– Words and photo by Brendan Mayer
Victoria rapper Skyleigh Parkes, better known as Zalea gave her hometown a show to remember on Feb. 9.
An engaged crowd at Lucky Bar were some of the first people to hear songs from Zalea’s mixtape called “the Ex-Tape”.
The mixtape was released on Feb. 14 and features nine tracks that mainly focus on Zalea’s exes.
The music is personal and so was the performance, as if Zalea invited attendees into a therapy session.
“I’m an open book,” Zalea rapped passionately during her catchy track Concrete. “Why you never read the page. You don’t ever listen, and you wonder why I rage.”
Other performance highlights included Unavailable, Bad Habits and Caught Up.
“The Ex-Tape” was mixed and mastered by Pitchboi and can be found on your streaming service of choice.
Zalea was joined on stage by DJ Benny the Jett on the ones and twos, and he also helped host the show.
Zalea paid homage to some of her hip-hop heroes during the concert including Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and Jaden Smith.
“I take inspiration from everyone I listen to,” Zalea said. “I’m really into Central Cee right now. I love Drake. Nicki’s Minaj’s Roman’s Revenge was one of the first tracks where I wanted to rap the whole song. I was really into Chance the Rapper when I first started.”
The crowd grew and warmed up throughout the performance and by the end, fans felt lucky to witness Zalea at work.
“I’m building my fanbase,” Zalea said. “I think I have a really good stage presence. I have one of the best shows in Victoria. I think it’s definitely worth coming out.”
Zalea, who is 24, prides herself on being a young female rapper in Victoria.
“There’s not a lot of females out here doing stuff and especially not at my age. The community is really strong here though, and everyone is really supportive. We have an insane amount of talent on Vancouver Island.”
You can check her out on her Facebook page at ……….https://www.facebook.com/zalea.music/