Zach Brandon

Zach Brandon is an L.A. based singer songwriter who is quickly establishing a solid base of loyal fans and followers. We caught up with him to talk about his single ‘Live and Let Live’.

Welcome Zach! How is everything?

Good. I’ve been reading a book called ‘The Artist’s Way’ and doing my morning pages. I feel it slowly, sort of unbuckling me in a good way. Practicing guitar, trying to stay up on everything.

Please tell us the story behind your new single ‘Live and Let Live.’

I did it with my friend Jalal. I should preface, the song was really intended to be about how in nature we find diversity to be such a beautiful thing. So why is it that when we get to humans, it raises animosity, anger, distrust and all these terrible things? I had originally written it for just me. Then I decided to bring in Jallal because he’s great. Also, how cool is it to have a white Jewish singer with a black Muslim rapper and we’re friends. I just thought it was perfectly fitting for the song. The song, as it continued to be written and produced, became more about opening up the conversation. The way I see it is we’re all cut from the same cloth to a certain degree. Why don’t we all just respect each other and stop talking about all of our differences? It’s not about having the right opinion. It’s about being open to a discussion and being willing to talk to those who are different that you. I think 2020 is definitely paved the way for that for sure. I think that’s certainly one of the positive things and inspiring things of last year.

How did you end up collaborating with the legendary Charlie Midnight?

Charlie’s wife Susanna brought him to my gig. I guess he liked my style and he liked my voice. He came to another gig and decided to ask if I wanted to write with him. I had never had a writing partner before. I said, yes, and we have a fantastic relationship. He’s from where my dad’s from in Brooklyn. They’re very similar. We just have a perfectly candid, honest relationship. We wrote for a couple of months and then he brought Jan on to start producing the songs. It’s been like two years I think, maybe a little more since we started.

What do you love about the guitar?

I just love how on a guitar like you can play the same chords so many different ways and they just feel complete. ‘My name is Jonas’ by Weezer was the first song I learned on guitar.

Would love to know what specifically you enjoy about live performances?

The obvious thing is that I love connecting with fans. It’s fun to sing live. It’s fun to watch people’s facial expression when you play guitar. That’s fun! I think what I really also love about it is it keeps artists honest. Live is so important is because in the era of touch ups on Instagram, in the era of perfect vocals and perfect guitar parts, performing everything live with a band or in front of an audience, you have to prove yourself.

What is your approach to song writing?

My approach to song writing – I just usually come up with the idea or the title before I write the song. Then I just gear the song around what I’m trying to say and how do I most accurately but also most interestingly get the point across.

Am I right in thinking that you are a soccer fan?

Yes! I actually played soccer my whole life. I played in Chile on a U.S. team. I almost played for L.A. Galaxy. I got invited to a try out. I love soccer, it’s just the best sport. There’s a reason it’s called the beautiful game. I loved soccer, but growing up I always played music. We were watching some old home videos a couple of months ago – every single video, I’m in the background, marching around singing or playing drums. I was always a musician.

How did music become your full time pursuit?

In college, I always had a guitar with me. I was always writing music, but was never really writing down my lyrics or chords or keeping track of it. I got hurt going into my freshman year of college. I tore my hip, but I didn’t know. So I ended up getting surgery by the end of that year. Then I was playing again, but hurt my back. I couldn’t play anymore, which was a terrible loss. For the next year or so, I was pretty depressed. I got an internship in real estate, which is what I studied in college, but needed to do something that I love. It was music for me. So I started writing again and keeping track of my music. It was funny, I remember during my internship, we were flying somewhere to go look at a property. I was explaining something in music to someone that worked at the company who was with us. My former boss looked at me and said ‘Clearly that’s what you’re meant to be doing, not real estate.’  I got some gigs and that’s when I decided music would be my career.

5 things you love about L.A. might include …
  • I love the diversity in L.A.
  • I love it culturally.
  • I love the pressure. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure and it helps keep me on my toes.
  • I love the availability – whatever you want, you can get in L.A.
  • I have a big community of friends here, which is nice.
What are your hopes for 2021?

I hope that I can continue to aspire. It’s hard to aspire right now when it’s so uncertain how everything is going to turn out. You don’t know when anything’s going to open up. There’s nothing that you can bet on right now because everything is so up in the air. I don’t hope to achieve any particular goals or anything like that. I hope to continue to have a fire in me. That’s all we can really ask for. There will always be circumstances. So it’s really about what’s inside you.

Will there be any new music this year?

I have been working a lot on my sound. I’m really proud of what I’ve been doing in quarantine and I’ve got some stuff stored up. It’s really fantastic. It’s a little different than my other stuff in a good way, in terms of production, not in terms of style or genre or anything. I’m very, very excited!

Quick Fire Questions

Kindness or clarity – Clarity makes it easier to be kind

Rhyme or reason – Reason

Lyrics or melody – Lyrics

Campfire or Carousel – Carousel

Zach Braff or Zac Efron – Zac Efron