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SONG BY SONG
Zauntee: The Stonebrook Project
In his own words, BEC Recording's artist Zauntee shares about each of the songs on his latest album, 'The Stonebrook Project.'
 


SONG BY SONG, Zauntee: The Stonebrook Project
Posted: October 27, 2022 | By: KevinMcNeese_NRT
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The Stonebrook Project is the truest version of my current self as an artist. I believe that we did our very best to hear from God on the vision for this record, and created it with excellence. My prayer is that when people hear it, they see themselves in each song.

I Project and I created the majority of the album together, I did all of the writing, he did most of the production, and did an incredible job of taking the vision and making it real. Jonny Grande did all of the mixing and a good amount of the arranging and really helped to sculpt the unique sound of this record.

Here are my thoughts on each of the tracks from The Stonebrook Project.

"Let Your Fire Fall"

This song was everything that I've been waiting to say and was the very first thing that we recorded during The Stonebrook Sessions. It is a call to God asking Him for His Presence and a declaration of what He is going to do over the album, acknowledging that without Him it is pointless.

 

"God is on my Side (ft. Benxiah)"

"God is on my Side" is the name of the first song that I ever put out before I started going by Zauntee, and I wanted to take parts of that song and include it on this album because Stonebrook is the culmination of my journey so far. The ending of this song is very important to me because it is a moment where I feel like I really thank God for everything that He's brought me through.

 

"Oxygen"

I've had the chords and melody for "Oxygen" for a year. When I played them in the studio for I Project he looked at me and said it was a hit. When Johnny was mixing it, he said the same thing. I hope it reaches the right people in the right way. The heart behind the lyrics is simple–God is all I need.

"Life I Chose (ft. 2J Mako & GQ DaSteppa)"

This song is a statement that we will stand against "the norm" and represent who God has called us to be. We focused on making sure the sound was dialed in and everybody showed out on the verses. I wrote the hook right after I had prayed with somebody to receive Jesus on an Instagram live. Although the audience was initially closed to the gospel, moving in love allowed them to hear the message. That's why I do what I do.

 

"BackFromTheDEAD"

This song is mosh pit fuel. We had chipped teeth (including mine), broken arms, and blood on the ground. I made a promise to myself that I would bring the best live performance ever. "BackFromTheDEAD" is one of my favorite songs to perform, because of the high energy.

 

"Hold Us Down (ft. GQ DaSteppa)"

There are a couple of times on the album where I say "it was free GQ now it's GQ free." GQ got locked up a few years ago and we used to talk on the phone every week about God and about the vision. This song was the first thing he recorded when he got out. It was our way to celebrate.

"Jesus Called My Name"

Some producer friends and I were in a room watching a video about Reinhard Bonnke, and there was a scene where the crowd of hundreds of thousands of people all start saying "JESUS" at the same time. The presence of The Lord fell in that room and we started talking about how much our lives had been changed because of following Jesus. Then I started singing this phrase that became the chorus. We worked on that song two more times and each time we spent an hour worshiping and praying over the song. The bridge wasn't even written. We just turned the mic on while I sang what was in my spirit. We kept all the original takes. I believe this song reminds people that we all have stories only we can tell, gifts only we can give, and our survival is proof to someone else they can make it. We love Him because He first loved us. Our stories have a purpose, and EVERYTHING has changed, cause Jesus called our name. 

 

"Guide My Steps (ft. DKG Kie)"

I had fallen asleep in the studio, and when I woke up I said, "God, we need a new song idea." Then I looked down at I Project's shoes and immediately heard the chorus for "Guide My Steps" and proceeded to freestyle the whole song. We kept the original take and even the phone call from my Mom was real! She actually called when we were recording. When Kie came in to record his verse, it was the first time we had met. He one-taked his verse too and for part of it, we were in the booth together going back and forth.

"Rocks Cry Out (ft. I Project)"

Rock music has always been one of my favorite genres and has influenced me creatively for years. I didn't want to have an album without doing a song in that lane. The lyrics are a reminder that with our actions and words we are called to worship.

"My Soul"

Lyrically, "My Soul" shares some of the journeys in Tampa that led to my decision to go all in for Jesus and all in as an artist. I wanted to make an Afrobeat song for a while. My Mom grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa and we've been listening to, and singing, African music since I was little. I've also done multiple Ghanaian conferences and it was requested by fans, so when I Project played the beat it just worked.

"Soldier in the Storm (ft. 2J Mako)"

My brother and I have talked about making a drill song for over a year. When we were in the session for this song, we had the idea that God uses our pain for "prep," and the things that we walk through strengthen us to help others. It is an anthem for those who refuse to give up. Mr. Brad Smith, whose voice is heard at the end of the song, was a true example of someone who fought to the end, loved others, and trusted God no matter what. He was one of my, my Dad, and our family's closest friends, who always supported this vision and was there to live life along side of us. He passed away in 2021. Without him, this album wouldn't have been possible.

"Move Me"

I had a friend who heard me pray before a show and encouraged me to pray that prayer daily. That prayer that I have prayed for hundreds of shows is "Move me out of my way." No matter what is going on in my life, I know that God can work through me when I release control and trust Him. Now I pray this every day before shows, in studio sessions, and virtually over every area of my life.

"Dad's Outro"

Dad and I used to work from 9 AM to midnight in South Tampa, then come home and work on music and marketing from 1 AM-4 AM to try to "make it." On our lunch and dinner breaks, we would sit in the same parking space where we could see the Tampa skyline and talk about the vision. Sometimes, we'd get sushi from the grocery store. Recently, when most of the Stonebrook songs were finished, Dad surprised me and got some of that same grocery store sushi to celebrate how far we'd come. The audio you hear on the album is a voice memo from that moment.

"Your Presence in this Place"

This song is the most important song on the album. It not only came from a time of free worship where I Project was playing piano and I was singing whatever The Spirit was putting on my heart, but it also gives the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is why we are doing this. If there is one takeaway from the entire project, I pray that it is this; "that Jesus loves you no matter what and gave everything to be close to you."

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