Meet Munir Zakee of Solight Productions llc
My story begins with the sounds of West African drumming and the movement of a dancer (my mother) that fed these rhythms and movements into me all the way til birth. I was born into a family that supports the arts and housed educators, so naturally I began my paths journey as I arrived. My mother, being an artist, introduced my siblings and I to several styles of drumming and dancing, this led me to my first instrument, djembe, which I began playing at the age of 2. In grade school I participated in the symphonic and marching band which furthered my knowledge and interest in music. My mother is a performer so everywhere she went I was there, backstage, in the audience, late night rehearsals, on stage and all. I was the little boy with the big head whose drum was too big for my body lol. Although I was studying west African percussion, my experience here in America will never be dismissed, so Hip Hop, Jazz, Rock, Blues and such was quite the influence on a daily; the best of both worlds. The sounds in all of this music led me on a journey to want to know what they were in order to create my own compositions. During my middle school years I began exploring other instruments as well as being introduced to using digital audio workstations and all types of studio gear. More and more I became obsessed with creating and expressing my own voice, studying and becoming a musician, music producer, and musical artist, and now here we are.
My big brother/mentor always told me, if your armor has no scratches, then you haven’t been in battle, and my armor definitely isn’t squeaky clean. The many of hours of studying the greats who have come before me, the physical labor to gain proper technique of instruments, the confidence to accept ones self as you are, learning what there is to learn and interpreting it to work for you has been years in the making. Training as a musician in environments of so many other talented individuals can take a toll on ones mental health. I remember times of doubting myself not knowing if I was good enough, second guessing if I would achieve my realm of success due to comparing myself to others and their path. These struggles were the biggest obstacles for me and it took me a while to embrace that knowing of myself and who I am and what I am, I Am Great! I know that now but that was not always the case. Societies programming of figuring things out at such an early age has harsh effects on youth who then over pressure themselves into worrying about things beyond their point in time. Being prepared for the future however is definitely important, however being prepared for the future in comparison to not living in your present moment are two different spaces, balance is necessary. The only way you can be found is if you first are lost, so sometimes the non smooth, lost road births blessings in disguise.
Munir Zakee is known as an Artist, Producer, and Musician for several different worlds but through my company Solight Productions I’ve been able to collide all of my worlds together to showcase all of me in all levels. I recently released my second album Solight Sessions, Vol. 1 which is the expansion of a weekly visual series I shoot, visually and creatively direct, record, write, and feature many of my great artist friends that embody the same greatness and light. The title of the series spawns from my company name, Solight Productions. Solight Productions is an Arts and Entertainment company established in 2016, delivering an outlet for artist, students, and participants to explore the depths of culture through music, engineering & recording, outreach, and more. We provide instructional lessons for all ages directed in traditional West African percussion, traditional snare drumming techniques/drumset, piano, bass, guitar and marching percussion. We provide music production and writing for musical artist, musical compositions for film scoring and composing for dance choreography. We are super proud of being apart of the original film score for two films ‘Hollywood Hearts’ starring Bobby Valentino and ‘Couples Therapy’ starring Syleena Johnson. Great thanks to Tier 2 Films for engaging us to be apart of the great work they do. The Mission of Solight is ‘To positively enhance the state of wellness through arts and entertainment’ and we will continue to strive to do so through every note, every lesson, and every step of our day.
Success to me has grown shrunk and morphed in so many ways over the years. I once defined my success in the light of how people saw me, where I went, who I was associated with, what I was wearing, but now I know these things are not what define my success. I can CHOOSE to want these things and achieve them but they do not define success. If that were true all of our school teachers and cousins who work factories jobs, and aunties that work at daycares are failures, and that is far from the truth. Success for me is the grounding, protection, financial freedom I am able to supply for myself and family. Success comes from the goals I set out to achieve in accordance with MY life and achieving them with a plan and keeping together the principals, values, and structure that keep me on my path. I am on Earth for a purpose and fulfilling that mission each step of the way is my success. My success is being Alive and using every breath I have each moment of being, to manifest all that I am here to do, all that I choose to do, and All that I already am. #ThisismySuccess