Interview by Michael Beas – Editor and CEO 
Following in the footsteps of a long lineage of talented Australian musicians, electronic producer Zeal offers a fresh, forward-thinking sound with a nostalgic feel. Inspired by the work of Porter Robinson and Madeon, for his new single, “Tomorrow” Zeal started with an innovative and fresh instrumental, which he then decided to pair with the tight lyrical flow of rapper Paintriip and accented with the rich ethereal vocal stylings of solo artist Yohanna. Seamlessly combining deep basslines with chilled-out trap beats and elements of old school hip-hop, pop, R&B, and experimental electronica, “Tomorrow” showcases the evolution of Zeal’s music production. In support of his musical passage, the talented producer recently cut off his long hair to complement his more sophisticated and mature sound. With a plethora of upcoming releases planned in the near future, it will be exciting to watch the progress of this brilliant producer’s already promising future.
We had a opportunity to catch up with Zeal this is what he shared us…

 

Raver Mag. 

Talk to us about “Tomorrow.” Everything has a story, what is the story about Tomorrow and what is the one thing that you would like the Zeal fans, both new and old to take away from your new music?

Zeal 
“Tomorrow” started as just a very late night mess around on my computer after coming back home from Porter Robinson and Madeon’s Shelter tour. I wrote the chords and laid out the general idea of the first half of the track then went to bed. I returned the next day and I just really vibed what I had done, I kept working at it for the next week or so until I was happy enough with the demo to send it around. I think around this time I started digging back into a lot of my roots, one being older rap music. I always spent time listening to music and trying to find fresh and exciting new music, I came across Paintriiip on Reddit and he was rapping over older boom-bap beats. I instantly fell in love with what he was doing and sent him a message asking if he would be interested in collaborating on a song with me, after lots of back and forth messaging we became very close and realized we had a lot in common. He sent the song to Yohanna asking her if she wanted to be apart of the song, I feel truly privileged to have made friends with people that live on the complete opposite side of the world to me and that they wanted to create something with me.

I want all of my fans to know that I have lots of very different stuff coming, eventually my older fans will get some heavier stuff but for now, lots of very cool melodic and not as clubby music coming, expect a lot more to come from me this year 🙂

Raver Mag. 

How and why has Porter Robinson and Madeon inspired your sound and your own music?

Zeal
Porter Robinson and Madeon are two artists in Electronic music that have never stuck to a trend or jumped to please the masses, they’ve always started movements and constantly innovated, I really respect them for that. I want to be similar in the sense where I am not trying to make things to fit any molds and I want people to know the Zeal project is going to be a very diverse and genre-less project, I’m all about experimentation and trying to be my best self. My older fans will know I use to write a lot heavier and different music, I still have lots of love for bass music and all the weirder stuff but I also love my roots which are older Electronic music like 2000s trance and older music, in general, like 90s hip hop. Ultimately I want to be able to blend all my interests and become a versatile musician, so I need to show early on in my career what I’m truly capable of.

Raver Mag. 

Where does the name Zeal stem from?

Zeal
This is a good question, back when I was in high school (16 I think) I played a lot of league of legends, I was trying to find a new name for this project and there was an item called Zeal. I think it naturally just stayed in my brain but the reason I decided this was the name is the meaning. Sometimes the way I find names is looking up obscure name lists for a letter and I happened to choose “Z”. I found Zeal and the definition being “Great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.”  I think it described me perfectly and it really stuck over the years, becoming even more important as I progress musically through my journey.

Raver Mag. 

Why is “Human Experience” as it relates to music important to you?

Zeal 
Music is like a universal language, in life we have very few things like this. I think music is the most important thing ever and throughout my life, I can pinpoint my memories through music I was listening and making, I can tell you the exact moment I first heard the most important pieces of music to me and sometimes the memories become more significant the more I like the music. Music is so special because every single aspect of the human experience links to music, every stage of growing and changing music is involved in it somehow. You go out to a store, they have music playing, you drive somewhere and you have a device that plays music to you, you’re feeling sad, you’ll turn on music to comfort you. There are so many different examples and scenarios I could run you through to back this further.

Raver Mag. 

Do you feel that the musical vibe in Australia is different then that of music in the USA and what do you feel is the biggest challenge is to break into the USA market?

Zeal 
Definitely! The Australian music scene, especially for Electronic music is very diverse. Artists like Flume, Chet Faker, Knife Party/Pendulum, Waver Racer, Mr. Bill, and many many more. I feel in America there’s a way larger market which leaves a lot of room for someone like me whereas in Australia we’re very particular and we know what we want, we love American music or Australian music, I slot a bit more towards the American side so I’ve felt I’ve had a bit more success online with my music internationally than here.

I think the biggest challenge might be having to tour around so many different cities to help build my audience there, it would be extremely tiring. In Australia, there are like 4 and 5 cities you can play in and that is your tour, you can do that in two weeks or less whereas in America you’d be going around for a month playing shows daily just to get everywhere, that’s such a crazy thing for me to think about. It’s a big challenge but its also very exciting at the same time!

 

Raver Mag. 

Do you miss the long hair or are you chiller sporting the new cut?

Zeal 
I honestly thought the transition was going to take a long time to get used to but I adapted pretty quickly, I think it was a nice change after having long hair for most of my adolescent life and I donate the hair so it felt good in the end.