We had the chance to catch up with artist and producer Sadzilla to talk about collaborations, digital avatars, his latest single “Giving Up” and much more. Read along to find out more:
You’ve just released your new single “Giving Up”. Can you give us a little background story on how the song came to life?
When I was a teenager, I actually started out producing music heavily influenced by EDM. In fact, the first couple of tracks I released as Sadzilla in 2020 were some EDM tracks! So, naturally it was a really fun, easy collaboration to be a part of when 8th Ave approached me about the track. I grew up in a Christian household and was the son of a pastor. The song is about failing to become the person you want to be, instead becoming something you grew up hating and how to deal with that. Either give up, or change!
What are you looking for when collaborating with other producers or artists?
Different styles/genres is a huge factor. I love playing in someone else’s world. It’s not only fun but it’s just a great learning experience. Not just to create that style of music myself, but being able to take that experience and mix it with something else to create new sounds. Another factor is energy. If I can’t feed off someone’s energy, I don’t really enjoy collaborating with them. I’m naturally an extrovert, so I have a huge appetite for social interaction and if someone isn’t motivated or excited about the music we’re making, it’s just not fun.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an up and coming artist in the digital age?
Just keeping up with the ever changing landscape. In the analog days, things were very simple. You make good music and sell it; whether it’s handing out mixtapes on the street or playing shows in hopes someone pays to help you reach bigger audiences. Nowadays, we have all the power and the biggest part of keeping up with the industry’s money is just being consistent with releasing music, creating content, engaging with fans and playing shows.
Could you sum up some personal milestones in your artist development?
I think the moment I realized I could do this full time was when I hit 1 million streams a month on Spotify. The idea that something I created was being enjoyed over one million times all across the world every month, just boggles my mind. Before that, the biggest part of my development really came in the form of my branding and how I started doubling down on that to separate me from everyone else.
What made you start incorporating a digital avatar in your social media content?
I think it’s become a lot easier for people to connect with characters rather than people, especially in the digital age. If you see me in person on your feed, you might not check out my music because I got a beard or my lack of fashion sense. For me it’s about standing out and going against the grain in my scene. I don’t have guns or face tattoos. I don’t make dark music usually and I don’t deal with depression or anxiety. Whether it’s pop, trap, metal, or with this week’s release being EDM, I just want to make music that brings joy. Because music makes me happy and I want people to experience that with me. I also just really enjoy evolving my character over time and now with the addition of Zeetwo, that’s just made marketing even more fun for me.
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How do you think the role of an artist or producer will change over the next 10 years?
I started out as a producer and I think where I thrive is writing/producing music whether it’s my own or helping someone else. Though I work with a lot of different producers now and don’t usually make my own beats anymore, there’s so much that goes into making a song work; whether it’s the structure, tone or performance. I think after I’ve accomplished everything I want with Sadzilla, I’ll slowly start transitioning into a producer role. But honestly, who really knows? So much has changed and grown in the past year, I can’t imagine what I’ll be doing in the next year, let alone ten!
How important are data insights for your (strategic) decisions?
Incredibly important! I’m somewhat of a statistic nerd when it comes to my music because in the end this is a business and though it’s incredibly fun for me, I have to take it incredibly serious. I almost look at my stats like stock and though I don’t know anything about the stock market… I understand those who live in that world and choose to live and breath it, begin to build an instinct to notice trends. Once you study your statistics enough, you’ll begin to notice how the algorithms work, how to capitalize on that and most importantly WHEN to capitalize on it.
What’s next for SadZilla?
Actually I just quit my day job today so it’s just 120% from now on. I don’t know what the future holds but I believe in manifestation. I have goals and I know I’ll reach them! As for future songs and content, I have multiple full length projects in works including the sequel to my “IGNORANT” EP with B-Train which was my biggest release last year dropping on the 8th of April as well as two EPs with ONI INC., first of which will be dropping in the next couple months! I could go on all day about what I have planned but you can keep up with all my latest on instagram @sadzillamusic where I release new music now every Monday and Friday.
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