Special Interview | EZA

theaussieword.com speaks exclusively to EZA all the way in Nashville!

Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music?
Man, I’ve been singing as long as I can remember. My parents put me on stage at the age of 5 to be in community theatre. I sang anywhere I could after that– church, baseball games, schools, auditions, tv shows. I started lessons at 12 and continued them into college. Being on stage and getting comfortable in front of cameras and people absolutely helped me find out who I was as an artist. In high school, I started dabbling in songwriting, but it wasn’t until mid-to-late college that I really found the sound I was looking for. That’s when I was writing the songs on my first EP, Means of Escape.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Looking for new artists and songs all the time. I’m always trying to find something I can keep on repeat for weeks. I memorize it, study it, try to find the pieces I’d want to incorporate in my own music, or even find elements that I don’t like, and want to avoid doing. Then I move on to something new and do it all over again. Going to shows helps a lot, too. There’s nothing like watching an artist kill a performance that’ll make you want to go home and write like a madman. 
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Getting to do music full-time, honestly. That’s the dream. Of course there’s the festivals, theatres, or artists I’d love to be out on tour with, but that would all be secondary. If I can be happy writing, recording, and performing all the time—that’s striking gold.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
The next couple months I’ll be writing as much as I possibly can. I’ve got a lot of meetings and co-writes scheduled, so I’m going to continue collaborating and building my catalog as much as possible. Next year an EP and touring is definitely the direction I’m headed.
Tell us a bit about your latest album and how would you best describe your music?
So my latest single, We Keep the Lights Out, is by far the boldest track I’ve ever released. WKTLO and High & Low, from my first EP, are the two tracks I think represent me best. They move, they’re honest, and I think people can really vibe to them. I’d say my music is indie-electronic—pop/r&b. It’s definitely a mouthful, and I’d never seriously categorize it as that—but when you listen to it, you really do get elements of all of those genres in my tracks. The goal is always to be fresh while still sounding relatable.
Success, what is the secret to it?
From what I’ve heard, it’s a lot of being nice, genuine, smart, and knowing who you are/are not. But then again, that’s all hearsay so I’ll let you know if I get there 😉
What has been your biggest career highlight?
You know, it’s had a few peaks here and there, but for different reasons. Hitting 1.6 million streams on Spotify has been hugely affirming for me, getting a feature by Entertainment Weekly was a big name to cross paths with, and a lot of people seemed to respond to High & Low on the season finale of the show, Power. Different people find different parts of your career more impressive, so I guess that’s subjective. I think in all, the response from High & Low alone has been a really exciting part of my journey.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Beyonce is the most empowering female artist in my opinion. I love how much respect she’s earned throughout her career, how fresh she keeps her writing and sound. For me, she’s revolutionized the impression women have in the industry and I’m really thankful the response shows promise for female artists after her. Sia is another amazing woman in the industry—she’s written songs for other artists for many years (many you would have never guessed), and has managed to keep out of the spotlight so the focus can remain on her music. Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Skrillex, Diplo, they’re also creative geniuses I look up to. They have this ability to write songs that are absolute FIRE over and over and over again.
Any new projects in the pipeline?
Yes! Currently wrapping up the video for We Keep the Lights Out, and working on/co-writing music for next year. I won’t rush it, but I’m definitely going to be writing more to get something out soon.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
I’d love to be doing music full-time, playing festivals, on tour with other artists, and getting the chance to meet and write with other artists and producers. The beautiful thing about this industry is that it is huge—and there’s room for everybody. You just have to want it.   
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Sia—absolutely. There is also a killer indie artist who goes by the name, St. South, who I’ve made friends with over social media this past year. It’s like a cute little overseas-friendship we have. I’d love to finally meet her next time she’s in the States. She’s awesome.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
I’m stoked that social media is playing such an integral role in the music industry.  It’s abolished the old idea that the industry is impossible to enter into. Instead, it’s inspired artists to work harder because the “dream” is actually attainable. The industry is opening up and creating an enormous middle-class of musicians who can make a living all because people stream and license their music.  Sites like Spotify, Facebook pages, or Soundcloud, are the ways that indie artists have the opportunity to be heard by anyone, anytime. Without social media, how are you supposed to hear indie music overseas? I think it’s safe to say the relationship between social media and the music industry isn’t going anywhere—so people who don’t like it are going to have to learn to love it, or learn how to embrace it at the very least. I’m wildly thankful for the opportunities I’ve had because of these sites, and I think any indie artist who’s gained a following online would say the same. 
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today?
Thanks in return! Love talking about the industry and the exciting things I think are happening right now. Keep an eye out for the video for WKTLO this fall and let me know next time you’re in Nashville!

Twitter: @eza.music
Instagram: @eza.music

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