How would you summarize the Zak Downtown vibe?
I wanna embody the "How to Make it in America" feel, with out getting cancelled like the TV show. The production ranges from hard hitting trap stuff you can bang in the club to soulful influences that make you wanna get up in the morning and hustle.
Who have been some of your music influences and why?
I grew up on all different genres of music but really fell in love with hip hop listening to Dipset and Kanye in the early 00s . Those old soul samples got me hooked.
Where did the concept for the 'Kendall & Kylie' music video derive from?
I spoke with a few video directors who gave me some party themed, turn up videos. And just felt that it needed something different than what was expected. The song has such high energy that I wanted the video to almost add a whole new view to the song, like oh shit this is weird and kind of shining a new light on the record. When Brielle and Stephanie told me their idea about playing off the idea of doubles and the eeriness of never showing the two girls faces in the videos I thought it was genius.
Your work has been embraced by athletes, musicians and actors. Who are some of your biggest supporters? Why do you think they can relate to the music?
It's always dope to get support from anyone whether they're "famous" or not. The best shit is getting messages on Facebook from random people telling me not to stop making music and keep grindin'. But at the same time it's dope to see other creatives supporting it like my homie Val from "Dancing with the Stars" who I met once through a mutual friend and has been super supportive. And also Joakim Noah who's like an older brother to me has always been supporting the movement. I hope athletes bump my shit before games to get hyped because I draw inspiration from the dedication that goes into being a champion athlete all the time.
Does New York play into your influence musically or style wise?
100 percent. Even though I fuck around with a lot of trap and sometimes "electronic" production I think the delivery in the verses will always have a New York edge on it. I can't help that. I was raised on Nas, Big and Dipset so that swag will always be in me. Style wise you see a lot of artists and rappers who like to go over board with fashion , I love fashion and clothing but sometimes I like to just keep that classic New York Timbos white tee clean look alive.
What are some fashion labels that you are a fan of?
I found John Elliot tees like 4 years ago. I don't think I wear any other tee when it comes to plain sleek looking stuff. Also been helping develop a new Brand called "Sick and Tired" with my homie Brian Nunez. Its hand made high quality garments designed and constructed in New York, edgy menswear. And I need some Grungy Gentlemen original pieces dawg!
What can we expect next from Zak Downtown?
Just locked in with a booking agent for the first time so will be touring come September. Also playing a few shows with the Chainsmokers in November. And my debut album "DWNTWN" is set to release in October.