MUD caught up with the Canadian artist to chat about his unique sound, how he approaches songwriting, and his newest single "Understand."
Zach Zoya has established himself in Montreal as both a technically skilled, silver-tongued rapper, and a songwriter capable of unspooling knotty emotions through smooth vocal refrains. His ability to write unique replay-worthy rhymes, create elite visuals, effortlessly flow from rapid rap verses to smooth R&B vocals, and deliver amazing live performances leaves no room for doubt that Zach Zoya has earned a place in your favorite Spotify playlists.
M: You’ve established yourself in Montreal as both a silver-tongued rapper and a powerful songwriter with a unique ability to explore emotions. How would you personally define your sound?
Z: I would describe it as emotionally driven indeed! My main focus in writing a song is to convey accurately the feeling it naturally instills in me. Whether it’d be frustration, love, or grief, the meaning of a song can almost be better understood by the sound of my voice rather than the meaning of my words.
M: Your song “Understand” is coming out today. What do you hope listeners capture from this song?
Z: A feeling of light-heartedness. “Understand” is a love song but it’s also a summer song. It’s about a warm festive day, it’s about remembering how good we used to have it and trying to recreate that feeling again!
M: What was the inspiration behind it?
Z: “Understand” is about the trials and tribulations of a relationship in this environment. Showbusiness is hectic, passionate, and often short-lived. I’m basically begging my partner to stick by me through it and to “try to understand me”.
M: We’d love to get insight into your songwriting process. How do you tap into your creativity?
Z: The songwriting process for this one was a little different. I’m used to writing alone and this was one of my first times writing with other people! I linked up with the homies Banx&Ranx, legendary producer Duo from Mtl, as well as Dayton James, a crazy vocalist and songwriter based in Toronto. We were all basically feeding off of each other’s ideas, I loved it!
M: What artists or bands are your biggest inspirations?
Z: Right now I look at people like Don Toliver or Jack Harlow and really admire the way they go about giving music to the world in such a consistent and cool way! I definitely look to that for inspiration.
M: To you, what does it mean to be a young artist today?
Z: It means going through a different system. It means being a businessman as well as an Artist (which is always an advantage). I think sometimes it can feel like we have denatured the simple task of making and releasing music by tying it to the whole social media world and how the image can sometimes be just as, if not more, important than the music itself. But at the same time, music has never been so accessible to the listener and the artist and that’s super inspiring and it feels great to feel like you’re part of a huge community!
Listen here to "Understand" by Zach Zoya, available on all streaming platforms now!