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The Power of Music - Local Artist, Zaytek

Written by X

The Electronic music scene has been around for several decades now and has seen many producers rise to prominence over the years. In recent times, we have seen a surge of new talent enter the scene, bringing fresh sounds and innovative ideas to the table. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with one such rising talent - Geno Rojas, otherwise known as Zaytek. Zaytek is an electronic music producer who has been making waves in the house music scene. He got into the genre during his undergraduate years at the University of Maryland and has been hooked ever since. His passion for music has been a driving force in his life, and he has made it his mission to create music that speaks to his soul. I had the pleasure of speaking with Zaytek to learn more about his music, his creative process, and his future goals in the industry.

What genre of music do you produce and what got you into this specific genre? When did you start?

“I have been obsessed with house music ever since I discovered it when I was in undergrad at University of Maryland - College Park. I remember times when I wanted to go see a DJ so bad and I couldn’t find someone else to go with, so I would just go by myself. It was always about the music to me. After a couple years of just being another cog in the corporate wheel, I decided to chase my passion and begin producing house music myself.”

How has music as a whole influenced your life?

“I’m one of those people that starts and ends my day with music. I listen to it at the gym. I crank up the volume when I’m in the car. I connect and make relationships with people through music, both business and personal. Music dictates where I choose to spend my free time, and the trips that I plan. Truth be told, I don't know where I would be without it.” He explained.

It's clear that music is an integral part of Zaytek's life. From the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed, music is there with him. It's not just a hobby or a passion, but a way of life. His deep connection to music is reflected in the dedication and commitment he brings to his own music production, striving to create something that not only makes him happy, but can connect with others as well."

Can you describe what your music making process looks like?

“Every good session starts with a cup of coffee and a candle being lit. Once the energy is right, I start creating. Given that, when I make house music I usually start with the drums. I need to make sure those are hitting before I do anything else. If you don’t want to move your body to just the drum groove then something is wrong! From there, I try to establish some main lead elements to shape the overall track idea. Once I have a few of the main lead elements down I’ll begin arranging out the track.”

What sets you apart from other producers?

“I genuinely believe that every person is unique in their own way. So, by just being yourself and doing what is true to you, you’re automatically being different from everyone else. That is how I view myself amongst my music producer peers."

"I don’t aspire to be better than anyone else. I simply aim to stay true to myself and make music that makes me happy."

Has there been any challenges for you as an artist?

“How much time do you have? We could probably do an entire interview about this topic – If I had to point out a couple of things it would be that the initial learning curve of learning music production when you don’t have a musical background is TOUGH, but everyone goes through it and you just have to keep pushing through. In essence, learning how to make your music actually sound good is a big challenge. The second big challenge is that once you finally get to the point of knowing how to make your songs sound good your journey is only getting started. Your next big challenge is figuring out how to actually get people to listen to it.”

Despite the challenges, it's clear that Zaytek has persevered and continued to push forward in his music career. Learning music production without a musical background and figuring out how to make your music sound high quality are certainly daunting tasks, but it's inspiring to see how far he’s come. While every artist faces challenges in their career, it's important to also acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments along the way.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?

“Towards the end of 2022, I got a call from a collaborator of mine, Josh Fedz, that Sacha Robotti wanted to sign our track to his label, Sloth Acid. I think I threw my phone across the room and ran down the hallway. Sacha has been doing this for a very long time and has heard a lot of music, so to know he heard a track of mine and thought it was good enough for him to release it was a really big nod for me. I believe it's going to open a lot more doors for me in 2023!”

Do you have new music coming out soon? If so, what inspired it?

“I do! My first single of the year has not been announced just yet but I will give you guys the insider scoop that it is confirmed for a March 2023 release. My inspiration for the tracks I have been working on lately is simply just trying out new stuff. I proved to myself that I can make a track sound good by way of getting releases, but my goal for this year is to really challenge myself and start honing in on the ‘Zaytek sound’. I want people to hear one of my tracks and to know that it’s mine.”

Where do you see your journey with music going in the next few years? Where do you see the industry going?

“I think it’s still a little too early to tell exactly how far I can go in the next few years but based on how the past years have gone, the future definitely looks promising. In regards to the industry I anticipate more producers wanting to “self-release”. The current way of doing things of getting rejected by labels or waiting forever for your music to come out is a big pain point for a lot of producers. I anticipate innovation and new ways of doing things in how music is released.”

Is there anything specific that inspires your music?

“In 2017, I lost my older brother, Orlando Rojas, to brain cancer. At the time he was 28 years old, and chasing his dream of wanting to become a standup comedian. When he passed, I promised him I would never be somebody that goes through the motions of life and that I would always chase after what I really want. My entire music career is dedicated to him.”

The loss of a loved one can be a defining moment in a person's life, and for Zaytek, it’s the loss of his older brother that keeps his art genuine and consistent. Zaytek's dedication to his music career is a tribute to his brother's memory, and it drives him to create and innovate in the industry, always striving to be the best he can be. Music is a great way to keep your brothers name alive, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

Do you have any resolutions in terms of music for 2023?

“I don’t have ‘resolutions’ per say but I did make a couple of goals for myself for 2023! They are: release at least 6 new songs, do 5 installments of my DJ Mix series ‘Vamos A Bailar’, and lastly, I would love to get the opportunity to play more shows here in the city. At the end of the day - my biggest focus will be to create the best music I can possibly make.”

How do you feel about the scene in DC? “DC is home. I don’t see myself relocating to another city to try to ‘make it’. There are so many great venues, production companies, publications, producers, DJs, you name it. In fact, a goal of mine as I continue to move up is to let people in other markets know that not only do we throw down here but we have a lot of culture here and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Lastly, is there any advice you have for upcoming artists?

“In order to take steps forward, it’s probably best to know where you want to go. That being said, you need to be setting daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals for yourself. Invest in yourself. Say no to going out to stay home and finish that track. Don’t be a complainer. Work hard for this and always stay true to yourself.”

Overall, Zaytek makes some energetic, soulful and overall, very uplifting house music. Zaytek's story is a testament to the power of staying true to oneself and pursuing one's passion. If you want to hear more of Zaytek make sure to follow him on socials and stream his music with the links down below!


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