Hailing out of Lawrence, MA artist/producer/engineer Zaay has his sights set on music’s biggest stage. Coming off the release of his brand new EP The Leak Tape, the 26-year-old has put it all on the line to pursue his musical career. “I took a bus out of desperation and went to Jersey City where I locked in with my homie 1995,” he said. At 6-tracks in length, the short offering is a collection of bangers that highlight Zaay’s artistic capabilities. We had the chance to sit down with Zaay for an exclusive interview. Check it out down below.
How did you start making and what gave you the motivation to stay with it
Making music was a gradual thing for me. I grew up listening to legendary shit from Nas, Em, Sade to Mariah Carey. I wrote as a kid but never took it seriously. Fast forward years later I found J Coles and Kendrick’s music and watching them evolve caused my desire to do music evolve with them. My only motivation to keep going was my love for my craft and the fact that it was the first thing I knew I was gonna be great at.
What are some of the biggest mental tools you can obtain to be successful in this field?
The biggest mental tools to be successful in music are patience, discipline, and persistence.
Being from Massachusetts, how is the underground music scene out there?
The mass scene is evolving. From Lawrence to Boston to Springfield, I see really dope artists I just think we lack the resources, the press, the blogs, the podcasts, etc.
Do you have a favorite musical project that you’ve worked on?
I think everything I make becomes my favorite musical project. When I create it’s like chasing a high and every song or album fulfills that high for me for a moment then it’s onto the next. I think that’s because I have evolved so fast.
What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?
Outside of music I enjoy working, hiking, bar hopping, video games you know cliche shit.
Did you have any early music influences? Who were your favorite artists growing up?
My favorite artists growing up were, Ludacris, Game, Nas, Pac, Mobb Deep, BIG, Eminem, Jadakiss. I place a big emphasis on Nas, Pac, and Jada though, those were the hip-hop acts that raised me.
In what ways has your music changed since you began making music?
Were these changes consciously made, or did they naturally happen?
The main changes that occurred in my music were the confidence and delivery got way better. That was natural as I gained confidence in the craft. Another change was fewer filler words and a more creative word selection. That change was consciously made. My vocal control and breathing, as well as flow, got a lot better. That part wasn’t intentional it was like gaining muscle if that makes sense.
What has been your proudest moment in this process? What was a moment in which you could see the results of your hard work?
I have a lot of proud moments but I’ll keep it short. A proud moment I had was when my album BLNCE hit top 23 on the iTunes charts in between a Pac and Kendrick album, that felt like a sign from the universe to keep pushing. Another proud moment I had was when I did a show and everyone sang the words along, I didn’t know these people in the audience but they somehow heard my music.
If you were to describe your sound, how would you describe it?
If I was to describe my sound it would be profound in a poetic kind of way but with many sonic layers to it like an orchestra. I really want every song to be an audio movie with an underlying message that you could choose to take it or enjoy the music neither is wrong.
What is next for Zaay? What do you want your supporters to know about you?
I wanna be more present from now on, as the fanbase grows I wanna drop as much music as I can and keep my supporters fed. I hope to tour in the next couple of years.