Zach Morris, 24, (not be confused with “Saved by the Bell,”) recently hit the Evansville hip-hop scene, and is taking local fans by storm.
The Henderson, Ky. native, known by his rap name Sleepyhead, started his lyrical career with poetry and slowly transformed to rapping.
“I rap about socially conscious things, political things, but I don’t like to sound preachy,” Morris said. “I’ve completely gotten rid of songs if they sound too preachy.”
The lyrics should be mindful, he said.
“I’ve been rapping for about a year now,” Morris said. “I’ve always been a huge (hip-hop) fan.”
Morris’s early introduction into hip-hop came from freestyling at parties.
“I noticed a huge tidal shift in the music that was getting popular,” he said. “What was once deemed as alternative, artists like Drake, J. Cole and Odd Future, started to become mainstream.”
Morris gained exposure from performing at PG, a venue located on Franklin St that hosts an abundance of local music in Evansville, Ind. His debut performance showed a major difference in spoken word performance and rapping for a live audience.
“I’ve done spoken word in front of 15 to 20 people and when I was rapping in front of people it felt totally different,” he said. “There was a lot less room for error.”
The main difference is going along with the music, which is different from most poetry performances, he said.
From the age of 15, Morris wrote poetry to deal with “teen angst,” and life.
“A lot of the first songs I released were poems I had written, or three or four lines from a poem that I made into a rap lyric,” Morris said. “Sometimes I realize I get so focused on making everything rhyme that I should step back and be more cohesive.”
It’s a delicate balance, he said.
As a new artist, there’s a few things Morris would like to master with this lyrical skill.
“I would love to play with a live band, that’s something I really want to do,” he said.
Some of Morris’ inspirations are Earl Sweatshirt, Mac Miller, Aesop Rock, Run the Jewels, just to name a few.
“If I could collaborate with any artist it would be Earl Sweatshirt,” he said. “I follow them (Odd Future) on Instagram and they hang out a lot, especially with Vince Staples, and I like all those guys a lot.”
Morris released his newest album, “The God That Follows,” on March 28.
“I’ve written songs with structure, made all the beats myself and did a lot of heavy editing,” he said. “I really want to have physical copies of the album when the show comes.”
“This albums really about the position I’m in in life, which I try to tackle from different points of view,” Morris said. “Some songs are about current world affairs, and what’s happening through my lens.”
Just trying to represent everyone through the music, he said.