Zainab Johnson (Courtesy Instagram)

Comedian and actor Zainab Johnson is headed back to Atlanta for a sold-out standup set at City Winery at Ponce City Market on Saturday night (join the waitlist here).

We caught up with her to ask what she loves about Atlanta, her inspirations, and what’s next for her hit Amazon Prime series, “Upload.” We also got her fantastic Spotify playlist, which you can listen to below.

You’re headed back to Atlanta for a night of stand-up at City Winery on Sept. 10. What do you love about the A?

Atlanta has everything! It’s filled with cool, authentic people and the dope-ass, dirty south culture that has taken over the past couple of decades. It has certain Hollywood elements with so many working actors and production folk there, but there’s also the most amazing entrepreneurial culture and great diversity alongside the beautiful Black people who laugh hard. I’m hoping to receive all of that energy.

“Upload” recently got picked up for a third season on Amazon Prime. What’s coming next for Aleesha and what do you want folks to know about the show if they’ve been sleeping on it?

We’re actually filming right now, so I’ll fly from the “Upload” set to Atlanta to perform and right back to set. The show has something for everybody. It’s a funny, cool, sweet, and suspenseful sci-fi show. 

What comedians or actors inspired you growing up and who’s making you laugh today? 

Growing up, I loved Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Adele Givens, Sommore, Sheryl Underwood, Bill Burr, and Mike Epps. Today while enjoying the greats like Wanda Sykes, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, and Chris Rock, I really enjoy watching my peers kill like Yamaneika Saunders, Fahim Anwar, and Wil Sylvince. 

What are some of your favorite places to eat, shop, or hang out when you’re in Atlanta? 

My fave places to eat in Atlanta are Rawsome Juicery, South City Kitchen in Midtown and recently, because of my gluten allergy, I found an amazing bakery called Hell Yeah Gluten Free

What song is on repeat right now? Do you have a pre-show playlist you listen to to get you pumped up for a gig? 

The songs I have on repeat right now are “Action” by Terror Fabulous and Nadine Sutherland, Beyoncé’s “Move” and “Summer Renaissance,” and “That’s a Them Problem” by Terry Kaye and Jamison Bethea, which I play to get hyped before a show. 

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.