We had the good fortune of connecting with Ethan Ziemba and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ethan, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
My answer is two-fold in that firstly, I have always been an artist and impassioned about creating something that moves other people emotionally or establishes a story and purpose that other people can relate or empathize with. It’s inspiring and exciting to work toward finishing a piece of art that not only embodies your purpose for that work, but is greater than the sum of it’s parts and has the potential to touch other people in a meaningful way. Even when working for and with other artists, you have to be able to adopt those ideas and understand the soul of their work and execute on their intentions. Secondly, it’s what I excel at most. My biggest talents and strengths have always been based in being creative.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a songwriter and music producer from Central California. My work operates in two worlds, one being my own personal music I release, and the other being the music work I do for other artists. I’d like to think that I’m a very well rounded producer who can tap into any genre, trend, or aesthetic while simultaneously bringing an X factor to the work that makes it more dynamic and unique for listeners. My usual wheelhouse though consists of primarily Hip Hop, RnB and Pop music. Songwriting as well is an extremely important part of the process to me. The writing has to have a sense of purpose and direction that pulls the listener in, as well as present the purpose in an interesting or new way. If the production and writing aren’t in accord, the song can unravel. I’m most proud of my attention and care for crafting music. I look at every new song, whether for myself or another artist, as a challenge. I want to feel impassioned and excited about everything I work on, because that’s what leads to a good outcome. It hasn’t been a very easy path working in music. I don’t think any career in the arts is very easy. Living in LA, there’s a million people all competing for the same sort of spaces in the industry, and it’s really easy to feel like you go completely unnoticed. I’ve been lucky to have met a lot of amazing people who work in music that I’ve been able to grow with and open the doors to new opportunities. It’s been a constant trial in presenting and proving myself as an artist and producer. The biggest lesson I think is just to be unafraid in your vision for your art, and to nurture relationships with other creatives. You have to be able to take particular risks and get outside of your comfort zone sometimes. All of my work has come from a very personal and emotional place, and as a result my branding and story in music is tied to my experiences. I really believe a lot of the very best art comes from moments that affect you deeply, and then being able to translate those feelings into something that resonates with the listener. In 2019 I put out an album called Stranger that highlighted the highs and lows of a failing relationship and the attempt to come to terms with difficult feelings. This year I started work on a collaborative project with my brother that deals with understanding loss. These sorts of topics and themes are in line with my branding and create a larger image for who I am as an artist and what to expect from me.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are truly too many to name in LA, and unfortunately quarantine has got the options limited, but assuming things were in a normal state my list would probably go as follows: Melrose, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Griffith Observatory, The Getty & Hollywood Boulevard. Melrose is where I like to shop and has a lot of really interesting stores and places to eat. You can just walk it and have a good time. Hollywood Forever might seem a little dark as it’s a cemetery, but I find it to be really peaceful and there is a lot amazing architecture to see. The Observatory gives one of the best views of the city, especially at night, and The Getty is just a great time for anyone who loves art museums. I lived right off of Hollywood Boulevard for a couple years and despite how touristy it can, there’s a lot to see and a ton of amazing food and bars to check to out. Those would probably be my top picks for checking out the city.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom has been an important part of my journey in the arts because she’s the one who really immersed my brother and I in creative endeavors from the beginning. She’s an artist herself. I doubt I would have as much of a connection to art if it wasn’t for her. Both of my parents have always been supportive of going down a creative path, which isn’t always the more stable or reliable road, so I have a huge amount of gratitude for them. My brother as well has always been someone I can trust to speak very honestly to me about my work. It can be difficult to get truly honest or blunt feedback sometimes so it’s good to have someone to bounce ideas off of and gauge where things are.

Website: https://www.deadfriendmusic.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/realdeadfriend/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/realdeadfriend?lang=en

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEymAYQ2JleZSs1fGZwZhZQ

Image Credits
Nolan Kruse, Chili Johnson, Alex Ziemba

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