Zar + Nihilism – In Motion

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 Zar + Nihilism - In Motion (Zar Remix)

Zar + Nihilism – In Motion (Zar Remix)

 

Artist Name: Zar + Nihilism

 

Song Title: In Motion (Zar Remix)

 

Release Date: 07/02/2020

 

Genre: Drum n Bass/Garage/Electronic/Jazz

 

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“Electronic producer remixes London jazz band tune into a cosmic UK Garage influenced voyage.”

 

West London based producer Zar has taken on remixing jazz rising talent Nihilism’s song “In Motion,” boldly turning the original into a voyage of soundscapes influenced by Jon Hopkins, Pink Floyd, and UK Garage.

 

The British Indian producer, who also drums for London rising star ONUR and has a radio show on Keakie Radio, remixed the track whilst on his lunch breaks and tube commutes. Needless to say, the quality shines through considering the circumstances under which it was made and retains the free jazz feeling Nihilism so greatly created in the original.

 

Nihilism, a 5-piece jazz band, are fast rising at the center of the underground London jazz scene. They have previously supported Moses Boyd and have band-members in Steam Down and Triforce.

 

Mixed by Jack Driscoll (from audio-visual techno act Polyop), ‘In Motion’ will take you on a cosmic journey through the current sounds in the UK underground and beyond.

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Discuss how you develop your melody.

Whatever feels right and runs through my head, it must feel right rather than worrying about what the notes are. I can take inspiration from whatever I’m listening to at the time.

 

In the case of the remix, the melody was sampled from the original track in the saxophones and violins.

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Tell us your source of inspiration.

A sentence, feeling, emotion, a place, a song. It strikes at random times.

 

It’s usually something deeply personal that I find a hard time in expressing to others through words where inspiration seems to tap into that feeling and opens the door to letting myself express through music.

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Tell us your most memorable experience in your music career.

I play drums in ONUR’s band. We sold out in London for one of his shows, that was a special feeling.

 

 

I’ve also met a Grammy award-winning producer who told me my music was sick which was a pretty nice feeling, that doesn’t happen every day. To be honest, I get immense satisfaction from finishing a song, that feeling is memorable.

 

Also, when someone says that the music I make, has connected with them emotionally, that’s memorable.

 

Too many to choose from! I just appreciate it when anyone pays attention and listens to something I’ve made, being able to make music and get it out there is a very special thing, just the fact that I can do this is something I’m grateful for.

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Discuss how you build your song.

It differs from song to song, sometimes I start with a drum pattern which I’m feeling and program it in, other times I’m playing with samples and stumble upon a sound that sounds really bizarre and something like I’ve not heard before, that’s enough inspiration to spark a whole song to be built around that one sound.

 

One thing I’ve noticed is I tend to but bass down last. In between, I fill out with ideas for melody, sound fx, and production nuggets.

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Tell us how you ensure your music inspires others.

Stay honest to myself and my expression and hope that it does the same for others. I don’t think you can ensure your music inspires others, you can hope it does, and if it does then that’s such a blessing because that’s special.

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Discuss the relevance of promotion to music business.

It’s a weird one, for me I’ve had to really have to put my pride aside and learn some aspects of the music business which I didn’t want to learn about because I thought it would damage the art or whatever, but I think in this day and age it is necessary with digital streaming and power moving away from record labels and to artists.

 

As an artist we have the most freedom than ever to release our music, however this also means we must take on some responsibility in promotion, and that can be hard as traditionally labels would do this. I don’t think there’s any harm in knowing your shit about the business, at the end of the day you’ve spent so long in making your music and honing your craft, why give it to someone else to ruin what you did with it?

 

You have complete control at every step of the way now to put it out how you want it, and that is a special thing.

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List the names of the instruments you can play.

Guitar, drums, bass, keys…

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Tell us if you have any music background. 

I do.

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Tell us the piece of advice you will give to a new artist on entering the music chart.

Err stay true to your craft and take everyone’s opinion with a big pinch of salt, because everyone has an opinion, everyone thinks they’re right (including you) and you can’t satisfy everyone.

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Elaborate on melody and rhythm.

The best rhythmic instrument in my humble opinion is the tambourine, I’m obsessed with the sound and movement it can create in songs. It’s such a lovely simple instrument, very humble thing that can elevate your tracks so much. Use them!

 

Melody and rhythm are intertwined. The best melodies have a good rhythm, and the best rhythms have a melody to them.

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Tell us about your future goals.

Just to keep cracking on, my goals are quite personal to me and I don’t want to share this with others…

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Share your recording experience with us.

I’ve recorded a couple of albums. I used to play drums in a band called Thunder on the Left, we released an album called National Insecurity in 2018, recorded it in the middle of nowhere in rural Wales, was a great experience being holed up in the studio like that.

 

I’ve also played drums on Holy ’57’s latest EP (called “Y”) which is due to be released later in 2020, as well as a project with my school friends called “Lilikoi,” also due out later. We recorded the drums to Lilikoi in my friend’s outhouse, all DIY, it came out great!

 

 

The recording is fun and intense. I used to be quite scared of the process, thinking I had to know my drum parts inside out, but now I’m more comfortable with knowing just the song structure and general feel of the song, going into the studio and improvising.

 

I have a couple of production sessions lined up with some up and coming UK bands, will see what comes of it!

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Tell us the most difficult part of the recording.

Managing negative mental energy.

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Discuss the greatest mistake you have ever made in your music career.

I’ve made many mistakes; I don’t know what the greatest one has been. I guess just more personal ones like letting myself down with my high expectations and knowing I could do better.

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Elaborate on the song.

Being in London means I’m blessed with meeting musicians and bands all the time who surprise me.

 

I’m grateful to say most of my friends are amazing musicians and producers/DJs. My great friend Mandeep runs a night in London Called the Prop Up – it’s London’s first neuro-diverse jam night, working with the mental health charity Key Changes in getting rappers to play at the night.

 

 

A couple of years ago at the Prop Up, I met the bassist from Nihilism (Chris) and he mentioned his band’s EP coming out. I remember listening to it and was blown away at the creativity of it and the track ‘In Motion.’ It starts off with this chord progression which immediately reminded me of like late 90 house tracks, and I wanted to make something out of it so badly. I hit up Lorenz (the keys player in Nihilism, who I think is one of the most talented and gifted keyboard players I’ve ever played with and seen perform live, he is amazing!) for the stems and they kindly let me remix the track.

 

 

It didn’t come out how I wanted to, it came out better. It really was a journey of self-discovery in production techniques and learning what sounds I like, as well as channelling some influences at the time (I wanted the drums to sound like Yussef Dayes was playing a UK garage beat). It was mixed by another friend of mine Jack from Polyop and he did a smashing job. It was made during my lunch breaks and tube commutes. It proved to me that I can make music regardless of the circumstances I’m in and I’m just so happy and thankful that Nihilism let me remix the tune and have been supportive of it.

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Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.

My artist’s name is Zar. When I was at the university, we had a Cognitive Neuroscience lecture, and in the presentation slides (I wasn’t paying attention at all, probably thinking about music) I saw this word “ZAR” and a paragraph beneath it, and took a picture of it to look it up later.

 

Zar is a ritual/cult practice in Egypt mainly, which uses rhythmic song and dance in getting people who are possessed by a spirit to reconcile their spirit possession and learn to live with it. It’s a fascinating topic, if you want to learn more read the book “Zar” Spirit possession, music and healing rituals in Egypt” by Hajir Hadidi, I think it was her Ph.D. thesis in anthropology. It’s a great insight into the practice.

 

What struck me about the ritual is that it’s similar to what westerners do by going clubbing or going to gigs: you’re immersing yourself in rhythmic repetitive music to rid yourself of the stresses of your day to day life, and I really liked this idea.

 

As a drummer, I’m drawn to more percussive music by nature, so I thought it was a fitting title for my project. Music is ultimately healing, and I think this name hints to that in its own way.

 

In motion is just the name of the remix I did.

 

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