Music is something very intimate and personal, so it’s not easy for me to write about it. On the other hand, it is essential to me; it is something I want to share and what I want to talk about.
To describe this experience, the language of poetry would be more appropriate. On the other hand, such a language would be too hermetic and, as a result, incomprehensible. Besides, I can’t write poetry. Music is my poetry.
Two years ago, at 17 years old, I would be exposed to crucial elements that would rock my understanding of myself and my place in this world.
I was first introduced to Erik, my best friend and co-founder of Tiki Bar, through mutuals at a house party. At that point, we didn’t have many similarities: He was the embodiment of a modern-day hippie, and, unbeknownst to me, I was still searching for a purpose to assign me individuality.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson – the great American Individualist and Transcendentalist – once said: “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better”. And so, the new Zonn mini-album “Songs Of Truth And Freedom” started off, as many experiments do, with the inventor watching the world around and perceiving that something needed to be done. This approach, coupled with my fondness for re-writing old tunes, led to the interpretation of a 1980s new-socialist stalwart into a novel anthem for the 2020s.
Some of my favorite moments and memories consist of being out on the road wearing a hat over greasy hair and some of the same travel clothes for days. Stepping out of the van barefoot to see the sights, the wind blowing my clothes as I look out over the expanses, I feel free of earthly possessions, free of the need to control how I look and feel, and free of the expectations of the outside world. Truly anonymous in a hat, I travel from town to town in and out of diners and cafes with my face slightly obscured. I’m just a traveler blowing through, never promising anything to anyone. I’m a transient presence for a moment and then I’m gone.
Music is where I go when I wish to step out of current time and space.
There is no Control mechanism in there playing on my conscious or unconscious mind telling me I must, should or am obliged to be doing something or other.
It is my place of Zen or a form of meditation if you prefer.
It’s the only place where everything external stops other than the immediate Now and I feel at peace in my own world.
I like to put sounds together to see what will happen. Often with words, sometimes not. The way they synthesise is an endless source of enjoyment and wonder to me. I never know where it’s going to end up and that is the main joy.
I’d never been to Louisiana, never seen New Orleans, never been out on the Bayou. It was May of 2021 and here I was driving in the middle of the night to a town called Breaux Bridge, out past Baton Rouge, deep in the middle of rural Louisiana farmlands—what they call “Cajun country.” I arrived at a big, rundown house and was greeted by Mark, the producer of my new record (released Feb 11 2022 on Dream Puppy Records). We had only communicated by email and text up til this point and now here he was—grinning, talking a mile-a-minute, introducing me to the semi-stray cats, describing the armadillos that would come around if he left the cat food out over night in the garage: “nasty fuckers.”