Today we talk with Zubah.
A true Atlanta native who has a love for music combining dubstep and riddim. He’s a real funny guy, but don’t let that overshadow the talent this artist has. In this interview we talk shows, upcoming events, and his new EP.
After every performance how do you feel? What’s your vibe when you go into\come out of a performance?
Both usually depend on the size of the crowd! For example, the four times played in Montreal, that crowd was always huge, like 700-1500 people each time!! Usually when I’m about to go on for a crowd that size, the last five mins is the scariest because it’s not what I’m used to (yet lol). My vibe will usually be extremely anxious…but I use that and turn it into fuel for my sets. After that I’d be in awe every time! But if it’s a really small show, like you can physically see twenty people, and you know everyone else is outside smoking or doing whatever else, I usually will use times like that to practice.
What ignited your drive towards music?
Well, I’ve grown up around it! My dad made music with his friends just for fun when I was little. He didn’t really want to pursue it like that but it was just something fun to do. Also, I listened to a lot of video game music. There would even be times where I would have a game running, but then have the music blasting. When I got older, my mom and Step dad got satellite radio and while scrolling, they stumbled across a techno station while we were in the car. In my mind I was like “OMG SOMETHING DIFFERENT! WHAT IS THIS? It sounds like the music from my video games!” So from then on, I was extremely interested in electronic music. But the game DJ Hero actually made me want to DJ (funny I know)
When did you begin making music/How old were you?
When I was thirteen, I had a tech class in middle school. Some kid and I were talking about music production. He told me about, FL Studio 5, and how I could make whatever I wanted that night I got home and downloaded it, LIFE CHANGED!
How would you describe your specific style of EDM?
I would describe it as Dubstep and Riddim. Dubstep would allow you to head bang, whereas riddim can get you head banging and you can throw in a few dance moves too…well at least the riddim I make…some of it is boring.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Well when I first got into electronic music around 2005, I listened to the electronic station on Yahoo Radio. On there I heard A TON of artist that made me think ‘WHOA WHATS THIS?! IT’S SO COOL AND NOT THE SAME RADIO MUSIC EVERYONE LISTENS TO” So, I heard a lot of people like Boards of Canada, the old Sia, Deadmau5, Deadbeats, Air, Tipper (yeah, he made music that wasn’t spacebass/wookbass back then), ATB, and many many many more. But when I was wanting to create music, I would try to follow the style of Deadmau5.
When/where was you first big show at that set everything off? That basically jump started your career in EDM?
I guess the show that got me known the most, as far as everyone being like OMG WOW, was when my first agent, Kevin Nagy of Alpha Squadron, got me a show in Montreal. The day I got that message saying the show was confirmed…I knew that I was going to be able to do this as a career! After playing the show, literally couldn’t stop shaking, and the thought of me doing this full time at first was like extremely distant…there was no denying it at that point.
What would you say makes you different from other artists not just in Atlanta but in the EDM scene as a whole?
I think… for me… that would be stage presence and the energy you bring, also the energy you set within the tracks you produce. Whenever people see me out they talk about how much energy I bring to my live sets, and the dancing lol. Within my tracks, people can hear a distinct “Zubah” flow and there is a vibe/bounce in the tracks that just set apart from others.
What’s the first thing you have to/want to do when coming from a set?
Well usually when I’m about to go on, I will gauge the crowd to see what kind of track I’ll open with. Now after I get off, (again depending on the show and crowd size) I will either go hang out in the green room after, then go talk to people in the crowd, or if its super small, just go home.
How would you describe your shows from your vantage point? What is YOUR experience like as you perform?
Back to what I was saying, it really depends on the show. Big/Major shows – Nerve Racking until halfway into it, Small/Empty shows – Ehh
Aside from music, what else interests you? Are you into any other forms of art? What are ZUBAH’s hobbies?
Right now, I’ve gotten more into making skin care products. Because all the chemicals in the store bought, cheap or name brand products are out here causing harm and that’s not okay.
What type of music did your parents play, what did you grow up on?
They played a lot of smooth jazz, soul, disco and funk. Also, would play praise and worship music. I personally would listen to Old School Hip hop, Disco and Smooth Jazz.
Where do you pull inspiration from when you go to work on a song? Do you mediate, do you have a special place you like to go to work on your music?
Can’t say 😉
Did you have a mentor, someone who guided you to where you’re at in your career now?
I did! Trollphace helped me in 2015 when it came to production, but then I quit at the beginning of 2016. When I came back towards the end of 2016, Taylor Casto, Frankie Sinn, MJ Lee, Ricky Raw, and a ton of other people helped me get back into the swing of things, how I could start getting shows again in Atlanta, and also helped my name come back to light. My production skills started to go up more, then later on Kevin Nagy found me and put me on his agency and that’s when things started to grow all over the country and internationally.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be successful in this industry?
If you want to be successful, you need to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, AND IN YOUR TALENTS! That core belief is what is going to keep you going! Don’t be afraid to network with the big named artist, once they continue to see your face and hear your name, they will respect you more and then eventually give you a window of opportunity. If there is a venue in your city that throws amazing bass shows, make sure you are there every weekend showing face to get the promoters to recognize you! Last but not least, PRODUCE MUSIC!!! If you don’t produce you WILL get stuck eventually. Production will always help bring 100% originality to your sets and will make you stand out from others. ALSO, DO NOT QUIT! Quitting on your dreams means you’re quitting on yourself”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Gentle Words bring life and health, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit” Proverbs 15:4. So, if you tell yourself that you can’t, you won’t, you’re never going to…. well then you have set yourself up for failure
Your new EP, Galactic Heist, came out January 16, can you tell me a little about this project?
It’s basically my way of showing that I’ve grown so much over the years with my production, that I’m ready to take over! Its full of new sound design techniques that I’ve been learning, completely different flow, and a much heavier impact than my arcade machine EP!
If you could have any super power, which ability would you possess?
Time manipulation, so I can slow down in certain situations or speed them up for the benefit of others
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
Wisdom! Because if you have that, you can basically overturn every situation, or prevent it from starting!
You can find Zubah here:
Interview By: Autumn Ray Boyd