Earn your keep: Zaytoven on the keys


The beginning of last summer marked a major outpouring of new music projects to be enjoyed over the Memorial Day weekend. While many fixated their audible focus upon the Pusha T (Daytona) and A$AP Rocky (Testing) albums, Zaytoven also dropped his star-studded collection titled, “Trap Holizay.”

Originally born in Frankfurt, Germany Zaytoven developed his persona based upon the similarities he shared with classical pianist Beethoven. They each managed to master the organ and piano by ear. Their authentic combinations of musical tones and discernible influence cement each of them firmly within the realm of legendary composers. As a distinguished producer, Zaytoven excels at intermixing quality sounds from improbable participants. Particularly, on “What You Think” Zaytoven’s beat synthesis coils and loops immaculately to create background vibrations that each enhance and accentuate vocals from the unlikely trio of Ty Dolla Sign, Jeremih and OJ Da Juiceman.

Timeless Talent Donation

Between 2009 and 2015, Zaytoven released fifteen mixtapes and continues to prove himself as a “one-man-band.” Certainly, he’s been chasing bands as well by way of bouncy trap drums, strings, drumheads, keys and distinct piano sounds. In the beginning, he developed a keen ear for musical compositions by playing the organ for his Church choir. He is currently the resident organist at the Life Abundantly Christian Church. He would go on to fine tune and expand his skill set to become a one-man band. His recognizable sound for hip-hop artists developed from the usage of vintage MPC keyboards in conjunction with updated forms of contemporary software. His utilization of contrasting styles and cadences yields a modern flavor that mashes old and new sounds together in spectacular fashion.

Zaytoven is at his best when he can utilize elements of live instrumentation and really keep the listener on their toes. His distinct rhythmic structure allows for compositional creations that are more identifiable than any producer tag. Obviously, as a highly reputable producer, he has his own tag but his sound is so distinct that he hardly needs it. Zaytoven reminds me of Pharrell in the sense that his production is unmistakable due to its sound and quality. You can tell who made the song within the first ten seconds. The way he plays with keys, strings and drumheads creates a factor of versatile intrigue and allows for constant evolution. He does a terrific job of piecing together futuristic symphonies seamlessly.

Star-studded affair

On the latest project, “Trap Holizay,” Zaytoven once again plucks at just the right strings to yield the utmost impact from his collaborators. With a smorgasbord of integration, the superproducer melds familiar trap sounds with new and refreshing ones. For instance, on “East Atlanta Day,” recurring guest Gucci Mane and flashy newcomer 21 Savage spit their respective verses in a perfect union of old versus new. Additionally, “East Atlanta Day” showcases Zaytoven’s manner of blending his signature organ roots with modern trap variety.

On “Go Get The Money” Zaytoven links up with several high-profile artists to showcase serious starpower. The cast of Pusha T, Rick Ross, Yo Gotti and T.I. sounds like it came straight out of the gutter. And by gutter, it sounds like that old South vibe with haunting and aggressive lyrics placed over gritty, hostile production.

Zaytoven gives Young Scooter plenty of room to flex alongside Offset on the track, “Back On It.” With ease, they complement each other with a boastful and braggadocious delivery style.

Groundbreaking Results

Zaytoven’s success within the game comes from years of hard work and brilliant networking. After moving from San Francisco to Atlanta, he met Gucci Mane in 1999 while in barber school. Cutting hair served as his primary route of networking. By staying in the loop and consistently taking steps to improve, Zaytoven clearly had a gravitational pull for what would set him up for the most success. He produced the beat for the song, Versace which catapulted the Migos into the spotlight. Soulja Boy claims he is the originator for this happening but the difference lies within the fact that the Migos signed a producer agreement and paid for the rights to the beat, while Soulja Boy did not. 

Much of Zaytoven’s versatile intrigue derives from his interchangeability. Each beat receives a unique treatment in terms of sensible approach and concoction much like a mixed cocktail of sorts. His attention to detail yields samples from all over the spectrum. Zay quickly became a crucial force within the hip-hop industry via unified purpose and fresh conceptual content. To illustrate, on the song “What You Think” Zaytoven carefully crafts the beat to allow ample space for Jeremih and Ty Dolla Sign to coexist in perfect harmony with OJ Da Juiceman, although their styles greatly differ.

A prime example of spontaneity on “Trap Holizay” materialized in the form of the “Strong” track with Lil Uzi Vert. With brightly drenched synths and colorful imagery, the high-powered pair combine their energetic abilities and display outstanding chemistry. Additionally, Zaytoven strayed from his normal long form compilation in favor of a short run time to garner expanded attention and demand continual replays. Overall, he is a crucial force due to his ability to constantly reinvent.

Zaytoven got to where he is today by being multidimensional. As a discernible influencer, he is involved in several methods of entertainment. He has produced music for independent films such as “Birds of a Feather,” where his music served as the specific accompaniments to the cinematic soundtrack. He also executive produced and acted in the movie, “Finesse, Weed Man and Superfly.” he gave every aspiring artist a sample of his strategies by publishing his own book, “A to Zay” which serves as a handbook to music production with situational steps. Tune into his latest offering, “Trap Holizay” and witness how this genius cooks up quality tunes.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.