ＺΛＹΛＺ - V I B E | An Interview
The Forged in Neon Interview Series is back back back baby and what an opener we have for you in the incredible elusive Synth talent that is ＺΛＹΛＺ.
Not content with being a composer for Film Scores, this Toronto, Canada native took a deep dive into the Synth World and in essence has never looked back. Having embraced the scene back in 2017 his litany of hits is a treasure trove of gems with a catalogue to include many styles for his fans to consider such as: Indie Dance, Chill-Synth & Vaporwave.
A mighty force to be reckoned with he releases at least 2 tracks a month to keep his fans engaged and goes on to explain that be believes his sound to be "a little more refined than when he first started" and prides himself on producing, mixing & mastering everything he creates which is no mean feat!
ＺΛＹΛＺ has had some phenomenal success most notably in the recent repress via 'My Pet Flamingo' of 'Filter Tipped' which set the entire scene alight resulting in another sell out in record time.
Staying true to his retro sensibilities whilst exploring new ground seems to be the modus operandi of his work to date and with the recent release of his new single 'Horizon95' he shows no signs of slowing down.
We here at Haus of Forged were delighted he took time out to chat about his life and career to date, take a look!
Thank you so much for chatting with Forged in Neon today, I have wanted you on here for what seems like an age, you’re most welcome and thank you so much for your time.
Congratulations on the single Horizon95, your remix of Daft Punk’s ‘Something about us and may I say the repress of the brilliant ‘Filter Tipped’ released via My Pet Flamingo, you’ve kept yourself undoubtedly busy, how do you think your recent releases have been received?
Thank you for having me. The Filter Tipped cassettes were really well received. We sold out almost immediately on Bandcamp. We didn't realize that there was demand for all of these tracks to be released at once on a physical medium. My Pet Flamingo promptly announced a second pressing and that sold out immediately as well. It felt great to know that people out there dug my music. I try and release at least 2 singles a month to keep my fans happy and engaged, and I try to mix it up in terms of genre while still keeping a retro sound.
You started your project Z A Y A Z back in about 2017 If you fast forward to 2021, how do you think your sound has developed over time?
I have started to dabble in all of the Synthwave and Retrowave Sub Genres. If you check out my catalogue, you'll hear everything from Vaporwave, Film Scores, Indie Dance and Chill Synth. I've learned a lot by collaborating and working with lots of artists in our scene. Sonically, I think my sound is a little more refined and better produced than when I started. I take pride in the fact that I Write, Produce, Mix and Master all of my own stuff.
Tell us a little about your creative process, who or where do you normally draw inspiration from?
Anything really can spark a creative Idea for me. It could be watching a movie or hearing someone else's music. I always try and write music with feeling. When writing music, I always almost start with a really distinct chord pattern and start to layer up from there. I work in the box in Cubase as well as with Hardware. Using Hardware synths has really been a game changer for me.
If I was to put you on the spot what is the one track in your entire discography that you’re most proud of...why?
It would have to be my track "Sputnik". I wrote it, mixed and mastered it all in 2 days on headphones and a laptop away from my studio. I did it without a midi keyboard or anything really, Just Cubase, some VST Instruments and Headphones. It was one of my tracks featured on New Retro Wave and pretty well received. It proves that you don't need much gear or a studio to get your music out there.
Who were your musical inspirations growing up? I imagine that certainly changed over time?
So many I wouldn't even know where to start. I've been into music ever since I was about 6, Everything from instrumental rock to drum n bass. I'm pretty much game for anything.
What would be the most cherished memory of your career to date?
Of my whole career, it would have to be opening for some big DJs in the late 90's Toronto Club and After Hours scene. Those were the days!
You seem an intensely private individual content on releasing whole troves of gems, will the world ever get to see you gig at some point do you think?
Absolutely! If the demand is there I'd love to play some Ableton Live gigs or DJ out.
Z A Y A Z as a stage name is of course instantly recognisable to us synth fans but for the benefit of those who may be new to your music, explain how you came up with it?
It's a play on my last name. I just wanted an artist name that was simple and was personal to me.
Can you tell us a little about your current and future projects?
A Proper Full Length Synthwave album is in the works right now. I also plan to keep releasing singles regularity in all styles.
What’s your favourite 80’s film?
It would have to be the Back to the Future Trilogy. It has everything I could ever want as a kid; The cool main character who gets the girl in the end, The Car, The Special Effects and The Story that was so well written and resolves so perfectly at the end.
If there was one thing you could change about the Music industry, what would it be and why?
Fair Exposure of Artists in our scene. I hear so much great music out there on places like Soundcloud that doesn't get the amount of attention it deserves. There really are some amazing artists out there who are doing incredible things and pushing the boundaries of what Retrowave can be.