Confidence, liberation, and striving to hit personal bests is what ZZAY is all about. This spiritually aware goddess isn't shying away from her powerful voice and provoking vocals. Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, this proud Mexican-American woman is promoting love and positivity towards race and gender. Through her multi-stylistic musical approach, ZZAY is proving her strength as a singer, songwriter, and rapper, showcasing powerful messages for young 'xicanas' alike. Its no surpriseZZayhas teamed up with Day Hernandez to cultivate the video pairing for "Golden Daze."
Day Hernandez is an Art Director from Los Angele's California specializing in creating culturally rich productions that are nurturing and foster positive societal idealisms. ZZAYand Day's kismet collaboration saw both players perfectly hone in on "Golden Daze" subject matter. Day's capability directing inspiring creations paved the way for "Golden Daze" visual promotion of female and cultural positivity.
Utilizing her prowess, ZZAY is tackling issues within her music, such as mental health, racism, sexism, environmental justice issues, decolonization, gentrification, and womxn empowerment. Her healing messages are an affirmation to listeners that it is ok to feel magical and to trust your inner intuition and vibes the universe is sending you. Her lyrical composition is directly influenced by her own journey and sentiments. Translating her feelings and visions connects ZZAY with her audience. Her recognition of the importance to make music that is attractive to an audience, but never shying away from songs that create feelings of doubt or sadness can sometimes be the best songs for listeners to relate to and the boldness that comes from ZZAY's realness has been a humbling experience for her and her craft.
Discover "Golden Daze" here.
Could you expand on how you and director Day Hernandez arranged the serene atmosphere in your video for “Golden Daze”? Day and I have been working closely for a few months before we moved forward with a final concept. We would meet up at our local coffee shop @capuyocafe in Boyle Heights. I expressed to Day what the song was about and what I expected as far as visuals. She then put together a visual treatment that broke everything down from wardrobe to production design. After we locked in looks Day and Madison Shelton produced the shoot. They started off by reaching out to an all-female crew, after that it was all smooth. There are so many pieces in this video that were well thought out before we went through with it. The shot list was broken down to explain what we did want to see and what we absolutely did not want to advocate in the video. Working with Day means we will always do the right thing and promote female and cultural positive messages.
What helped your songwriting process for golden daze and how did you write lyrics that portray such detailed imagery. Golden Daze is a bright, radiant uplifting tune, because I wrote it during a time of doubt, and had been feeling like there was a lack of foundation in my music, as well as other parts in my life. I wanted to create something motivating, but still funky. What’s funny is I thought Dan Ganja (one of the producers of the song) was also going to be rapping with me. So it was a fun surprise to also finish off the song. My process includes a lot of repetition; I usually listen to a beat until I’m sick of it (lol.) Once I feel like I’ve meshed well with it, and feel like I can sing the structure of the song while also creating an emotion, it’s game time. I wanted to emulate a feeling of being a boss b*tch, but also not tying onto the idea that you need to be a b*tch to be a boss. I had recently gotten back from the New Skool Rules convention in the Netherlands, so when I say, “I’m riding with my queens, and we sail across the sea,” I’m referring to that point in time. This song reminds me of the canals and feeling so free and loving that I’m doing what I want through music in a different county. It’s tough to try and talk about making money in music without seeming like its a flex, so I feel that this song displays a nice blend of securing the bag but also remembering that our mental state and well being and inner peace is the real bag.
How has Zzay as an artist leveled up over the years as an artist? Are you still striving for a certain goal?
Zzay has leveled up in a lot of ways, not only because of experience but also because of the vast transition of promoting thru live shows, street teams, and one on one interaction—to now learning the world of streaming, marketing and building an online audience. When i had first started putting out music, having music on iTunes seemed like a dream, i don’t even think Spotify was around! I mostly bombarded Facebook walls, tweeted my new Soundcloud links, and just hoped and prayed that people would hear about me through word of mouth. But after the merge of Facebook, Instagram, and launches of new streaming apps, I began to do my research. Upon doing so, I stumbled upon Distrokid—a distribution site that allows you to be in full control of your releases while also not milking percentages and leaving you with nothing. I think in a lot of ways, I’ve glowed up internally—meaning emotionally and with my work ethic. I’ve learned how important it is to invest in myself. There's nothing wrong with learning about budgets, and what you need to take your craft to the next level. There’s nothing wrong with taking the extra step. There’s nothing wrong with looking for the right team! This artistry shit comes with a lot of sacrifices! I don’t think people understand, I didn’t at first. But ultimately, I feel like I’ve grown and blossomed with so much confidence. People see and feel it when I perform. They feel it when I walk in the room.
My goals have changed—I used to want to tour until I could no longer walk haha but with the industry-changing, there's no longer a need for that. I want to land syncs this year, hopefully on something that speaks to me like Netflixs’ “On My Block” or “Gentefied.” I want to hit over a million streams, whether it be a song or an album; I think 2020 is the year to do it.
Why do you think your music has been successful and how do you lock in genuine listeners?
I feel like my audience has been so loyal because I meet a lot of my fans at shows. I’ve been that fan that’s too nervous to talk to my favorite artist, but I like to remind them that I’m just like them. I haven’t hit that God complex. I think that because I am able to create genuine relationships with my fans, the gravitational pull comes naturally. I think it’s important to make music that is attractive to an audience, but I also think that sometimes the best songs come when you’re stuck in your feelings, sad, doubtful, or just overloaded with emotions in general. I think listeners stay loyal because they respect that, and relate to a lot of what I got to say. Because I am very interactive online, the Zzay army stays strong. I used to feel so weird talking into my camera, like I was a diva! Now I love talking to my audience, and they seem to like what I’ve got to say! I feel like as a young xicana, we are the voice of the reason, we are the voice of the generations that were silenced and we’re here to stay.
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020
For 2020, I’m learning more and more about proper rollouts and maintaining the right team in order to display the perfect execution.
I am currently working with Day and revival reels on our next visual and will be releasing new projects this summer, including projects executively produced by 4th Beats, and another project solely by Dan Ganja. This year I can feel a sync happening. I plan to keep releasing quality—after Golden Daze, there's no room for lower budgets, favors from the homies. All I can say is for 2020, if you thought Golden Daze was awesome, just wait until the next one. With COVID-19 in full effect, I have no idea what's to happen as far as my shows. I’m enjoying these Instagram live shows, but it’s not the same at all. Ultimately, I can’t wait to be back in other countries doing what I love. This break from reality was always sought for and now that we have it a lot of us don’t know what to do. I am proud to say during this time I’ve learned about my artistry, and excited to now be recording myself, producing my own instrumentals. The possibilities are still endless despite what a lot of people think during the current times.