KZAR uses battle with anxiety to inspire others through music
TORONTO, CANADA – Kean Azarshah has always loved hip-hop. Not only has he been a lifelong fan of the genre, but it was been the medicine that has helped him overcome some of the tougher issues in his life. He loved it so much that he even dabbled with songwriting at various points of his youth, and he would often freestyle with his friends when they would hang out together.
Those hang-out sessions eventually turned into smoking weed and staying up until 4 a.m. every night. When he was at university, he spent more time pursuing negative habits than he did pursuing his studies. He was burying his anxieties beneath drugs and hard living … and eventually caught up to him. He had a breakdown and had to drop out of school.
As he has worked through that anxiety in the years since, he has discovered a new since of peace and identity through writing music. He bounced around the world seeking help for his anxiety and depression, and has landed in Toronto as a songwriter and rapper who has discovered a new meaning in life.
“Writing music is how I’m able to relax and combat depression and anxiety,” he said. “When I started writing I loved it so much that nothing felt as good as completing a song. When people hear my music I think they’ll know that they’re listening to a real person who brings real rap who combines deep meaning with songs that sound good. I want you to vibe to my songs and enjoy my songs, and I want to make people think about their lives and if they’re making the right decisions.”
Long known by the nickname Azar, he decided to add a K to the front of that name to create the stage name KZAR. He started getting serious about writing music and hooked up with a producer in Toronto who he said elevated his game and brought him to a professional level. Along the way he developed enough songs to put out an EP, which he’s calling “The KZAR EP.” It was released in November and explores spirituality and deeper meanings of life in ways that he hopes will inspire others to find their life’s meaning and purpose. KZAR has also done a number of live shows which further enhanced his performing skills.
“For awhile I was dabbling with every religion trying to find my way,” he said. “I’ve been into one or another religion at any given time, as well as atheist or agnostic. Today I’d say I’m agnostic – I believe in God but I don’t believe in religion. And this album explores a lot of that and challenges people to think about whether they should allow God into their lives, or Buddhism, or Islam, or any religion.”
Two singles from the EP are already starting to gain some major traction and have caught the ears of fans in the Northeast. The first is a song called “Information Overload,” which he said is the main song on the album. It’s an upbeat song that shines a light on today’s hyper-digital world in which there is content and information floating around in millions of ways. And through it all he’s encouraging listeners to stop and pause from the information overload and instead enjoy life.
The second single is “Open Your Eyes,” and is the song that he said means the most to him from the EP. He wrote it when he was in the midst of his depression and suffering, and he said it’s a melancholy song that is beautiful.