Saint Louis native Zay Woodz has a crazy work ethic. When he’s not in school, (in Chicago) he’s working on beats or networking to further his budding career. The grind is always appreciated, and necessary in this artist centric city. We were interested in his music since he sent a submission a few weeks ago, and are now honored to premiere his debut project, Idols. He was so humble and appreciative of us in his email, that we decided to sit down with him and get to know him further.
As his first project, Idols is incredibly impressive. You’ll hear his concentration and dedication to each instrumental piece. Stream the project above and give our interview a read below.
Hey Zay! Thanks for speaking with us. Give us a little intro on you!
My name is Zay Woodz and I’m a Hip-Hop based music producer. I’m from St. Louis, but I’m currently in Chicago for college. I’m real serious with my producing and I’m eager to make something big from it.
Your new project just dropped via our site. How does it feel?
It feels good. I’ve been busy reaching out to every blog I can find in order to get my name out there more. I’m glad I’m able to start my first project with you all.
You told me you hope this beat tape will help spread your name in Chicago. Why is that important to you?
As we all know, Chicago is its own music industry. There’s so many musicians solely based in Chicago that I had never even heard before moving here. Most of the musicians based here have been here for most of their lives, so I feel its easier for them to get a fundamental fan base just through connections and knowing who to talk to. But since I’m starting my career here, I’ve been trying to make it a priority to meet people and introduce who I am.
What does Chicago mean to you – as a city and as a music hub?
Chicago’s always meant something to me cause I got family here, but since I’ve moved here experiencing the entire dynamic of the city has definitely changed my perspective a bit. Seeing how faithful and dedicated people from Chicago are to Chicago has definitely made me love it more. Seeing Chance throw a free public concert to encourage young adults to go vote and hosting a festival for the city inspires me to want to do the same stuff for mine. I want to be able to put St. Louis on the map like Chicago is. I want there to be an art scene and for people to not have to get out the city to get big. I feel that’s one of the biggest things about St. Louis. You see people like Smino or Metro Boomin who were born and raised in St. Louis, but are hardly even around anymore. Once I start to gain clout, I want to go back home and introduce art to StL and form a art dynamic like there is in Chicago.
Who are some of your favorite artists and producers out of the city?
I don’t have favorites. I listen to a lot of Saba, Monte Booker, and Lucki though.
Going into the music – what do you think sets you apart from other producers?
My friends tell me my work ethic is one of the best. Depending on how busy I am with school. I might crank 3 or 4 beats in a day. But for the most part I would say what sets me apart the most is that there is no specific sub-genre of hip-hop that I produce. My influences come from everywhere whether its gospel, Neo-soul, reggae, trap, edm, pop, or whatever. I think thats what’s best about music: the fact its so flexible. I want to be able to make a cold beat for anyone whether their an alternative hip-hop artists or a dirty south Atlanta rapper. Whatever you want I got it… and if I don’t, hit me up. I’ll make it.
What makes this project special?
Actually the theme of the project is that I have so many influences or Idols as the tape’s called and that all the beats are drawn from these influences. What makes it special is that I didn’t just center it around a main sub-genre of hip hop. I tried to open it to the trappers, Xan rappers, old heads, alternative artists, and even the sample freaks. No matter what, I wanted there to be a beat on the tape you could vibe and write to as an artist.
Do you have a favorite record off it?
Like I said, I don’t really do favorites. I like listening to Untold and Run Up/Morning though.
You’ve released a promo video to build your buzz. How has that done?
Ehh not bad. They’ll do better though. I’m about to shoot it to all forums and more blogs. My roommate Sean Delahunt did em. He’s good and has great potential; there will definitely be more in the future.
What’s coming next for you?
I’m in the work with a project with some homies back from home and I’m starting to work with some artists on the come up here from Chicago. Also I’m about to send all beats to some mid level mid-west artists I fuck with. Definitely big things though.
Is there any way artists can reach you if they’d like to work with you?
All social media @zaywoodz: Insta or twitter. Or hit my inbox firstname.lastname@example.org. Anything business related or even critiques are all acceptable. I’ve been busy lately, but I try to make an effort to respond back to everyone that hits me up.
Thanks for your time!