Posted On 06 Jul 2018
Meet the Miami Beach, Florida-based reggae/pop/rock musician Zander! On June 22nd, he released his new EP “Sunshine State Of Mind.”
Stream the new single “Sunshine State” (Ft. Bernz) here: http://www.thepier.org/zander-to-release-ep-drops-new-single-sunshine-state/
Zander’s music vibrates with colors of reggae, pop, funk, and rock. His music takes his fans to the beach and gives them a great experience of an endless summer. Zander is all about living in the moment and loving everything life throws at you. He gives his fans the best performance he can, so they encounter live music as it could be. Touring all over the US has allowed Zander to reach and cultivate an incredible fan base. He’s also performed in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Australia. Most recently, he hit the road supporting The Wailers on their US national tour. Zander hopes to ride this positive momentum with his new EP, “Sunshine State Of Mind.”
Learn more about Zander in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Thanks for having me! Stoked to chat with you. I’m finishing up a cup of coffee on the beach here in Miami. I’ve got writing sessions all day today. It’s gonna be a good one!
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
2018 has been a blessed year. I’ve been able to share my music with a whole new audience.
First off, I got to play a rad festival in Florida, Reggae Rise Up. We opened for Matisyahu and Damian Marley. Then, I hit the road with The Wailers from South Florida, all the way to Northern California. It was an amazing tour. Now, I’ve just released my debut EP. I would say it’s been a great year so far!
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
It always has been a part of my life. My parents are big music fans, of all genres. They traveled the world. They exposed me to all types of incredible music. Apparently, when I was very young, they would blast Peruvian music from the Andes all day and I would dance my heart out! I grew up learning classical piano and performing recitals. Grateful to be exposed to so much music at a young age!
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? Has there been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I would say the biggest surprise to me, is the music business. It amazes me how much it is constantly changing. From social media, to streaming, music is changing every day! It’s not easy, but you do it because you love it!
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today? What is the music scene like there these days? If you don’t think that it has affected you at all, why is that?
I’m definitely influenced by my surroundings. I’m a lover of the beach and ocean. Writing songs on my acoustic guitar and ukulele near the beach brings me peace. Miami is a wild place. A lot of energy. So much culture and flavor, it’s hard to describe!
I would say that traveling is a big part of what inspires me. I like to think of the places I’ve been, and where I’m going! There is so much to see!
Let’s talk about your recently released EP, “Sunshine State of Mind.” What was it like making this collection? Did anything surprise you about the overall process and once you got into the studio to record it?
I bumped into a musician friend of mine at NAM in LA! He told me about a studio in Miami, and there we go! It’s amazing how and where we can end up.
The first 3 tracks were recorded at a studio in Little Havana, Miami. Super talented musicians. I never thought I’d have so many horns on my tunes. Love how they came out! Also, stoked on a verse I got to collab on with talented MC, Bernz of Mayday.
The last song on the record is a personal favorite of mine, “Ocean Floor”. It seems to be a fan favorite as well!
Can you pick a couple tracks off this EP and talk about how they were written and inspired? How did they get to be on this collection?
“Rock Steady” is a fun, throwback tune I wrote while touring South America. They loooove their ska and reggae down there. I felt inspired to write a throwback ska tune. “Ocean Floor” was written while on a trip to the Bahamas. The ocean is such a peaceful and beautiful place.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far? Do you have any upcoming shows this summer?
An ideal show is pure fun! A crowd that is engaged. I hope to bring joy and energy to what I do. There is nothing better, than when it is received with open arms!
By the end of my tour with The Wailers, my percussionist and I were super tight. We played a beautiful, old theatre in Napa. The crowd was electric and our performance was so locked in! What a good time!!
I’m hoping to keep performing as much as possible. I have shows in Florida, and I may be performing in California/Utah during this summer as well. Come dance!
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
It’s very hard not to be influenced by what is going on around us. Personally, living in Florida, we’ve had some very tough moments with shootings, etc. I try to always remain positive and grateful, but it’s important to be informed about what’s going on around us.
My song, “Sunshine State” in definitely influenced by the times. Check it out!
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all?
It’s not easy, but I think it’s important to connect with your audience. Wherever it is connecting the most, go there. I really enjoy communicating with my fans on Instagram. They are positive, as well as supportive.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Prince, Michael Jackson, and growing up The Red Hot Chili Peppers! I loved John Frusciante’s guitar playing. I want to work with as many talented people as I can. Collaboration makes things new and fun. I have no specific collab I want to do at the moment, I’ll get back to you!
If you had all the money and time in the world, which one of your songs, new or old, would you make a music video for? What would the video be like?
“Ocean Floor!” It would be a movie haha 🙂
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
That’s too tough! I need a guitar and ukulele. Two items, please! I love rocking with Ohana Ukuleles, based in Long Beach, Cali. I most recently received a Taylor guitar with beautiful Koa wood. I’m in love!
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I would love to get some of my more island sounding tunes on a fun Disney movie. That would be epic! Moana 2? Haha
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I hope it brings them joy! I hope it makes them appreciate how much of a gift this life truly is!
Where can our readers connect with you?
@zanderwaves on Instagram
Zander on Spotify
Thanks for having me! Peace!