Introducing UK producer Zia to the world, we asked him a couple questions to get to know him a little better. He’s got a fresh, bass-heavy debut EP coming up via Twin Turbo on November 6th which you can hear in the DJ mix he recorded for us below, or learn more about here: http://bit.ly/1MF0NBz
1. This project being a fresh start for you, tell us a little bit about your past.
I come from a sound engineering background and worked at theatres before moving on to what I do now. From my early teens, I was heavily into hip-hop which then progressed to Drum and Bass through friends and family. I was Djing and producing at 170 for about 2/3 years before the BPM just started dropping in my production. It was unintentional and not a conscious decision. I just wasn’t as excited by what I was doing, regardless of how experimental I tried to be. I took a bit of a break as I didn’t have a direct focus, just messing about in the studio making different things for fun. Then I kinda really got into all things house and techno and started going to more gigs, shows and just enjoyed the energy there.
My first 120 set was one of my favourite shows I’ve played. It just seemed all about the music, no one knew who I was, or probably even the tracks. Just really good vibes. That really cemented that I wanted to do more of that. Erm yeah, that’s about it ha…
2. Where do you draw inspiration from?
Visuals play a big part for sure, I’m really into cinematography and photography and if I see something, whatever it is, it typically results in a mood or vibe which I’d channel (cringe) into the studio. Another big thing would be vibing off others – friends, audiences (if I’m at a gig / show) just taking whatever energy is there into the studio. Also music outside of what I make.
3. What’s your production setup like?
Pretty minimal nowadays and all in the PC. Kinda grew up with Cubase and have stuck with it ever since. Does make collabs a little more difficult as the majority of my producer buddies I know use logic. Use Abelton a bit here an there for quick ideas, rough sketches. But predominately Cubase, VSTs and plugins. Had a Nord Lead which was great until some fuckin’ asshole robbed my house and haven’t replaced that yet, but it’s on the Christmas list to myself.
4. What is a Zia DJ set like?
Massively varied, depending on crowd and time. Regardless of both those things though, there’ll be lots of different vibes, peaks and dynamics. I get bored listening (and playing) to someone who just has the same energy level through out. If I can throw in some non-typical genre related tracks I will, as long as they work. But you know, some curve balls here and there is always good. Keep the audience guessing and all that. The tracks will always have strong characteristics. From techno, house to more experimental stuff.
5. If you had to pick one favourite DJ, who would it be?
If I’m totally honest, I don’t really listen to many specific DJ’s nowadays. I’ll go to see a producer I like, and they’ll typically play good tunes but it’s hard to say. I do always enjoy Robert Hood sets though!
6. What is your favourite song right now?
Kelela – Rewind
Zia – Turbo Promo DJ Mix Tracklist: