By Rocco Falleti/ Contributor @ Reviving Real
For singer/songwriter Zaneta Grant, it is all about emotional honesty when writing music.
“It is so important and it really brings a lot to your music when the words are coming from you,” Grant says. “Sure you can have a beautiful voice, but if you truly believe in what you’re singing, it makes it so much deeper.”
Zaneta Grant may only have two songs officially released, both of which produced by Benji (listen here) and are set to appear on her upcoming debut, but singing has always been a major part of her life for as long as she can remember.
Her mother immediately took notice of her interest in music and put her in piano lessons at the age of four. Though she still plays the keys, especially on her YouTube channel where she covers a number of different artists, Grant considers herself a vocalist overall.
“I was one of those kids who always liked the sound of their own voice,” she says laughing. “I know that sounds so conceited right now, but I promise I am much more humble now.”
Her experience as a songwriter grew from an early love of writing and poetry in her teenage years. She is quick to admit that her earlier days were not as polished as she might have thought at the time.
“That first song is nowhere to be found and to be honest, it was a shit song… But, that was my first song I ever wrote to completion.” Grant says.
Grant is a passionate explorer when it comes to her art. In 2016, shortly after graduating college, she took a trip to Asia and while there she looked to engage with local music scenes.
“I realized it was probably one of the last good chances I would have to go and travel for some time and I had just graduated college, so I just went for it.” Grant says.
In Thailand she recalls exploring local bars to go see what musicians had to offer. Her experiences led her to meeting a number of musicians which to her credit, allowed her to grow as an artist.
“I love collaborating with people because it gives you a different prospective on your own work.” Grant says.
Flash forward to present day in Pittsburgh, Zaneta Grant is one of many multi-talented artists based in the area. In a city where sports may remain king, Pittsburgh boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to musical talent.
“It’s crazy, there is so much talent here in Pittsburgh,” Grant says. “People from outside the city really don’t even realize it.”
Being in Pittsburgh led to an opportunity to collaborate with the widely popular and well-respected producer/MC/multi-instrumentalist, Benji. While looking for producers across Pittsburgh, Zaneta came across Benji’s Mimosa (listen here). “I loved the song, I couldn’t believe he was in the city and knew I needed to work with him somehow.”
Grant decided to take a leap of faith as she recalls sending him a message with ideas she had for songs that she had recorded on her phone.
“I just remember telling him please don’t judge the recording quality and asked him if he wanted to work with me and he immediately said yes and loved my voice and wanted to work together… and now here we are.” Grant says.
“Sanity” is the second single from her upcoming debut slated for release early this summer. The single was co-written with Keith Regner and Sean Baron and produced by Benji.
“Sanity” is a powerful and honest ballad backed by carefully comped Afro- Latin- infused guitars. The song is a retrospect from a falling out in her life.
The phrasing of her vocals is so calming but at the same time she unleashes such powerful emotion behind that demeanor.
Grant sings, “We used to be good friends, or so you made it seem// there was a time where I thought you were my everything.” It’s almost disbelief that this situation is unfolding the way it is for her.
She recalls that writing “Sanity” gave her an opportunity to learn from a time in her life where she felt she was losing trust in those closest to her. Whether it is a falling out with a close friend or a lover, lyrically, “Sanity” is easily relatable.
The bridge of the song offers an insight to the passage of time, “Time will heal all/ at least that’s what they say// but when time has passed, will I still be the same?”
It is true time does eventually heal all but on the other hand, it may be hard to see past all the drama that is present in a situation much like what “Sanity” brings.
This song is Zaneta coming to grips with the reality that things may never be the same, but what matters the most is how you learn and grow from that experience.
“It was written as a way of moving on from that experience and I know a lot of this could be also be interpreted as a breakup song… But I think falling out with good friends can be just as painful as an actual breakup,” Grant says.