Following the release of the brand new project Urban Zen, we caught an interview with creative producer and artist Mr. Faia to find out more about the collection, the impact of 2020, and his hopes for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hey – great to finally chat with you, how are things where you are right now?
Man, Everything is all good. I’ve been busy and it’s a challenge balancing family, work and my passion for music. Especially with this Covid goin’ around. But, what can we do but press on, right?
Congrats on the new project, I’ve been enjoying this a lot. What can you tell us about Urban Zen – what does the title encapsulate for you, and what do you hope people take away from the music?
Well, Urban Zen was actually therapy for me with everything that’s been going on around us. With the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests, the national economy and the lack of real leadership at some of the highest levels of government; it’s easy to forget that we live in a country with great opportunities to succeed. We also the have a means for our voices to be heard and collectively we’re able to bring about change. So, I want the listener to stop and remember to take care of self emotionally & spiritually and to remember to count our blessings.
The opening track lays out the intentions pretty clearly, amidst this uniquely creative ambiance style you offer – a trait well-utilised on your last project The Convalescent. What are the main differences between the two releases, and were you planning to do another EP this year, or have the events of 2020 inspired you?
To me, the difference between the Convalescent and Urban Zen was that this was not a planned project and I gave it more time to evolve. I was much more patient in the production process. I allowed myself more time between tracks to let my spirit man ride the process rather than allow myself to get excited with the idea of getting something out into the world. As far as planning another EP; I’m going to say that I’m not “planning” an EP because I’m also working on a couple projects for commercial & film and I don’t want to rush any of my processes.
What’s your creative process like – do you have a concept in mind when you compose, and how do you choose the right sounds and effects to represent what’s going on in your head – where do you even begin?
To be honest; it’s mostly by chance. I don’t have a formula or specific way I approach music other than sitting down to have some fun and letting whatever comes out of me just happen and I follow that vein. I have two production workstations I work with and which one I choose to use is totally driven by my mood at that time. Again; there is no formula I stick to.
If you had to recommend just one track to a new listener, which would it be, and why?
Close Ur Eyes (And Be Still). When have you ever heard a song suggest you just sit yo’ ass down and do absolutely nothing?! If you do it often enough, you’ll be amazed at what comes to you and maybe even what pours out of your spirit!
The topics on this EP are fairly eclectic – from intimacy to topical issues to self-reflections. Was this always the way you wanted to work, or has your creative style been impacted by the events of 2020?
This was 100% the purging of 2020’s BS. My next EP should be more fun and up tempo and I’ll explore some other beat making techniques and styles.
What’s your main intention as an artist – do you plan to perform, or purely create the music that people escape into at home?
My intention is to have fun creating and do some collabos with other producers. I’ll start looking into performing like at an intimate venue in a couple years.
What software do you use to make music, and do you have any favourite plugins?
Akai MPC Live & Ableton Live for making my beats. Pro Tools for my mixing process. Plugins: Mainly Spectrasonics Omnisphere & Trilion and Native Instruments Komplete 10.
When did you first learn how to produce music, and do you play any instruments?
I first started in the 90’s using Cakewalk and the Fruityloops 3. I don’t play any instruments… yet.
What’s something about you that most people don’t know?
Damn! I can’t just go tellin’ all my business! Well, OK, I’ll bite. I’m a straight nerd at heart. I love most things science or SyFy related. And even though many Star Wars fans might not agree; I think Rogue One was a great film and is in my top 5 of the 11 Star Wars movies. 😀
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be, and why?
I think we should be getting paid more per streams. Other than that, I like how the industry has changed since when I started in the 90’s. There’s platforms for Indie artists to be heard around the world without being signed to a label! How big you get is totally up to the artist and their fans and not a record label.
What’s next for you?
I’m a one day at a time kind a guy. As you know; I’m active duty Navy stationed in Norfolk, VA. I’ve decided to make Portsmouth, VA my home. With 4 years left till retirement, I’m looking forward to networking with other talent and producers and just keep doing music on the side until my military retirement. Once I’m freed up, I’ll be able to do music full time and on my own terms.
Is there anything else we should know?
Yes, I have a track that was selected to be the opening song to a movie currently being filmed in DC called “Vengeance Is Mine”. So, be on the look out for that. Also, I have music available to anyone that need tracks for their YouTube videos, commercials and anything else they need to have a track playing in the back drop. By the way; thank you for the interest in wanting to chat with me!
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A big thank you to Mr. Faia for the time & insight! Download or stream Urban Zen here.