For our latest installment of Bands You Should Know we chose to feature Los Angeles native Zak Waters. He was one of the first artists we covered after moving to LA. We originally met up with him at his Secret Warehouse Show downtown almost 2 years ago. He was headlining the event where we met another one of our Bands You Should Know, Baywood. We knew we loved his studio work, but were reassured of his abilities when we caught him live. Since then, he has hit the ground running with such appearances as AXS Live, Last Call With Carson Daly, KIIS FM & a month long residency at the famed Satellite in Silver Lake. He’s not only a singer/song writer, but also a producer. He’s produced official remixes with Benny Benassi, R3hab, Pharrel Williams for All-American Rejects & Adam Lambert. On top of all that jazz, he’s a genuinely good dude and that’s important in my book. We’ve gotten to know Zak over the years and we think it’s time you get to know him too. Check out our interview and his video for his latest single Over You below. Enjoy The Eargazm!
The Eargazm: So you are currently #17 on Japanese Radio.. When starting out did you ever think you would be influencing the Japanese culture so much?
Zak Waters: Haha i guess i always kind of imagined. I guess you kinda grow up hearing the funny line “Ah if it doesn’t go well here we always got Japan!” I never fully understood that until now. They have an incredibly music friendly culture there. It seems they really love it and appreciate it, and i’m so stoked that they’ve been accepting of me
The Eargazm: You were on Late Night with Carson Daly last year, what was that experience like? Did you make any TRL references?
Zak Waters: haha no i wish! i didn’t actually meet him, but being on the show was amazing. I used to watch that show to bed pretty much every night and always was like ” dang, i gotta get on there!” he has great taste and i’ve always respected that so much about him. He really does have the power to actually make a huge difference in an artists career and you can tell he takes pride in being sometimes the first person to show an “up and comer” some love. It brought me tons of fans and exposure so thank you CARSON!
The Eargazm: When did you first realize you were a talented vocalist and music was going to be your life?
Zak Waters: Although privately, I guess i kind of always did. But the actual reality was that i wasnt. I listen to old recordings of my self when i was a teenager and go “HOLY SHIT! Thank god i was delusional enough to think i sounded good because otherwise i would’ve quit! My voice took a while to develop, but on the other hand i listen to the old hip hop “beats” i used to make when i was 15 and think “hmm ok i’m not as embarrassed about these”
The Eargazm: What is the hardest thing you’ve encountered on your quest for success?
Zak Waters: Patience. Patience. Patience…………Patience…Wait. Be patient. It drives me nuts and causes tons of anxiety and probably has led me to make some possibly unwise career decisions. its also really hard, to shut your own brain off when your creating something. I catch myself sometimes in my own head being like “hmm is this the best use of my time? is that kick drum to club? not club enough? Who would want to remix this? is that melody to much like that N ‘ Sync song? I’ve found that i make the best stuff the more i tune my thoughts out.
The Eargazm: We hear you are going on a full US/Canada Tour starting at the end of March, who will you be performing with and what can we expect?
Zak Waters: Yes!!! Finally!! i’m going out with Betty Who and Cardinox. I couldn’t be more happy. I think its really special to be on tour supporting somebody that you’re truly a fan of. I love Betty’s music and cant wait to hear it every night. People can expect the usual though. You know Elephants, fireworks, many songs featuring P!ink style acrobatics. Possibly a few live births. Were going pretty conservative on this tour. We don’t want to break the bank. Or get deported.
The Eargazm: Who are your largest musical influences?
Zak Waters: Earth Wind & Fire, MJ, Gap Band, Bee Gees, Luther Vandross, Stevie wonder, Musiq Soulchild, Anthony Hamilton, Tower of power, Explosions in the sky, Every Time I Die, D’angelo. Everything Funk, R&B, Disco, House, Vibey Stuff, 90’s everything, Bad Boys 1 AND 2, Big Willy Style, Bad Boys 1 Soundtrack, Will Smith
The Eargazm: If you could perform alongside any artist dead or alive, who would it be?
Zak Waters: I would really love to play with Earth Wind & Fire
The Eargazm: Are there any other LA based artists we should be keeping an ear out for?
Zak Waters: Baywood, Run River North, Banks , Mystery Skullz Teammate, Mirror Talk, Kid Cadaver, Gavin Turrek, Story Of the Running Wolf, Blckbear, The Mowglis, FMLYBND,
The Eargazm: Would you rather be dropped in the middle of the ocean with nothing but the clothes on your back or float away in space untethered?
Zak Waters: Wow, thats tough. I guess be in the Ocean. Your chances are very slim. But, in space you’re completely fucked. Although, if you did float away in space youd at least get to be one of the few people to see earth from out there. Hmm tough question , but im gonna stick with the ocean