Premiere: Reid Zakos Is Not The “Villain” In His Latest Pop-Ballad

Reid Zakos is a powerful, independent artist born in Calgary, Canada. Born into a musical family Reid has a strong background in both musical theatre and dance, the arts are in his DNA. Heavily influenced by Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga, Reid has a taste for the theatrical side of music and also holds a strong passion for fashion. If this is the first time you’re tuning into Reid Zakos’ music, you’re in for a treat. His style is a brilliant musical blend of pop-dance crossover hits with a dramatic ballad-like ambiance. We last featured his energizing dance single “Gladiator” on BuzzMusic and it blew us away. 

Reid Zakos is now back with an enchanting pop ballad titled “Villain”. Beginning with a gorgeously stripped aura of just piano and Reid’s stunning vocals, “Villain” doesn’t take long to evolve into a bone-chilling, heartfelt anthem. You can hear that Reid Zakos has poured his heart and soul into this release. Written by both Reid Zakos and Tess Anderson, the overall sentiments and powerful lyricism focus on the way we are perceived and sometimes misunderstood when, in fact, our intentions are good. Although the track is more somber than some of Reid’s previous releases, we’re still blessed with the upbeat bounce of a backing track to bring the energy. I’d love to hear “Villain” in an intimate live setting to truly showcase Redi Zakos’ charisma and sheer vocal power. Well worth a listen! 

Check out “Villain” here and read more with Reid Zakos below! 


Hey Reid Zakos! Do you believe that the way you intend to communicate your messages through your music is easily received by your listeners?


Hello again! That's a tough one to answer...I hope so? I guess it depends on the song. Generally, I feel like most of my music has been pretty direct, understandable and relatable enough that listeners can read into certain lines what they want to and interpret for themselves without knowing all the specifics. I do have some more complicated lyrical songs like "Illogical Rhythm", but that one is intended to sound kind of busy and confused and moody. The new single "Villain" is pretty easy to understand - while there are some clever wordplay and alliterations in the verses, it's about perception and being painted as the villain (in relationships, in friendships, in society, or because you're just misunderstood) when deep down you know you're not the villain, and your intentions have always been pure.

“Villain" was an incredibly versatile and beautiful track. Where did you draw the inspiration to create this particular type of sound?

Thank you so much! With this song, we intended from the beginning to write a stripped-down ballad - almost like a Lady Gaga "Million Reasons" type of record, because that kind of song was missing from my arsenal at the time. I was making a lot of high energy dance music and while I had more sentimental songs, yes, but they still had a lot dance-pop or electronic production, and I'm usually so active with dance and choreography during my live shows that we wanted to do something opposite and more stripped and ballad-like. We didn't know what it would be about yet, but Tess Anderson (who co-wrote and produced the song) is a very talented writer who (in my opinion at least) has a cinematic quality about how her chords, melodies, and lyrics sound. Once we wrote it we added in some bells and whistles like bass, vocal synths, harmonies, and beats in the second verse but for the most part it's pretty stripped and the piano and vocal drives it. It's also a great contrast to my other song "Gladiator" that you guys reviewed back in the summer.

How would you say that "Villain" compares to the kind of music you curated when you first started out as an artist?

It's definitely the darkest and theatrical yet vulnerable song I've ever put out. It showcases my voice in a different way. I use my voice at full power, but I also get really soft and vulnerable during some parts. As a singer, I think it shows off way more range and versatility. A lot of my other music is quite dance-oriented, whereas this is full-on theatre. Growing up a Disney kid, I was always fascinated with the role of the villain because they were so over the top and flamboyant but they were also misunderstood and rebellious. So in some ways, this song feels like a return to my childhood with the theatrical nature of it. 

Do you prefer the more intimate recording process over live performance? How do you personally feel when you're performing your music live?

I've always preferred to performing live. I've come to appreciate the process and luxury of recording more in recent years, but for me, in my life I've always needed to perform in front of an audience as a way to transform, heal, and express. It's just a different energy when you have an audience. And it's more visceral because you can't edit your mistakes! I think the better you are living the better you'll be in the studio too.

It was awesome to be able to present "Villain" here on BuzzMusic! What do you think is next for you as an artist? Where do you hope to progress within the next couple of years?

I'm so happy you guys like it! In 2020 I'm sure I'll release a full project rather than one-off singles. In the next few years I really want to start touring and do some more videos and songwriting trips, but the main goal is to just be doing music full time.


Follow @reidzakosmusic on Instagram for more!