Zadia is a singer and songwriter from Baltimore who is thriving in the city’s rising creative arts community. (Courtesy of zadia.bandcamp.com)

By Nicole Batey
Special to the AFRO

Have you heard it? Baltimore City has a unique sound all her own and Visit Baltimore, in partnership with Bellweather Agency, aims to capture it in their latest ad campaign, “Your People are Here,” featuring an original song about Baltimore, written and performed by Zadia.  

Visit Baltimore, the official promotional destination for tourism in Baltimore City, wanted to showcase some of the city’s musical talents in a creative way while highlighting some of the city’s best. On their website, baltimore.org, you will find interesting places to visit, great food finds, swanky hotel spots and accommodation packages, cultural arts and entertainment happenings, and more.

Baltimore has a thriving creative arts community, full of musicians and artists, and Zadia, a native Baltimorean, is a constant in this community. She is both a singer and songwriter who is proud to rep her city, so much so that Zadia released an album last year called “Vacants,” as a tribute. Zadia was a natural choice in collaborating with Visit Baltimore and Bellweather to create a song that soulfully grasps the realness, beauty and grit of Baltimore. “Her soulful vocals and lyrics are exactly what we needed to capture the real spirit of the city and drive people to want to come visit,” said Tracey Johnson, communications coordinator for Visit Baltimore. 

What they came up with is, Realest City in America, the song featured in the “Your People are Here” ad.

Realest City in America originally started as an acapella. The first question I asked myself was how would I describe Baltimore…. the city I’ve known all my life, the city that raised me, the city I learned my toughest lessons and experienced my happiest memories.  When I think about this city I think about the people, the rawness, and the undiscovered richness in talent and love. I came up with a few words then tried them with different melodies. I had to go back to the drawing board quite a few times. I reached out to some local musicians… Josh Stokes, a good friend of mine and one of the best drummers in Baltimore whom I work with often; Rachel Winder, an amazing saxophonist who I knew would bring forth some Baltimore Jazz energy; and John Tyler, the kid who plays just about EVERY instrument, on guitar. I made sure to include musicians from different sub-cultures in our city to capture a diverse sound that represents how diversified Baltimore truly is. These are just a few of the many artists that contribute to the city musically,” Zadie said In a recent interview with Bellweather.

Realest City in America encapsulates the essence of Baltimore City and a great addition to the list of creative gems in Baltimore’s growing legacy in the arts. You can hear the song on Youtube. To learn more about Zadia, check out her full interview with Bellweather on their website, Bellweather.agency/insights/.

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