POW Premiere: Zayland ― Nobody Knows EP

POW premieres the new EP from Dallas upstart Zayland.
By    April 3, 2020

Will Schube found love in the club.

The members of the Nu Wave SOUND collective have established themselves as the go-to party starters in Austin’s burgeoning club scene. They host events all over town and often bring a thrilling blend of South American electronic music and mainstream hits to the excessively coked-up Coconut Club rooftop. Aside from hosting parties, though, the group led by Joaqu.n have established themselves as tastemakers in electronic and rap lanes. The label side of the enterprise is highlighted by a unique stable of artists, and none are more captivating right now than Tokyo-born, Dallas-based Zayland.

The rapper has an intuitive knack for songwriting, and he weaves catchy hooks and sing-song vocals into a captivating style of post-R&B rap. His new EP, Nobody Knows, is premiering on Passion of the Weiss and serves as an excellent sampler of everything Zay does so well. The beats are laden with early-2000s drip, like Juvenile’s “Rodeo” blended with the healthy skepticism of Mac Miller’s more downtempo work.

Zay puts an emphasis on playing with traditional tropes, with tracks like the moody “Fuck a Love Song” and “Love Games and Interludes” showcasing a sensitive side that the singer flips on and off like a switch. When asked about the EP, Zay had this to say: Nobody Knows is about how lost we all feel in times of uncertainty. This project is an expression of different emotions I’ve been feeling over the past few months. Whether it be navigating relationships, fighting through emotions, or figuring out how to express myself. At the end of the day, we’re all just winging this shit. This is a story of me winging it. These songs are how I coped with different emotions. Hopefully you can relate.”

Zay relies mostly on acoustic guitar-laced beats, letting the instrument add emphasis to his already yearning vocal performances. This is Zayland’s first EP with the Nu Wave SOUND crew, but with Nobody Knows, he’s emerged as another boy ready to break some hearts, if his doesn’t break first.

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