Updated: Jan 5
Zaia is an eccentric soul artist with a sound deeply rooted in R&B and Rap. The 20-year-old artist watched his career completely evolve and transform before his eyes, and now he is blasting through mainstream platforms with hundreds of thousands of listeners behind his name.
He has told stories of love, growth, hardship, and spiritual elevation, from his first collection of work “Rolling Stones” to “While We Wait Vol. 1 & 2” and everything in between. Zaia broke through the airwaves of mainstream with his hit “Slow It Down”, reaching over 100K plays on Spotify. Now, he’s just allowing his career to unfold naturally, enjoying each day life gives to him and creating beautiful music.
How long have you been doing music?
“I’ve been doing music for about 2 years now, maybe 3.” Zaia began. “It started after I stopped playing basketball in high school because of some behavior issues, I guess. I met a couple of friends who were into it, so you know how impressionable you still are at that age, but yeah, I got into it, but I felt a connection to it more than I’ve felt with anything I’ve ever taken the time to get into. It just felt right to do. The control of it and the creativity and the infinite possibility to make anything just attracted me and I never looked back from there.”
What / who inspires you? If you inspire yourself, explain how.
“It’s not one thing that inspires me, really. The world inspires me. It’s like the weather— it’s always changing. New things are always happening, your mind and thoughts are always changing, you meet new people and lose old ones. Moments like those are what I look at in life and I think on and then the inspiration comes to me”
What kinds of things do you consider when creating something new?
“When I’m creating something new, the only things I really consider is how it sounds to me and how I’m executing the idea. I know originality is always a top answer to questions like these, but I believe that as long as you make the music for yourself and you make it quality, the originality will come as you start finding who you are. Because as soon as you start doing the music for others and making what you think people want to hear, you’ve lost.”
Who is your team? What is your history, your love, etc?
“My team is who make Isaiah Eastman ‘Zaia’. They make me look cool as fuck!” He exclaims. “I really love those guys because it takes a certain type of person to want to help make someone else’s dream a reality and want nothing in return. That’s the real definition of love. It consists of 4 people: KAI, who is my manager, Wolf, who is the videographer, Shane is my graphic designer, and Nick runs YouTube, Twitter, etc.
We all basically met while I was in high school basically through mutual friends except for Shane, who we met later down the line when we were out of high school.”
What is the energy in the studio like?
“The studio is always fun when we can get in it. It’s a place of comfort and creativity. We do everything from making bangers to watching anime, and it’s great. It’s a lot of laughs and jokes that get tossed up in the air and usually I’m at the end of them. Sometimes I will be collecting the laughs, but don’t get it mistaken, there’s a lot of play but it’s a lot of hard work. When it’s time to focus and lock in all the play goes out the window and it’s time to do what you came to do. Everyone there works extremely hard.”
What is your creative thought process?
“I basically wake up, think of an idea, smoke, put my headphones on, play a beat, say a whole bunch of shit to try and find my melody or the tone that I’m gonna use. When I say something I like and I know could be used, I try and use it as a base of the song, and then I just build from there, trying different things out and whatnot.”
Throughout Zaia’s growing discography, you can hear how through each track he seems to develop a new experimental element with his voice. As you listen, you hear how he slowly gains control of his range, his melody, and his projection for a more concise and concrete deliverance.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
“I’ve always wanted to get a chance to pick Kendrick’s brain and see what we could come up with, but that answer so cliche because he’s Kendrick (laughs). I want to work with Frank and maybe have Tyler produce something for me one day. It’d be cool to work with Trippie Redd because I like the way he uses his voice, and Ski Mask because he has one of the most unique flows I’ve ever heard. There’s literally a lot of people I want to work with and naming all of them would make the interview unreadable, but those are all who come to mind right now.”
What is your favorite track from your own discography?
‘All of my tracks are my favorite when I first make them, and then I make something else and that becomes my new favorite, like a child with a toy. Yeah, this toy is cool, but this newer toy is even better than the first toy, ya know? I always had a thing for newer toys, anyway. My SoundCloud is full of gems, though.”
What do you want people to remember about Zaia?
“That I was here, on this planet at this time doing what I loved to do. I want people to know how my voice sounded in 300 years or until whenever the planet explodes. I’d basically be a time traveler.”
And finally, what should we expect from you in the near future?
“I actually have a project coming out soon enough, we’re just trying to get everything in order from the music to the business of it. You can expect more visuals, more merch, more live shows, and just for the music to get better as a whole as we travel more in this journey and live more life.”