“I write with the drive to always outdo myself in the songs I’ve released previously. It is a challenge to constantly be improving and stretching the creative boundaries.”
Check out the interview with OnPlanetZu exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
OnPlanetZu: Growing up in the churches listening to gospel music for hours upon hours developed a sense of rhythm and beats. At age 13 I was always drawn to overly-characterized personalities and people. It was then that I saw my first concert with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. That’s when it hit me.
Then I started my own band. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I was trying to develop some music. Over time I developed an original sound that I liked and that sound became the sound that you hear today.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
We have had some amazing graphic artists offer their services just because they felt inspired by one of our images or songs. This has been great because it is always a win/win on both sides. We like to post our music and video links all over the place; not just where the music industry feeds, but also where we might make a connection with potential fans.
Nothing beats including our fans in promoting the music though. As much as we can, we like to post them with our pics and include them in our videos. Outside music, we brand ourselves putting our name and logo on boards, shoes, and all sorts of merchandise. Making that image recognizable as a global focal point.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The greatest challenge would probably be the same as most of the original artists out there who don’t want to sacrifice their heart for the sake of recognition. The big corporations with the power to make big investments want to play it safe. So we choose to stay indie and develop a close network with other artists who walk the same road.
As much as we constantly challenge ourselves on the production capacity, we like to keep free range on the creative capacity. As you can hear in our songs, there is a lot of fun being had in that studio! Ain’t nobody going to drown that out. It definitely is a hard, time consuming road, sticking to your guns, but you know it feels good in your heart.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The LA music scene is definitely an oversaturated, mass marketed, on trendy bubble gum pop BS. Also, the music has no message, no continuity. It’s like a scattered mess of random tunes. What I do like about the LA scene is that you can still hear a ton of professional artists who are putting out excellent music.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
I think the future has always been left up to the person who is creating their own future. The music is totally up to the artists and the masters. I think that artists need to be more a part of finding more creative ways of marketing ourselves and promoting our music. If original art is going to survive on a large scale, we independent artists absolutely must work together.
As far as the future sound of the music, with the advancement of technology, it’s probably going to further venture down that tunnel of electro and beat while exploring freakier sounds and playing with even freakier styles.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Don’t sign away your publishing, your copyright, or your masters. Even if they wave a big number in front of you, it is all smoke and mirrors. Your pockets might be empty because you are starving for your art, but if you hold out something will come along that works in your financial favor.
Also, collaborations are good. Working with other artists can be a lot of fun and new exposure. Placement companies help, look for ways to get your music in video games or movies. These things are all ways to get your music some exposure without losing control of it.
What inspires you to write your next song?
Inspiration comes from a variety of sources. It can be a movie, a thought, an emotion. My inspiration has a couple of different goals. I write with the drive to always outdo myself in the songs I’ve released previously. It is a challenge to constantly be improving and stretching the creative boundaries.
Also, the big drive for OnPlanetZu is to see the audience dancing and having a blast. So we write with them in mind. We like to throw in sudden rhythm changes outta nowhere and knock ’em upside the head. They love that.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
First, I record it into my phone when it pops into my head. After that, I go into the studio where Fader and I lay down the foundation and the beats. Then we build on that, either finishing the verse or the hook, whichever remains. I don’t tamper or flip flop with the music that comes out of my head.
I let it come out and let it be what it was, building off of it from there. Creating more layers of the track in the studio is what gets us really hyped and lets us know when we’ve got something. From there, we get it mastered, and share it with y’all.
What do you think makes a great song?
It could be a variety of things. It could be one little quirky noise that adds character and personality in the track or the aggression or feel of the whole track or the nature of the hook driving into the listener’s skull. But mostly it’s the flow and meshing of the vocals with the rhythms and the feel of the track and how they blend together as a unit. I want my music to affect people. One way or another.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official Website: www.onplanetzu.com