Zach Caraher, better known to the music world as Big Z, is an artist you might not be familiar with but he’s been getting recognition from some of the biggest names in Electronic Dance Music.
Big Z is known for his infectious and upbeat dance-pop bangers through Steve Void’s Strange Fruits label. Some of his Soundcloud uploads have more than 500k listens and his total minutes streamed online is upwards of 15 million.
His Calvin Harris “Thinking About You” remix has been played at festivals all over the world by the likes of superstar DJs like Oliver Heldens and Zedd. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Big Z to talk about his musical journey.
Check out his new banger, “Together“, that just dropped last week and enjoy our interview with the up and comer below!
What is your musical background?
Z: In elementary school, I played the violin for a couple years and took lessons. At the time it was more of a forced thing by my parents, but looking back it probably helped kickstart my music knowledge. Then when I was in middle school I switched to guitar and formed a band with my twin brother and next door neighbor. That’s when I really got into writing songs from scratch so I that was when I really started learning about songwriting. High school is when I really discovered electronic music production through a couple big artists like Avicii. And I’ve been doing that ever since.
Who are a few of your influences from inside the electronic industry?
Z: I would say my main influences right now are Throttle, Loud Luxury, and Zedd.
What about outside?
Z: I like funk music a lot. The chord progressions are always really fun and unique which I definitely try to emulate in my own music.
I’ve seen your music reposted on Soundcloud by The Chainsmokers in the past. How’s it feel to know that not only do they like your music, they want their followers and fans to know about it?
Z: To have the support of the Chainsmokers is awesome, the things they have done to help electronic music transfer over into the mainstream are amazing. Things like that make sitting in the studio all the time worth it, and to have the respect of other music producers means a lot.
What’s your relationship with Steve Void/Strange Fruits label? How has that made an impact on your musical career?
Z: Stef (Steve Void) first reached out to me when he was just about to start up his label. I’ve seen the insane amount of work he’s put in to grow the label and make it successful so I have a ton of respect for him. I think my track ‘This Place Unknown’ was like the 3rd song to ever get released on the label so I’ve been there with him since day 1. He’s helped me improve a lot as a producer – especially in the beginning I would send him my tracks and he would tell me it’s not good enough over and over so I would just have to figure out how to make it better. Now most the time I just send him my tracks and he accepts them right away
How do you choose the vocalists for your tracks?
Z: Every time I’m listening to a song and think to myself ‘Wow this singer sounds awesome’, I write his or her name down in the notes on my phone. Then when I have a finished song idea I’ll just send it to like 5 singers on the list and see which ones would be interested in being featured.
How do you choose which songs to remix?
Z: I really haven’t made many remixes lately because I’ve been focusing on originals for Spotify and Apple Music. But when I was making a lot of remixes I would just use whatever good acapellas were available that I was into. Most songs don’t have studio acapella versions available so there really aren’t that many to choose from unless you get contracted for an official remix.
What do you do in your free time? Any hobbies?
Z: I love to golf in the summer and snowboard in the winter. Other than that I just hang out with friends all the time, we have a massive group of guys from high school and college that still get together.
What do you love most about making music?
Z: That’s a great question, I don’t think about this enough. My favorite part about music is how universal it is – I’ve never met a person that doesn’t like music. A 14-year-old kid in Sri Lanka could be jamming to the same song as a 50-year-old mom in Mexico – and their lives couldn’t be more different. I can’t think of anything else in life that has that kind of universal power.
What’s next for Big Z? Any upcoming collabs, originals, or remixes you could tell us about you could tell us about?
Z: My next single is gonna be released January 25th on Strange Fruits and it’s my favorite song I’ve done yet. Other than that, I’m just working on further developing my style in 2019. I’m going to try to get on the road more this year too to play some more shows across the U.S.
Thanks so much for sitting down with us Zach! Make sure to check out Big Z’s Socials and Spotify below!