It is often said that what we listen to influences who we are and our perspective on the world. The things we love shape who we become. We’ve all experienced this. Certain types of music inspire different things and evoke certain feelings. As a writer, I vary my playlist according to what I’m working on. I listen to Christmas music when working on holiday content; I blast The Greatest Showman when I need to roll up my sleeves and get it done.
And then there are those moments when I need an extra spark of joy and fun. One artist who’s done this for me, time and again, is Zander. Both his EP and upcoming new songs instantly elevate my mood. It’s feel-good music through and through, the perfect thing to listen to on one’s commute to or from work–or any time, really. His sound and lyrics simply inspire me to enjoy the present moment, like in the song “Right Here” currently featured on the Love Good Spring Mixtape.
If a work of art is a sign of its maker, then these songs are a testament that Zander, like the sunny scenes one sees in his music videos, is a ray of light himself. His posture of gratitude and positive energy are reflected in every beat. I chatted with Zander to learn more about what influences his outlook on life and what inspires him to do what he does best.
What do you love about making music? Why do you do what you do?
I just love learning, observing, and taking in different influences. The reason I keep doing what I do…it’s not to be liked. I’m not trying to be cool. Music is the greatest language. It invites a spectrum of emotion. My goal is to bring out joy.
How do you bring joy through your music?
The ukulele does that. It’s a sweet little instrument that makes people smile.
How would you describe your sound?
I can’t say I have just one style. I’m a man of different flavors because I’ve seen different things. I couldn’t call myself a reggae artist, per se, because I’m influenced by all different genres and styles.
In your new EP, we get a feeling of beach life and island vibes. What was the influence behind this collection?
Acoustic artists and the energy from Latin and Caribbean culture and Island inspired reggae has influenced my style. 🙂 Miami has influenced a lot of my recent music, because of how much variety it has; it’s an intense mix of cultures. People from Miami don’t know how distinctive the city is until you leave. So different from everywhere else. So vibrant. It’s a very transient place. Always changing. You have to work hard to remain in the moment there. I appreciate the amount of culture in Miami. It makes me want to travel and see it all!
Your family has lived around the world. How did this nurture your interest in music and how has your upbringing shaped who you are now?
It’s influenced everything I do. I love to travel and meet new people. I think it’s helped my perspective. There are so many beautiful cultures and people everywhere! I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t grow up exposed to so many cultures. My parents lived in South America so I learned to love Andean pan flute. I learned to play classical piano as a child, and today I still enjoy operas and Vivaldi. I still jam to baroque and Chopin. I just love music! I really do. All aspects of it.
What’s some great advice you’ve heard lately?
It’s all about perseverance and continuing to be ourselves.
How have you balanced staying humble while having to promote your work?
I think we have to stay completely honest with ourselves. Only we know what our intention is. We can’t try and please everyone. We can’t go into every situation with an intense agenda. We have to be open to sharing.
You often make time for community wherever you are. What’s your advice on building friendships when one has to travel often?
Community is necessary. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with the faith community in each town I go to. It’s amazing to see how different people interact. I would say authentic friendship is when each person truly cares for the other. They empathize. They are interested in the other. Sometimes that’s hard to find. I’ve found that relationships based around faith are usually more authentic.
If you could have dinner with anyone–past or present–who would they be? What would you ask them?
Bob Marley. I would ask them a billion questions about music, the journey, faith, etc.
What’s on your bucket list this year?
Performing at Red Rocks in Colorado stays on my bucket list. It’s a beautiful venue.
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