Donna Zed Interview

  1.  Today, we are speaking with Donna Zed. Can you give us a little background information about yourself? How did you get into music?

Hello to all!

Well … I was born and raised in Switzerland, in the city of Lausanne, a pretty peaceful place. I got into music at a very early age. I don’t really remember how I first expressed my will to learn music but my parents were here to capture this: apparently I used to love dancing a lot everytime I would hear music on TV/radio/wherever. But I basically started classical piano at 8 years old at the Lausanne Conservatory!

2. What sort of work have you put into the recording and creative processes for your music?

It is honestly all a little bit random and freestyle. I’m all about feeling energies and colors and feeling the right ones. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s not good. Recording is just a step toward an end goal and I’m still learning a lot about it. What is important is getting to know what kind of result I would like to get from all this. In general, it’s a lot of work as I’m not working alone. I have to communicate what kind of result I would like from my drummer and bass player. The same goes for my sister who plays the violin. Yet at time I write the violin parts as I know what vibe a song should ring. We then rehearse to tease out the vibe and when happy, we do it live. Once the song matures, like good wine, we then set about recording it.

3. What does your recording set up look like (what do you use to record, what are your favorite tools)?

For my previous EP I was very fortunate to record at Karma Studios Thailand. It is an exotic setting and, my my, they have all the tools you can wish for. It is the coolest of places – go there! For the next EP my approach and vibe is more “home-like” and raw as my voice apparently, a bit as it was done back in the 1960s, and for this reason I’m recording at the small studio of Belmont Rock School with Logic Pro X via a Zoom R16 and lots of cables and vintage mics! This is a whole new world for me, which I am still exploring and learning.

4. Tell us a bit more about your new EP. How is it different from your earlier offerings?

Well, this upcoming EP will be a lot more mature and structured unlike the previous EP where emotions run all over the place. Another noticeable difference with the previous EP will obviously be that it is not only piano and voice! Indeed it will be recorded with my band comprising Victor Despland on drums, Téo Ziga on bass, and my sister Vikki Zamaros on violin. Every new song has another story, another lesson learned behind it whether you can hear it or not: I hope to be able to convey this in way or another.

Lately, I have experimented with new styles, and I think this will come through the new EP. Next classically-related parts, there will be some experimentation with jazz or soul, but then, to each person his own interpretation as far as genre goes!

My music is a lot about a synergy, the end result of improvisation while writing what feels right, not what is supposed to be right.

5. Which artists are the greatest influences for you and your music? Is there a dream lineup of performers that you would like to perform with if given the chance?  

I would say David Bowie and Lady Gaga in terms of expression and “being myself” in general: I just love how they are themselves on and off stage, just expressing the multiple facets of their personality without caring about what others think.  But for my music, I would say Hans Zimmer and some other proggers have nurtured my style because they always manage to pack their music with tons of emotion to give you the shivers.

My dream lineup would be … this is such a difficult question!! If Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Prince and Jimi Hendrix were still here I would LOVE to perform with them. Other than that, I do not really have a dream lineup of performers I would like to share a stage with. Everyone has something special and we all have something to learn from one another, whether musician, artist or not.

6. Which sort of social media website have you had the best successes with? What about these online services are different from the traditional face to face meeting and performances that musicians utilize?

I get most interaction on Instagram! I just love it. Between stories and posts, you can really show what you want and this very quickly.

I’m not really familiar with the live internet performance thingy yet. I’m a bit of a hipster if you can say so. I like my “vintage” stuff, nothing beats human interaction. I thus love live performances and meets and greets after show.

7. What should listeners expect from your music in the future? How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of your music? How has the radio/Pandora/Spotify/other online response been for your music?

You can expect many things, more genre exploration, more everything.

You can find my music on every available streaming service such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal… Pandora is not yet available over Europe. I will soon put some stuff on Soundcloud as well!

The most response I have got was from Spotify! Some people actually sent me screen shots of their screen with my music on their phone or computer which, I found, was pretty sweet.

8. What does 2018 hold for your music?

New releases! More exploration! And collabs as well! Some are pretty different from what I usually do…

9. Thank you so much for your time. Finally, do you have any additional thoughts about life and the universe for our readers?

Only good vibes and spread love. Life is short and long at the same time so take advantage of every opportunity that is in front of you or create the opportunity for yourself. Everything will make sense one day!

Donna Zed

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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