Civil Interview: Zaytoven Talks Past and Upcoming Projects, Acting & More
by Breanna Chi'anne
What was growing up in California like?
I was moving all my life. I went from Germany, to North Carolina, to Georgia, to California, San Diego and San Francisco. So California was the state that broadened my horizons. I started looking at things different. It was so big and so nice. I think it was real great experience for me, and it was very vital in the making of the music because I just saw things from a broad scale in California.
Who was a major influence that inspired your to be a part of the music industry?
I would have to say church. I grew up being in church all my life and that’s where I learned how to play musical instruments. That was my biggest influence. I Was just a fan of music. I would listen to all music: R&B music, rap music. I was just a fan, so my influence definitely came from just living in music and church.
As someone who was raised in the church, is your family supportive of the direction you decided to take with your style of music?
They’re very supportive! I think they were a little surprised and I was surprised, as well. It wasn’t my plan, but I’ve gotten nothing but support from my family members. Even people at the church. It made me feel good so I could continue to do what I needed to do.
What attracted you to producing?
Well, since all I knew was how to play music, I felt like it was my place to make music. I started trying to rap for a little while, but I felt like everybody else raps, so I just stuck to making music.
Being from the West coast, was it hard to adapt to making music for Southern artists since the sounds are so different?
At first it was because it was so different. You know first hit song was “So Icy.” If you listen to the song, it sounds nothing like it comes from the south and that’s because I was coming from the west coast. Luckily, I experience working with Gucci because he wanted something that wasn’t just the same old, same old that was around the neighborhood. So I think that’s what attracted him because he was like ‘Oh he’s from California. He’s different from what’s going on around here.’ He really liked my style and my sound and I think that’s what go me my first big record. After that, I started living in Atlanta, so of course my music started to change a little bit. The artists down here, you know, they didn’t just want no west coast sound. They want to hear what they’re accustomed to hearing.