Eric Zayne interview. The new album, women and hibernating in the studio.
(Hollywood) I first met Eric Zayne at a pre-Grammy concert in LA over a year ago and took to him immediately. He’s open, honest, friendly, high energy, and has an explosive talent for song-writing, performance, and concepts that makes him unique, even in this town of highly talented people. Originally from the Congo, he settled in Canada after fleeing violence in his home country and then, in 2013, dived into the huge pop and rock scene here in LA. Next thing you know out came the hit singles “Spin the World” and “Maneater,” a knock out video and an EP — plus killer performances both here and abroad. Now he is back and about ready to release a new album. He sent me a few of the finished songs and they are dynamite. He stopped by for a chat before going back into the studio to get the new album out by April.
Patrick. Eric, what have you been doing since we talked last…where have you been?
Eric. Oh my god. I can’t remember all the places I have been working really hard. I do remember that when we talked last I had just released “Neptune” – which was on and old EP. All of the songs on this album are new which are not released yet – you are the first to hear them. We are shooting a video for the first song, “Emergency” on the [March 29] and it should be released sometime in April. I had a great 2016- I signed with a great, great manager who knows a lot of the right people and we just signed a publishing deal with the President of SONY in New York. We are planning a big single release for “Emergency” and I am so excited.
Patrick. Why do you work so hard?
Eric. I have just had my head in the sand away from the public to write this new EP. I hear how the music should be but I don’t want to do it all myself, but when you have a vision it is hard to find people who care about it as much as I do. So I did almost all of it myself. I did the production, the song writing, I played all the instruments, I engineered it. I begged for people to take some roles – some did, but it was a huge amount of work to reach the level I see in my vision. I am coming up for air and will do some shows now.
Patrick. From what I have heard I think you have a hit on your hands here. One of the songs you sent me is “She’s a Fire.” It is full of brilliant musical craftsmanship – it is a great combination of addictive arrangement and intriguing lyrics. Who is she that is a fire?
Eric. She is never to be spoken about…a name you don’t speak. We had a very passionate relationship, a little on the edge, a little bit dangerous.
Patrick. You sing a lot about women, and frequently from a unique point of view, like “Maneater” or your 2014 remake of “My Girl.” How do women fit into your conceptual music universe?
Eric. I would say women are the driving force of my life – a major force in my life. We are all looking for another half and for me I am always looking for a home, that other half to complete me. I am out here doing this by myself and I feel like I am on an island and I write about this concept, about that one.
Patrick. Another new song, “Emergency” is a real grabber – what inspired it?
Eric. A relationship – we just couldn’t have any peace, it was always war, the passion was so strong. She creates the chaos and I come to the rescue.
Patrick. You played at the LA Fashion week and you met a Warmkins. How was that?
Eric. Yes, I just did the Fashion Week which was a huge event. A friend of mine runs it and he asked me to open the show and I met the Warmkins people there and I loved getting my picture taken with the monkey. They are a very, very good organization. Fashion Week is very intense…I felt like Zoolander. There were thousands of people lining up around the runway and there I was …it was lights, camera action. Such a trip.
Patrick. You have a new song coming out “No Church for Me.” Isn’t the studio your church?
Eric. This is a song that is very important to me because I grew up in a multi-cultural family in the Congo. I evacuated when I was a kid and since I was 11 years old I have been moved around to different countries and different families, different cultures. I have watched others have a best friend or high school memories or a religion – they had a center I have never had that. I would feel alienated from that culture. I know I am not the only one who feels that way. It talks about people who don’t fit in…who compromise their own truth to fit into what’s there.
Patrick. So April for the album?
Eric. Yes. I want everything to be right. But once we shoot the video, we will be ready.
Patrick. Thank you…it is always a pleasure
Eric. Thank you.
Patrick O’Heffernan. Host, Music FridayLive!
Eric Zayne. www.ericzayne.com
“She’s a Fire” available at https://soundcloud.com/ericzayne/shes-a-fire
Other songs and albums available on iTunes