Cleveland, Ohio’s Zelly Ocho has been hard to miss if you have been paying any attention to SoundCloud for almost the past four years, bursting out of a city with little current music infrastructure that has nonetheless helped unmistakably shape the present music landscape, particularly concerning melodies. Zelly’s consistency with his output has been nothing short of overwhelming and being a fan of his certainly comes with an ample helping of music provided fairly regularly. His songs across platforms, both on his pages and via third party hosts, have amassed millions of streams, and paved the way for him forging a formidable fanbase with his tightening vice grip of the internet and a keen understanding of what his fans want to hear from him and consequently a willing fanbase that enjoys his process and experimentation.
Zelly had been a known commodity for a time before fully honing in on the presentation of his music and the delivery of entire projects as opposed to sporadic singles, beginning with his 2020 project VLAD, which stands for ‘Violent Life Around Drugs’ which in large part encapsulates the general themes of his music well but fails to convey the massive outpouring of emotion and honesty that emanates from his lyrics. He consistently works with the underground’s foremost producers and many of the hottest up-and-coming beatmakers and his keen ear for production is one of the things that sets him apart from his many peers and those influenced by him.
With Zelly’s most recent project Road To Insanity we hear him expound upon many key themes in his music in terms of both lyrical content and sound, giving his fans the emotional autotuned crooning they desire, but instead of his gruff tenor resonating more towards the pop-punk influenced music of the underground he stretches his range but is helped by stellar production that allows his vocals to be so dynamic. At nine songs Road To Insanity is a somewhat brief but nonetheless potent ride that helps fully realize the talent that Zelly Ocho has and packages it in a manner that is easily digestible and coherent from start to finish.
Zelly’s prolific outpouring of music does not end with the project however as the past month has been a busy one for him dropping videos, first bringing to life the track “No Wok” from the project, teaming up with Poloviz who directed and edited the visual. This was followed up by an incredible production for the track “Germs” from John Buchannan and the Soul Serum team who are doing an incredible job at bolstering the Northern Kentucky and Ohio music scenes over the past year and their excellent production quality is only matched by their creative ingenuity and attention to detail. Most recently this past week Zelly dropped another video from the project with “Ain’t Tryna Talk ” which was directed by Gnarlos Wright.