Up and coming R&B artist Zay is one of the artists on our radar for 2012! This St. Catherines native recently released his first single “Don’t Say That It’s Over”. With big dreams and aspirations, he can’t wait for the whole world to hear his music and neither can we! We chatted with Zay about how he got started, working with fellow Canadian talents Arthur McArthur and Chris Strikes, and who his first celebrity crush was.
(BestFan): Tell us how you got started and why you got into music.
(Zay): Basically music first started back in high school during the first year. A friend of mine was doing an online battling competition and it struck me from there. So I went to Walmart, picked up one of those cheap mics and started doing it at my mom’s basement and continued doing it throughout high school, trying to perfect my craft. About a year ago I hooked up with Endless Records and we’ve been making music ever since and trying to get the name out there and trying to get the world to get to know me and who I am.
(BestFan): What was the hardest part about getting your music out there and getting recognized?
(Zay): Basically everything. I was raised in Toronto and then I moved to St. Catherines and that’s how everything started. St. Catherines is a small city, it’s more of a rock band kind of city, it’s not really hip-hop and R&B so that was the toughest part cause the genre itself isn’t that popular there, but there’s room to pick it up.
(BestFan): You’re single “Don’t Say That It’s Over” – could you tell us about it and how does it relate to your life.
(Zay): The record was presented to me by a good friend of mine named Rabby Teng, he owns a studio in St. Catherines called One Ink Studios, he came to me with the chorus and it was basically a situation he was going through at the time with the relationship he had. It also kind of tied in with something that I went through as well – a relationship that I was in so at the moment it felt right. So, we went to the studio and me and him started to pen down the track and it all came together really smoothly. The chemistry between us was really good. We then hooked up with Arthur McArthur, a producer from Toronto and he is definitely on his game, so he was the right fit for the record. We went down to meet him and he began to produce a track and actually played the guitar live, which I haven’t really seen so it was really captivating.
(BestFan): Like you said, you worked with producer Arthur McArthur, how was that like working with him?
(Zay): Oh man, it was incredible! Right now, he is the most sought out producer, especially in the hip-hop community. He makes making music easy as possible.
(BestFan): We love the music video! What was the best part about shooting the video?
(Zay): The whole experience was just amazing. Just to be ale to see how it all came together, it was an actual full set. It wasn’t one of those little videos; it was like a 12-hour set. We started at 8 in the morning and we finished around midnight. The whole thing was just great experience – everything about it.
(BestFan): Could you tell us the concept of the video and how was it like working with Chris Strikes?
(Zay): Chris Strikes came to us with the treatment; the video is based around a relationship with problems. The character I portray in the video is picking up with my music career and it’s about to take off so I don’t really have that much time for my girlfriend anymore and she basically wants more time from me but the music is taking all of our time together.
(BestFan): What are you working on next?
(Zay): More singles, definitely! Everything I’m creating, I just want to release it. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a mix tape or album. I just want to give out free music right now and I’m just looking to create some new singles and great music.
(BestFan): What is your main goal right now? What are you most focused on?
(Zay): The biggest thing would definitely have to be just trying to get single out right now. I watch the video all the time and I’m always like ‘wow, I can’t believe how great it came out’. So I just want the whole world to take in this video and the song, as well to get to know me. I just want to have a good start and a good foundation.
(BestFan): Where do you get your inspirations from?
(Zay): The place I get the most inspirations from would definitely be everyday struggles, just everyday life and the things that we go through. What better way than to just let it come out through your music and let people know who you are without having to meet you. They can just listen to a song and be like ‘whoa, I feel like I know this guy a lot more’.
(BestFan): Where you do see yourself in the next year or two?
(Zay): Honestly speaking, I just want to take over the country. I’m confident and I feel comfortable in my own shoes right now. I’m a little bit more mature and I’ve been around a lot of industry greats, especially from Canada. I know a lot of guys who knows exactly where they’re going and I just want to get my foot in the door and let the entire country know who I am because I just want to put Canada on my back.
Favourite junk food
Are you a morning or night person?
Definitely a night person
Catch Me If You Can
First celebrity crush
What do you want the world to know about Zay?
I just want the world to know that I’m just another humble kid and grateful for everything that I’ve gained so far and hopefully more to come. I just want the world to know my music. I’m just so concern about getting the entire world to enjoy my music, but hopefully I can mature more and become more confident. I always feel like every moment you’re at your strongest, so as you grow older you become more comfortable with your own skin.
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We have no doubt that Zay is born to be star. Through all his struggles in the past, we know that his dedication and drive will get him to the places he wants to be. So, be on the look out with more great music from him in the future! Also, check out his social networks and music video below!