trip,' aside from 'Love.' 'Don't Trip' is doing really good. And 'Midas Touch.' I wanted to give people the smooth R&B shit, and I wanted to give the people the darker hip-hop side of it."

My most slept-on song: "A lot of people were hot at me about the Yachty verse [on 'Young & Invincible']. Yachty and TDE? But people came back to it and changed their minds."

My standout moments to date: "Performing 'Love' at Madison Square Garden. This is the first time I ever really did shows, The Championships Tour. It was amazing. I even got to do 'Wat's Wrong' with Zay that night. It's crazy, because growing up, you hear all of these legendary concerts at Madison Square Garden. It makes me feel like, Yeah, I'm definitely meant to do this."

Most people don’t know: "I have a broken tailbone. Even on the flight, if I sit down for more than three hours, my ass hurts. I used to skate and roller skate a lot as a kid, so I would fall a lot. I guess I fell one time and didn't realize it. I got x-rays for something separate and they were like, 'Yo, you know your tailbone's broke? It's too late for us to fix it, but its definitely broke forever.'"

I’m going to blow up because: "Man, I really feel like I was born for this shit since I was a kid. This is like destiny to me. This like higher power and that's what TDE is about. This is spiritual to me. It's not even about blowing up to me, it's about getting my music out to who it needs to be getting out to. I have already reached so many people that people who want to be in my position will never get the chance to [reach]."

I’m going to be the next: "I wanna be the next person that inspires the next person."

Follow Zacari on Instagram and SoundCloud.


"Lone Wolf"

"Don't Trip"

Kendrick Lamar - "LOVE" featuring Zacari

See 7 Rappers Who Think Kendrick Lamar Is One of the Best Rappers Alive

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