ZimZima is one of the hottest producers around right now, serving up beats for UK Garage legends Slimzee and Hollowman Jendor, getting radio plays with south coast rapper Joe Burger, and STILL finding time to make wub-wubby dancefloor bangers like his new single ‘Night Time’.
‘Night Time’ is available exclusively from Bandcamp from 1st October, and comes out on general release on 29th October.
Hi ZimZima! How’s it going?
You started getting serious about your music when the pandemic hit, right?
Yes I did. I have been producing on and off since I was in my teens, but I’ve decided to go full steam ahead since then.
Are you from a musical family?
Yes I am. My father is a singer. I was around 9 when I was in the studio with him recording his debut album that is why I say he is my biggest musical influence. His genre was traditional Indian music fused with the western style. My grandfather used to play the Harmonium and he used to be a sound engineer at gigs and I travelled and watched him do that too. So yeah, everyone loves music where I’m from. I was exposed to a wide variety of sounds and melodies since I was young.
As a producer, who would you say are your biggest influences?
Oh gosh, too many to name. Dr Dre, Scott Storch, Steel Banglez, Rude Kid, Teddy, Spyro, Swifta, Zdot, Faze Miyake, Sukh Knight, Flava D, Davinche, Rapid, Shy Fx, Quincy Jones and loads of Indian artists such as the legendary Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. I think I have covered most of them but those are the usual suspects that influence my sound.
What was your first gig/club night?
When I was 14: Bollywood Nights on Wembley High Road. That was my first rave away from my family’s gigs.
‘Night Time’ is a stone-cold banger! Tell us how the track came together.
That track was made mostly at home. When the lockdown lifted we went to Turkey and I ended up finishing it there. I guess it helped with the inspiration. I normally start with drums when I make house/bassline/UKG as they are critical to the song and give the tune that bounce. But this time I went with the melody, then after I did a few things to the sounds to kind of make it my own. I was going for a dark yet bouncy club tune. Most of the time I mess around with sounds until I get something that gives me goosebumps. I never really have a plan.
You usually produce Grime right? Is this your first club track?
Yes, I have been producing Grime since before it was even given a name! But in those days I was doing it for fun, and it was during Grime’s golden age. ‘Night Time’ isn’t my first club track, it’s my third! In October 2020 I released ‘Back and Forth’ under Albom records, which is a very deep house style sound. I then went on to release a UKG track with Joe burger called ‘VOICES’ under Four40 Records, that is more of a commercial tune. And then there is this banger I’m gassed to release with Punch Up!
If you could write a beat for any artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Wow!!!! I really have to think about this one because the list is so damn long! I would have loved to work with 2pac, Biggie (who wouldn’t right?!). Of guys who are around now though, I’d want to get into the studio with D double, Wiley, Skepta, Dizzee, Ghetts etc.
If you could DJ at any club, which one would you choose?
What’s next for you? Any more music coming out soon?
I’m working on my own EP Streets of Grime Vol. 2 (date tbc). I’m still working with artists to jump on those beats because I am aiming for more MC based EP. The last one was just instrumentals, so I want something different for the listeners. Me and the legend Hollowman Jendor have something on the way, but all in good time…..I got loads in the pipeline just waiting for release dates!
Last question: Hawaiian pizza — yes or no?
Yes, all day!
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