blog by Sophie Herrman • January 26, 2012 @ 10:12am
There is a burgeoning hip-hop scene in Western New York that stretches from the streets of Lackawanna all the way out to the tony suburbs of East Amherst. One of the new faces in this growing movement is up-and-coming teenage lyricist Chris Zuffranieri, also known as InZanity. Zuffranieri recently self-released an EP entitled 9-5, and will perform at the Between Glass Walls CD release party at 6 p.m. on Friday at Club Infinity. (8166 Main Street, Williamsville). Also on the bill are Rescue Dawn, Canoe, The Blind Wires and others. This all-ages show is $12 at the door.
Zuffranieri is currently has a loose affiliation with Howhood University. Howhood University, a collective of underground hip-hop artists, filmmakers, producers and fashion designers. Members of Howhood University are slated to open for rising hip-hop star A$AP Rocky at Town Ballroom on Thursday night.
Zuffranieri is articulate, enthusiastic and passionate about his music. He’s also only 17 years old and still working his way out of high school. Like any teenager, Zuffranieri hustles to juggle school, friends and his music.
“My friends are supportive of me because it’s cool,” he said. “I’m succeeding right now, and I’m doing alright in school.”
As the young artist preps for the long haul, Zuffranieri doesn’t overlook the importance of his performances to his growing fanbase. He writes with the intention of relating to his listeners and performs with an unwavering energy that seems to infect the crowd.
“If you come to my shows, don’t sit in the back and watch me perform,” he said. “Jump up front and get into it.”
For someone who has entered what can be an unforgiving and competitive industry, Zuffranieri seems ready for the challenge. He recognizes that he need to constantly improve in order to be taken seriously in the local hip-hop scene. At the same time, Zuffranieri understands the need to further his education and he does plan on attending college in the fall.
“I’m thinking about Buff State, with some kind of music major,” he noted. “It seems like a good school to keep building my fan base, too.”
Interested in other musicians’ work and “not picky”, Zuffranieri said he doesn’t favor a particular music genre (other than rap, of course). He doesn’t like labels, and says “if you don’t mind the four minutes you spent [listening to] a song—it’s an all right song.” Appreciation for variety is something Zuffranieri seems to be proud of, whether he is discussing his artistic tastes or his home town “I love Buffalo,” he smiled, “from the East Side to Akron, I love it.”
Photo courtesy of Facebook.