UK-based artist Zak Joshua first broke through on the electronic music scene when his debut solo track Figure It Out was uploaded to renowned tastemaker YouTube channel Selected. It has since gone on to accrue over 5 million views with a subsequent official release updated with new vocals and a fresh sonic polish in 2019. This set the wheels in motion for a re-evaluation of Zak’s goals as an artist, and a renewed ambition to make his mark on the dance scene at large.
This month Zak kicks off his new label NEMESIS92 – the name of which pays homage to his father’s rave promotions of the 80s and 90s – with You Don’t Love Me Like You Say You Do: a slick deep, progressive house cut that serves as the perfect entry point to his richly melodic style.
Hi Zak, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hello! I’ve been great thanks! It’s been a long year with some challenges, but it’s been nice to have some time to concentrate on writing & creating new material. I’m looking forward to what 2021 brings!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “You Don’t Love Me Like You Said You Do”?
“You Don’t Love Me Like You Say You Do” is the first release for my new label, ‘NEMESIS92’, which takes its name from my father’s promotions company, which used to put on raves back in the early 90’s. It is my first move towards a darker style than my previous work.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I wouldn’t pick out a single event per se; I just wanted to experiment with some new ways of working and some new sounds that I’d created. I’d had the idea for the synth line in my head for a while, and one day I figured out how to make a full track out of it! Most of my tracks tend to happen like that.
How was the recording and writing process?
It was pretty simple! I wrote this back at the start of lockdown, around April. As the world ground to a halt, I wasn’t able to work with collaborators in the way that I usually would, so I decided to look for some vocal samples that I could build a track around. Everything else was just me and my computer! I made heavy use of the Arturia virtual synths and the Oberheim SEM emulation from Pluginalliance, the Oberhausen, which is one of my favourite go-to plugins. I mixed & mastered the track myself within a day of completing the instrumentation!
What role does the UK play in your music?
The UK plays a massive part in my sound. I draw inspiration from a wide range of influences, but without a doubt all of the main ones are British. I have a deep love for 80’s Post Punk/New Wave groups like Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths & Depeche Mode; I think that comes across in my music.
With the major reception from your previous musical work -did you feel any pressure while putting together this new song?
Not at all! I like to think that i’m right at the beginning of my career, just getting started on the long journey to where I want to be. It helps that I don’t feel particular pressure to stick to a certain sound, which means that I can experiment in different ways.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes! I have lots planned over the next year; I’m aiming to release one new record a month! I have lots of material that I’ve written over the last year or so, so its just a case of putting the puzzle together in terms of release schedules.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
The next track after ‘YDLMLYSYD’ is called ‘Closer’, and it features vocals from a wonderful artist called Morgan Munroe, who has been making strides of her own over the last few months. That should be out on the 15th Jan, again on my ‘NEMESIS92’ label.
What else is happening next in Zak Joshua’s world?
With no end to lockdown in sight, I am currently binge watching Anime! I’m new to it, so I have a lot to catch up on. I’ve just finished ‘Attack On Titan’ & ‘Death Note’, & will probably look at ‘Neon Genesis’ next. Other than that, I am consuming an ungodly amount of Biscoff!