Superstardom in the Making: Zak Waters

photograph by Jessie Carmody
photograph by Jessie Carmody

It seems many times, as of late, there must be something in the water out in Los Angeles that is making the pop music coming out of there so darn good. For some reason not many people have been able to determine what chemical makeup in the water is causing this phenomenon. Los Angeles native Zak Waters has gotten that taste of the magic water pumping through his veins and is ready to show the world what he is made of.

Emerging in 2011, the singer/songwriter/producer/and DJ quickly made a spark with his debut EP, New Normal. Zak grabbed the attention of DJ Madeon and together they dominated the UK Radio One charts with the hit “The City” in October 2012. In December, Zak would make an appearance on “Last Call with Carson Daly.” Not only has his own vocal talent gained attention, but his production skills have been featured as official remixes from many top 40 artists such as Adam Lambert, All American Rejects, and Foxy Shazam.  Most recently, Zak has joined many critically acclaimed DJs in the studio from the likes of Benny Bennassi to Felix Cartal. Aside from his work with other DJs, his own set has been noted as versatile, drawing comparisons to that of Calvin Harris.

Now towards the end of 2013,  Zak Waters is finally set to release his debut EP entitled Lip Service exclusively through Spotify on September 9. Luckily, I was happy to get a sneak peak of what was to come. Overall, the album has a soulful pop vibe such as what’s been dominating the airwaves with the release of Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience album or Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. Zak Waters maintains his soulful tone over an electrified beat which really gives the album a very unique quality. It’s not too heavy but not too light. The album is really one you can either dance or chill to. Lip Service is as versatile as Zak himself.

There are eight perfect tracks, some of which I’m admittedly more partial to some than others, such as the mellow track on the album entitled “Dear John.” A break up song isn’t really one you would typically find me drawn to but the song comes across as more positive than something to drown your sorrows into. You are constantly reminded of the reality that “life goes on” in the lyrics. Those deep lyrics, met with the late disco influence in the melody, make you find yourself nodding your head feeling the rhythm deep within. Okay, not feeling the whole break up thing? Check out the track “Neon Sun.” The song is without a doubt the anthem for the never ending party that we all dream about. With allusions to the sun setting so you can finally let loose, Zak knows what he is singing about when it comes to rocking it out on the dance floor. The synths in the song give me a transport straight into 80s influences, almost similar feel to the ones played in “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell. The most amazing part of this album is that you don’t have to dig deep for what really influenced this album.

With every song, the influence was put right on Zak’s sleeve. I could honestly say that I see Zak Waters doing big things in 2014. Superstardom in the making, so if you have a chance, check him out today as he is currently in a residency at The Satellite every Monday in Los Angeles this month.

Zak Waters on the web:


— Serena Butler | @LaRenceB

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