Music Spotlight: Cal Zafiro

Photo + interview by Leah Perrino

Photo + interview by Leah Perrino

Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your current work as a musician.
Cal Zafiro: I’ve been collaborating with local musicians and producers to develop my sound for an EP. I write music every day, so it’s just about planning my next move.

AM: How would you best describe your sound?
CZ: It’s electronic pop, but it’s cinematic and dark. There’s a lot of melancholy in my melodies, yet it’s still hopeful and catchy.

AM: What inspires you most?
CZ: Torture, I guess–things I want for the future and things I’ve lost in the past. Sometimes I think I have enough memories to write songs for the rest of my life. That sounds foolish at 24, but it’s true. When I lose my muse, I ride my bike to the ocean–I think it helps to remember how small we are.

AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
CZ: I moved here because I wanted to write songs for other artists, so LA was the place to be. It’s exciting because everything a person would need to have a successful career is within a 20 mile radius. It’s motivating, but it’s elusive.

AM: What themes do you pursue through your music?
CZ: My concept is essentially a neo-lone ranger: identity, devotion, and abandonment. It’s all about raw feelings from real experiences. ‘Emotional honesty’ sums it up.

AM: Tell us a real life experience you had that impacted your work.
CZ: Everything has an impact. Like with my song “Chlorine,” for example. When I was younger, my friends and I would sneak into pools on summer nights to swim. And as I got older, I found a metaphor between relationships and drowning. Everything carries over creatively...Eventually.

AM: What other music is currently inspiring you?
CZ: Grimes, Blood Orange, Lana Del Rey, Eminem, and Bruce Springsteen. Also, to be honest, I can’t stop listening to Skrillex and Diplo’s new project. I love how they featured an unexpected vocalist [Justin Bieber]. I’m really inspired by collaborations that work that well.

AM: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
CZ: Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Listen to Chlorine (produced by Midoca) on SoundCloud:

Posted on October 20, 2015 .