CULTED SOUNDS: FLY AWAY WITH RISING STAR ZAKHAR
North London rising talent Zakhar has been carving out his own lane in the UK scene since he was just 14. Despite only dropping his debut single this year, a swell of support has lifted the creative crooner to new heights, transcending classification as he bounces between quick-witted wordplay on tracks like ‘Phases Freestyle’ and sultry heartfelt vocals on his new single ‘Fly Away’. His effortless delivery has already caught the attention of his contemporaries, receiving a coveted cosign from super-producer JAE5 as well as a stream of endorsements from prolific producers like Jake Gosling, Sammy SoSo and Rehum Brew.
We caught up with Zakhar following the release of his fifth studio single to learn a little more about his rapid rise to relevancy and dissect the details of ‘Fly Away’, his approach to song construction and hopes for his career.
Your latest single Fly Away is a true tear-jerker, do you see writing music as a time to purge your emotions?
I look at writing heartbreak music as a way of telling a story where you listen instead of reading, so I use real-life emotions that I’m feeling at the time, but try to make it relatable to everyone else as well. I’ve always been able to write good but over time it has definitely got better and allowed me to be more creative.
Stylistically your sound is a hard one to compare to anyone else in the game, past or present. Is there a handful of artists that you credit as impacting your style?
I don’t necessarily get my style from other people but there are definitely artists in the game like Mostack and Dave that inspired me to write today. For example, I draw a lot from Mostack’s melodies and I like how Dave can go into detail about a topic and make you really sit there and deep what he’s saying. So my goal is to be able to combine those aspects and create a melodic story.
‘Lights Out’ is a certified banger with such a heartfelt and well-executed melody. Where did that track begin bro, with a lyric concept or percussion?
The thought process behind that song was that I wanted to create something that you could listen to when you’re out with your friends at like a bbq or something like that where it’s all just feel-good vibes.
Name three artists or creatives that you think deserve more recognition and wanna shout out?
Three artists that I would say deserve more recognition are Lotto Ash, Clavish and Rehum Brew.
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What one artist from history would you most want to work on a collaboration album with?
You know what, I’m not really a big album person unless it’s by an artist that I really like. One artist I would have liked to work with though would probably have been Nipsey Hussle.
Finish the sentence: When my career is over I hope I’m remembered for?
When my career is over I hope I’m remembered for all the things that I did for my community and those around me not just my music.
Lastly, as someone who can play the piano but is still on that journey, have you learnt any useful tips for staying consistent or focused when trying to learn an instrument?
The only tip I have for trying to stay consistent is to just do it. There are times when I’ve not wanted to go to my lesson because I went out the night before and I’m too tired, but I just tell myself that even if I’m not able to give it my all because I don’t have the energy, at least I showed up and tried. I think just doing something and not thinking about it too much is the most important thing when learning something new because it trains your mind to have the muscle memory that you’ll always try.