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Interview: Zomboy

Producer (Guildford, Britain (UK)
Illustration: Kibwe • Video: Richardine Bartee • Video Editor: George Lee

From photobombing to killing at The Gramercy Theatre, Zomboy has set himself apart from the beautiful pool of EDM giants and we totally wish you were there to experience it with us. Observing and awesomely becoming a part of his history, we spent the day and night with the new kid on the EDM block who surprisingly does not have a Wikipedia page for what seems to be a multiplicity of reasons. We encourage you to make one. Warning: Please do not confuse him with “Zomboy.” He is also an electronic music producer, by the way, but he is not the man of the hour.


If you are new to the EDM world or you have never heard of Zomboy before, here’s your quick tutorial:

“Zomboy” the name comes from a combination of the obvious, but the British producer credits his hobby of playing video games to the idea.

I was trying to think of an alias or name. I was having no hope. I was just like, going over and over trying to figure out what to call myself. I’m a big fan of zombie games, so I was playing Left 4 Dead on the Xbox. I was just like: Zombies? That’s quite cool. That’ll be a quite cool concept. I just brainstormed a little bit and just came up with “Zomboy”. It was all down to playing computer games.

In the affirmative, Zomboy may appear to be a EDM veteran, but in fact, he is a fresh face who happens to just be 23-years-young. When asked if people treat him like he’s young he responded, “No, most people think I’ma lot older than I am cause I don’t look very young. Most people say I look late 20s.

Providentially, because he fronts an older individual, he “doesn’t get sacked for being the kid”. He indicated that his current appearance to tour miles, his lack of sleep and traveling all the time. He also mentioned that he has a terrible diet on the road. If and when he gets to go home, he is a “gym rat”. He eats salads and fish and good meats. We think that’s appropriate. Especially, for a man who performs and makes people react like this:

Floating around the Internet, there’s droll tittle-tattle sourcing Zomboy as the one who found or has stolen Skrillex’s laptop and naturally, I asked him about it. Before answering, he laughed and said that he embraces it and he thinks it is funny.

Like the witty character he is, Zomboy added, [quote]It almost sounds like it could make sense, because everyone has called me — basically — like England’s answer to Skrillex, but I cannot confirm that I did not. Sonny said that it was stolen from his room in Italy.[/quote]

He exhales and continues, [quote]Yeah, I think it was one of the maids. She probably had no idea what it was either. What it’s value was. She probably just found it and said, ‘I’d sell it!’ She didn’t realize the actual sentimental value of it. That’s what he said, anyway. But yeah, it wasn’t me.[/quote]

We’re glad he cleared that up. With us.

On his process:

It’s always completely sporadic [kind of] out of nowhere ideas. That’s why I’ve always got my phone nearby. I always have my voice memo ready to like… It’s weird trying to voice an idea for like a dubstep track or like an electro track. But if I’ve got a melody that comes into my head or anything, I’m like “Voice memo” and that’s if I’m not by a computer. Generally, I cannot work in a studio environment anymore. I don’t know what it is. I’ve gone so far the other way, that I love writing on the road or like my hotel rooms and the plane. I get so much more inspiration in places like that rather than just sitting back in a room. If I was going to say anything for like — encouraging — inspiration — just go out. Even if it’s like sitting in a coffee shop. Sounds like a weird thing but… It’s so just not natural to just sit in a room.

So, then being in an atmosphere with activity is inspiring?, I ask.

[quote]Yeah, things[‘re] going on.[/quote]

Do you know about the Movement Festival in Detroit?

No, I do not.

The three-day electronic festival?

[quote]I’m still very new to the whole industry in America cause I’m still breaking grounds here and I’m still hearing about [things] and to be completely honest, my background of electro music is zero. I come from like a background of metal and hardcore music and I kind of fell into this a year and a half ago.[/quote]

Okay, so in high school were you listening to more metal?


What are some of the bands that you were listening to?

[quote]I was listening to more American hardcore stuff so like Stick To Your Guns and like For The Fallen Dreams. More like cut and melodic hardcore. I love melody. I can’t listen to just monophonic, kind of monotonous music too much. So, you’ll always hear it in my music. Hardcore stuff, but there’s always some kind of melody in there. Some kind of cheesy epic bit or something.[/quote]

On GrungeCake:

GrungeCake. Quite underground, generally yeah, just like an underground vibe to it like covering all areas of everything? Possibly? (He laughs). That’s the kind of pitch I get from it, anyway… and cakes!

Yes! There you go! So, the character that you have, how did that come about? Is that something that you drew or?

[quote]Actually, I found this image when I first starting writing my first couple of bits of music. When I was putting it on Soundcloud and it was asking me for an artwork thumbnail and literally, one day, I just typed into Google “Zombie boy” or “Zombie kid” or something — “[Zombie] cartoon”. I came across this awesome little cartoon. I was using that for the first couple of songs. When I got signed, shortly after, and it came to having an EP release, the label came to me and their like, “What kind of artwork do you want?” So, I gave them this image that I was using and was like, “Something like that.” Then, they went out and found the artist who actually did that image.[/quote]


[quote]And he did a personalized one for me. Yeah, it’s really cool. I can’t remember his name.” He tries to plug the artist, “Nick… The artist is called Nick-someone. But it’s just awesome that it’s kind of Gorillaz-esque. It kind of worked. It fit with the whole persona and alias, Zombies and my music was fun and it kinda worked at the time. Now, it’s great branding but, I’m trying to like move away a little bit away from the kiddy cartoon thing and get a bit more serious,” he says with a sinister tone.[/quote]

More you? As far as like your face?

Yeah, cause that’s the funniest. More people are just like don’t know who — what I look like cause I’m fronted by this cartoon character. There’s similarities between me and the cartoon, but you’re never going to be like ‘that cartoon is him’. I’m trying to make it a bit more personal to me rather than a cartoon.

[highlight]*Trivia: Zomboy personalized graphic has one stretched ear and lustful hair just like he does. How cool?[/highlight]

Last Words of Inspiration for Anyone Who Wants to Follow Their Dreams:

If it’s something you really want to do, don’t necessarily put your life into it, but dedicate a good part of it to it. Keep doing it even if it doesn’t work the first time around. Keep doing it, because one day something or another will pay off in some form. I would be a terrible inspiration speaker. You just keep on keeping on, guys!

(We all laugh.)

I’m stupid exciting to play in New York City tonight and I’m gutted to be leaving tomorrow night, but I’ve got to fly off to Austin for tomorrow’s show. Yeah. New York City has got a big place in my heart now. I love it here!

And we love you too, Zomboy! We had a great time at the show. His high-energy performances are great to see live. We recommend you see him in your city. In addition, we enjoyed our time backstage and scored an autograph for our video editor. He’s actually the first person to tell us about Zomboy about a year and a half ago. He predicted he was going to big and that he is.

We’re fans and we’re totally looking forward to sharing more Zomboy news and supporting as long as he is creating.

Stay tuned for photos sponsored by Lomography. See a few images via our Instagram.

Listen to the full interview now via this link. For more Zomboy, just click here.

Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the Director of Content for Duke Concept; Bartee is an Entertainment Creator for Google Web Stories. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.