September 21, 2021

Zed The Dreamer talks to us about drawing inspiration from William Golding, collaborating with Phoebe Bridgers and signing to 4AD [EXCLUSIVE]

Having just celebrated the release of his debut EP, The Life and Death of MacKenzie Kane, Portuguese singer-songwriter Ze Pedro Viveiros, aka Zed The Dreamer, is looking forward to playing it live when he joins PIE on stage at The Colonel Fawcett in Camden on November 2nd. The soulful sounds of Viveiros are infused with Jazz and have a chilled out and laid back vibe that melts into his relaxed and carefully crafted soundscapes. Posting on Instagram Zed said that The Life and Death of MacKenzie Kane EP was “My two last singles, plus two new songs [that] will complete this beautiful experience and make part of my soul available for everyone who wants do see it.” He thanked everyone that helped and added that “I will be old and wrinkled and still remember how much you helped and believe in me.” Before his next release, and before he takes to the stage in North West London, we caught up with him to find out a little more.

For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?

I like to look at my music as a blend of folk, soul and indie. Imagine having a combination between production elements of Bon Iver, the delicate soundscapes of Ben Howard and the rhythms of Tom Misch, my music lives between those elements.

What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?

I think getting exposure is one of the biggest difficulties I’ve faced thus far. The industry is saturated and full of amazingly talented artists, it’s hard to stand out and make a difference, but it’s achievable, it’s only a matter of time, dedication and research.

How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?

Like I stated before, the industry is saturated. Not everyone has the talent to be Prince, or Mac Miller who created a unique sound and were completely different from the rest. This creates more of the same, and with that a lot of people are doing the same things in terms of sound and marketing, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd, but possible, 100% possible

How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?

Very important, even though I think collaboration is one of the best ways to evolve, I still believe creative control is essential and one of the most precious things an artist has. You are sharing a part of who you are, and it needs to be honest. If you don’t have control of your music and vision why even do music.

Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?

I draw inspiration from several places, musically I would say Bon Iver is my biggest inspiration, his evolution as a recording artist is beautifully organic and inspiring. But I also draw inspiration from Greek and Renaissance art, as well as books from authors like Afonso Cruz or William Golding.

If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?

I would love to collaborate with Phoebe Bridgers, Lewis Capaldi, Bon Iver, The Fleet Foxes, James Blake, Michael Kiwanuka and several others. The reason why is, they all influenced my sound, I always looked up to them and studied their music, their approach in melodies, rhythms, production, everything about these artists is godly to me, I would love to learn more from them.

Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.

Well this is not a very funny fact, but every time I perform or do something important related to music I call my mother, not to speak about what I am doing, but there is a calm when I speak with her, I feel close to home and that gives me courage to face things that cause me stress. She is like my safe harbour.

Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?

Yes, my main goal is to create as much music and improve every time I do it, introducing new elements and approaches to my songwriting and production. But as a palpable goal I would love to get signed by 4AD. They are doing God’s work on earth with all the artists they support. I look up to them and always follow their moves. Bon Iver and Phoebe Bridgers are signed to them; to be a part of that family would be a dream.

Where do you hope to be this time next year?

This time next year I want to have 2 more singles released, as well as a Live Session and a small documentary. One of my main goals is to perform as much as I can live and get into the Festival circuit. Collaboration is a very important thing to me and I want to release a couple of collaborative tracks with artists that I know and love, like Allan Low and Maria Luisa.

What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?

The following weeks are going to be focused on promoting the EP, gigging and writing more, more and more. New songs are coming out until the end of the year as well as a special surprise. I will be performing a gig on the 2nd of November at The Colonel Fawcett in London supporting an amazing artist called PIE, its going to be lit!

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