NEW SINGLE/ VILLAIN
"There are billions of people on earth, so if some people are bringing you down or making you feel less than, move on..."
Thank you for being part of our zine. Tell us more about your beginnings in the industry!
Thank you! Well my career mostly started due to YouTube but, I grew up in a musical family and started writing and producing my own songs when I was about thirteen. I created my YouTube channel in 2008 and started posting covers and live performances and making my own music videos with my friends. I then studied theatre in university, and continued writing, but I did one video for my song “Delirious Love” and it ended up getting the attention of a radio program in Vancouver called QueerFM, who have been playing my songs regularly ever since!
I also started off as more of a backup dancer and choreographer for a few drag queens in Calgary, but then I started playing more of my own live shows and moved to Vancouver to go to a music production school called Nimbus. I released my first official single “Neon” back in 2018 and have been putting out new singles every few months and playing live since then.
Where are you located now and where are you originally from?
I’m from Calgary, AB, Canada, but for the last two years I’ve lived in Vancouver.
Goals for 2019 and beyond?
At the start of 2019 my main goals were to put out new music, collaborate and write with new people, and play live at Vancouver Pride - which I’ve done now so that’s awesome! My goals for next year include making more music videos, and to go on a few song writing trips to either LA or Paris and start touring!
What have been the specific challenges in your career so far? What have been the greatest achievements so far?
Challenges have mostly been insecurity due to my sexual orientation. Music is still a very male dominated industry (behind the scenes) and as much as we like to think things are progressing there is still unspoken homophobia in the industry, and debate to whether or not gay pop singers are marketable or sign-able or not which sucks. On the other side of that, I’ve tried to book shows within the queer community, but some nightclubs only book drag queens! I love drag queens, some of my best friends in the world are drag queens, but I think we should make space for ALL different types of queer art and talent, and maybe one day I’ll do drag and sing live and slay, but for now I enjoy just performing as me, and I’m already extra enough! Haha. I guess another challenge of mine has just been trying to break in as a dance pop artist as the industry has become way more centred around HipHop the last few years.
My greatest achievements so far have been my watching my song “Respect Me” getting streamed in over 10 different countries on Apple Music. Writing that song really helped me free and love myself again after a dark period, so to see that song resonate and get streamed the most has been super cool to watch.
I also released a single last month with my boyfriend Jayden Mckenzie, who is also an artist. We put out a song we wrote called “Blurry Now” and realized that we might be one of the first gay couples in pop music to put out a love song together! If we are that’s super cool and a big achievement, but if not, we are happy to be another gay couple in music and the world needs more of us!
Finally having my OWN back up dancers has also been a really fun accomplishment, especially because I used to back up dance for other performers. I’ve been working with two dancers Jonathan Kol and Ikue Ueno from the House of La Douche - which is a voguing house in Vancouver that were recently featured on CNN’s Great Big Story and in a Lush Cosmetics skincare campaign.
Where can our readers catch up with you out there soon?
I’ll be playing some shows in Calgary at Koi, and at the Railway in Vancouver both in late November. But check my website reidworldmusic.com and other socials for updates and new content!
Please answer the following: "If my fans really knew me, they would know that... “
I’m a kind and sensitive person, and I’m not always as confident as I appear on stage.
Who are your top inspirations?
Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani
Having accomplished so much in your career, are there more dreams you hope to conquer?
For now, I just want to perform consistently, and keep writing music full time!
Any words of wisdom for your fans out there?
No one is going to love and respect you more than yourself. That’s the most important relationship you’ll have in life, and it’s not selfish it’s essential and will impact your other relationships in a positive way.
And it’s OK to be different. If the people around you right now don’t understand you, others will in time. There are billions of people on earth, so if some people are bringing you down or making you feel less than, move on, and build your own new family.
Please list your social media links so our readers can follow you everywhere!
@reidzakosmusic on Instagram and Twitter, and my channel on YouTube is called ReidWorld!
Give us a background of this new release!!
My new single is called “Villain” and it is coming out October 18th on Spotify and Apple Music! It’s full-on drama! It’s dark and theatrical and the perfect addition for your Halloween playlists, but also transcendent enough to listen to past spooky season. I wrote it with Tess Anderson and it’s all about the concept of perception and how no matter how pure your intentions might be, you’re made to feel like the ‘villain' because you’re different or misunderstood. It’s a pop power ballad and I allude to some other iconic villains in the lyrics. It’s a nice juxtaposition to my previous single “Gladiator”, and the cover artwork designed by visual artist Patris Rudari, reflects that. It also showcases my vocals better than any of my previous releases - there’s a nice mix of vulnerability and power. Can’t wait for your readers to hear it!
PHOTOS by: BRANDON FLETCHER