English producer KZ is no stranger to the music industry. Influenced by artists such as John Mayer, Pharrell Williams or Prince, the English artist is painting a colourful and unique sound that conquered the UK and other places around the world. Over the years, he worked with Emeli Sandé, Professor Green, Avelino, Kojey Radical, Wretch 32, Jacob Banks, K Michelle, Jeremih, and many more.
KZ recently opened for Craig David with his right hand man and London-based singer/songwriter Bobii Lewis.
Currently signed to BMG, he recently produced Wretch 32′s record ‘His & Hers (Perspectives)’ released on October 6th 2017.
Introduce yourself. Where are you from?
KZ the producer or kzdidit for those who know lol and I’m from north London.
When did you start making music?
I started making music ever since I could play the piano really. That was my first instrument. Professionally I’d say about 6 years ago now.
At what point in your life did you know you were good at what you’re doing now?
That’s a hard question because everyday I question if I’m good at what I do. I guess I knew I had talent and a gift that could make me successful once I left high school and had to really think about where I want to go with life.
When did you know you wanted to make music for a living?
I knew I always wanted to be successful from music every since I saw my dad making music when I was an infant (I know big dreams for a small child haha) but that was the only dream I had and wasn’t going to change that for anything or anyone.
What did you grow up listening to?
A wide range of things, different genres came into my life at different stages of my development even still till this day. I’d say the main things were R&B, Jazz, soul-funk, reggae, gospel and indie music then during my teenage years was a lot of hip-hop grime, rock and classical and whatever was on the radio.
Who’s (are) your biggest influence(s)?
In music or in life ? I’d in music just to keep it short and sweet would be Quincy Jones, Prince, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Max Martin, Coldplay, John Mayer, Kendrick Lamar, Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, Earth Wind and Fire. There are soon many but those are the top.
In life …? That’s a whole other conversation.
You’ve been in the industry for a while now. What’s your favourite memory so far? What have you learnt over the years?
I still believe I have so much more to learn and do that I haven’t yet had my favourite memory, but for now I’d have to say hearing my song on the radio for the first time. It was emotional yet a testament to what persistence can do. So far I’ve learnt I can do nothing without patience and consistency. Those are the two major factors that play a vital part in your decision to aim for greatness. And to also work smart and never be afraid to reinvent and take risks. After all, I’m in the entertainment business. That’s a whole risk in itself.
Tell us about your writing/production process. Describe us a day in the studio with you. Do you work by yourself or with a group of people? What do you like to write about?
It depends really. Depends on the session I have. If I’m with an artist, I usually like to have another writer in the room unless said artist is comfortable to write for themselves or trusts me to do the top lines. I do love my days in the studio by myself. I’m able to turn beats and ideas without the pressure of anyone watching over me. I feel I get some of my best work done that way because it’s so natural and organic. I usually like to start from mid day onwards. I like to take the mornings to have me time outside of music. I think that is such an important thing to do especially to stay sane in this industry. Writing wise, anything I feel that day or anything the artist I’m in with is feeling.
What’s the hardest thing about working in the music industry? And what is the best thing about it?
The worst thing for me is how unpredictable everything is. Sometimes you never know when something is coming out, if it made the cut or not. Sometimes you can be struggling for months before having your next break maybe even years. I also find it hard having to sometimes fit into a box in order to get a head.
The best thing is you can be your own boss work when you feel like it and be as expressive as you want be. And I get to do what I love for a living. There isn’t anything better I’d say.
Could you tell us a little bit about the UK music scene? How do you like it?
The UK scene is vibrant! Super exciting now, you have so many organic home grown artist popping up and just doing things their way and becoming successful because of it. It’s like a huge melting pop of creativity from the way artists are thinking to the way they perform and the opportunities they get. It’s an exciting time to be a Brit. I also like it because I’m hearing some of the music I grew up on make it into the charts and kill it and some of these people are friends of mine which makes it even better.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who’d like to pursue his passion
I’d say make sure you are sure this is what you want. Make sure you are prepared to work your ass off and be prepared to have a mind that doesn’t stop. Make sure you constantly check on your mental health and you look after your future i.e set goals and constantly evaluate and expand your dream.
In your opinion, what are the skills that someone would need to work in the music industry?
Resilience, organisation, drive, passion, consistency, a sense of humour, thick skin and as much love as you can afford to give.
What are you listening to these days? Which artists would you recommend?
Dornik , Quit XcII, The 1975, Slang, Lil Uzi Vert, Daniel Caesar, Kojey Radical, SZA, Travis Scott, Starrah, Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar and Bobii Lewis.
What do you like the most about music?
It’s the one thing I can fall in love with over and over again and not get bored.
Any upcoming projects?
Yeah a few but you’re going to have to wait and hear :)
What is your goal?
To be one of the best music moguls ever, to create change and spark thought with my music.
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