We had the good fortune of connecting with Zach Sorgen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zach, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Perseverance and network. When I used to play soccer as a kid, I wasn’t the fastest or the best shot, but I really wanted to win. I was driven and motivated and I had endurance even when I got tired. I was a team player and knew that the team is everything. I think those skills translated well into the music industry. I showed up in LA knowing very little about the music industry, but I loved writing and followed that passion. Being the youngest of four, I play that role well. I made some friends who I would write songs with and I would learn a little more every time. Over the years I built my network as well as my knowledge. I’ve had four different sets of management teams and learned from experiencing their different styles what I like and what I don’t. The songwriting world is a constant hustle.
So is being at artist. With Wake the Wild, we’ve been friends and bandmates for a long time so the number one factor in our success might be loyalty or consistency and perseverance. As Chase developed his production skills in Ableton, I developed my vocal recording skills, and Forrest went to a bunch of music festivals and curated some playlists developing his ear and his taste. It’s the combination of the 3 of us that makes the magic. Always be a team player. We have disagreements but we always talk them out rationally and work past them. For a while we struggled to find “our sound:” what music we really like. A past project was a little too diverse, too eclectic. But over the years we honed our taste for what we like to listen to. That really helped shape the music that comes out when we sit down to create. Our music has been getting better and better, but it still took a cold email and some phone calls with strangers before finding a team we liked releasing music with. Now they’re helping us get exposure and another friend is helping with some playlisting. We will keep releasing music and need to get more active on social media connecting with our fans.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My upbringing definitely sets me apart. I studied music on an academic level which is different from most of my collaborators in LA. One of them joked that I knew “music science!” I also speak Italian, and some French and Spanish. My family is uniquely diverse and I think I code switch well. Junior year of high school I transferred from private to public school and got to make friends with kids from very different backgrounds than my own. This enables me to get by in a Rock session just as well as I do in a Hip Hop session. Just be genuine and authentic and everything works out. That said, a little focus on who you are and what you want to represent in the world goes a long way.
I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet, but it is important to recognize how much I have done so far and relish in those victories. I’ve written hundreds of songs telling stories of my own as well as crafted lyrics to create an emotion. I think the best ways to improve as a songwriter are to do it over and over again, and also to really listen to what is going on in your favorite songs. How do the lyrics unfold? What kind of kick and snare sound are they using. What’s the tempo? What’s the key? Can you sing along? For me, melodies come out better when I’m just flowing from my subconscious. Sometimes I even mumble lyrics. So my influences and what I’ve been listening to is really important. Also sleeping enough, eating enough, drinking water, exercising. Super basic, but super important to be in a good mood and perform my best.
Wake the Wild is a funky retro soulful project that everyone should know about and vibe with if you don’t already!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Highland Park is where it’s at! Joy, Parsnip, Hippo… the list goes on and on
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout my girlfriend Jessica Wall! My best friend and my inspiration. Whenever I’m in a downward spiral, she pulls me out with laughter and food!