With two successful laps in Montreal under his belt this past year, Rasi Z has allowed us to get acquainted with his distinct branch of contemplative deep house. Rooted in earthy tones thanks to a diverse exploration of instruments and organic sounds, his music branches out in different directions while staying grounded to a vast dreamlike quality. It was our pleasure to catch up with the Vancouver-based producer following his recent release on the vivid Souq Records, blending his own colours into the label’s melting pot of artists, influences, and musical cultures.
Hey Rasi Z, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. We’ve seen you twice in Montreal over the past years and it’s been a blast! What’s different about playing here than the West Coast?
Every city has its own story and character, Montreal is no different, with its beautiful history and warm welcoming people.
Tell us about your background and upbringing, how it plays into your sound and what cultural elements you translate into music.
Growing up in Tehran I used to hear a lot of traditional music over the radio and that played a big part for me. I started to look out for new instruments and got myself familiarized with them.
We love seeing photos of your sleek and inviting studio. Tell us about your setup and how you preserve the special something in the air of your studio space.
For me, that’s a very special place. it always gives me the right dose of motivation and work ethic…The newest members are the Apollo 6x and Adam Ax7’s.
What was the most beneficial change/decision that you have made to your production process over the years?
One of the most important lessons I have learned over the past couple of years is to Learn to let go! Instead of trying to fix the sound with a bunch of plugins or getting stuck on a loop for weeks. Just start fresh!
Your new release, Sefid, is out on Souq Records featuring remixes from Derun and Dear Humans. What is the storyline behind this track?
I went back to my home town Tehran. While roaming the streets of Tehran I Met Ali Daryayi, a touring musician who plays the Kamancheh. One thing led to the other and this collaboration was born in Tehran. I couldn’t ask for a better outcome with two beautiful remixes Derun and Dear Humans.
Tell us about your process and ideal setting while writing music.
I usually come up with the basic storyline seating somewhere cozy with my laptop and my headphones, when I least expect it. 🙂
Your sound is grounded in emotion; what feeling do you hope to bring out most in listeners?
I’m always trying to write a story. It’s not always easy to transfer the emotions I have in mind and body into music. To me, that’s the beauty of it. Cause once you get it right it feels very special! I think of my music more like a journey and my goal is to have everyone taking that journey with me.
How do the instruments you chose tell that story?
Every instrument helps you to understand the meaning of the story in its own way! I’m very lucky to grow up hearing a lot of traditional instruments from Iran and the middle east.
Your track Zamin is a musical and lyrical call to action about saving the planet. You worked with Lithuanian activist Ravensdaughter for its words. Can we expect more projects with such a message from you? Are there other ways you see yourself getting involved in this call to action?
Saving the planet is a topic that interests me a lot in different ways. We should all be part of it and help as much as we can to save this amazing planet. After finishing my current projects. I’m planning to work on an EP with a similar message.
What would you like to see more of within the music industry to raise environmental awareness?
As it explains in “Zamin” our planet is not getting any younger! This is going to sound very cliche but we need to care more! the amount of plastic we use daily is unbelievable!
Your productions are well balanced landscapes, full of evocative feelings. What are the key ingredients to sound design for you?
I usually approach every project differently. sometimes I start with piano chords and sometimes with a groove! To me finding a right groove is a key! something that you can listen to for hours and not get tired.
Where do you see the deep house scene, sound and culture evolving in the next few years?
I think the deep house scene is growing at a higher rate than before in North America compare to the past few years, We’re still behind Europe! But we’re getting there!
When can we expect you back in Montreal? 🙂
Hopefully soon! I’m in love with Montreal!
Photos: Lens Flare Smith
Article: Lola Baraldi