Editor’s Note: It was exciting to speak with Zander again about his life, vibing with him about traveling and surfing, and just making a connection with a friend! In this, he just provides nothing but good vibes to anyone that wants to listen. Zander is one of the truly good souls in the biz, and it is always so much fun talking to him! This will also be featured on an upcoming podcast and we are in the process of going live on Twitch! Looking forward to watching this grow!
Madness To Creation: What’s going on Zander? Good to talk with you again!
Zander: Same with you! Living the dream how are you doing?
Madness To Creation: You said you’re living the dream, how do you define that?
Zander: Staying grateful and giving thanks.
Madness To Creation: What are some things that you’re grateful for?
Zander: Grateful for life, I’m grateful for the gifts that I’ve been given, I’m grateful for the journey that I’m on, playing music, and talk to great people like yourself, and having a beautiful family and friends, I’m very fortunate man!
Madness To Creation: I love yoga! Do you do yoga or anything?
Zander: I was doing a lot of yoga, I got to do yoga on a beach, and that was amazing! I need to get back into it, I had a good friend who I would do yoga with, and it always helps to have a buddy. But I’m a little out of it, but I gotta get back into it. I enjoy a good stretch.
Madness To Creation: Do you like to work out?
Zander: I definitely like to stay active, I love to run, I love to surf, and do those Crossfit kind of workouts, and squats, those kind of core things, those are always fun man. Working out is part of my life, it helps to clear my head, it keeps you healthy, it’s always good to sweat to get the heart rate up.
Madness To Creation: You’re from Florida, right?
Zander: I would say that I am, but I’ve lived all over, born in Hong Kong, lived in Norway, New York, Texas, I came to Miami for high school, and I went to UCF in Orlando for college, and traveled a bunch, my mom’s a New Yorker, dad traveled to Ireland, and my dad was doing international banking, and that’s how they were able to travel and see so many places, so it’s pretty cool to grow up in a family like that.
Madness To Creation: What was your favorite place that you lived at?
Zander: It’s hard to say because a lot of those spots I was pretty young, I definitely want to go back to Hong Kong, and experience Hong Kong because I know it has changed so much, but there are so many places that you can go to, I truly believe that every place is special and has something to offer. It’s really hard to say. Most recently, my buddies got really into traveling with surfing and taking so many trips to Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and many cool spots, to try to find a way and to learn about a place from there, I got to tour Australia for a full month with a New Zealand group, which was a lot of fun, so there’s so many places that I want to go to. I want to go back to Ireland and stay there, I really truly love traveling.
Madness To Creation: I have some life goals that I want to accomplish, including hiking in all 50 states. Do you have any life goals, whether it’s in your music career or personal life that you want to accomplish?
Zander: I definitely have a bucket list of venues that I want to play, I really want to play a great show at Red Rocks in Colorado, it’s such a legendary venue, I would love to play a packed house out there, also on my bucket list is to play some great shows in Hawaii, just because I vibe so much with Hawaiian culture, and it would be so great to play some cool shows out there. Just anywhere and everywhere I can to grow my fanbase, and to play with people that are into what I’m doing and want to jam to my music.
Madness To Creation: How do you vibe with Hawaiian culture?
Zander: It’s that Aloha spirit, it’s a peaceful spirit, an island culture and being one with God’s creation and it’s such a lush place, it’s a beautiful place with the surfing culture, it’s very peaceful and I love the ukulele. What can I say? The ukulele comes from Hawaii with their beautiful tropical waters, I’m a fan!
Madness To Creation: Is that how you started playing by learning the ukulele?
Zander: The ukulele was something I picked up, I’ve been on a journey myself and I learned how to play classical piano when I was a kid, from there, my parents had a guitar, and I was really into rock music growing up, all kinds of rock music, I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers and that kind of stuff, and just shredding and jamming guitar, and when I moved up north in Florida, got super into surfing, and just started doing my own songs on acoustic guitar, and I wanted to write and sing, and really start to find my voice, and got in a band in college, and a buddy of mine left a ukulele in my apartment and that thing was just sitting and collecting dust, and one day I decided to grab the ukulele and play it at the beach, and I can definitely say that changed my life too because it’s a sweet instrument. I never thought I wanted to master the ukulele, it will take many more days of practice to master that thing, but it’s amazing how it just hopped into my lap, and my fans notice me and my ukulele as a perfect little pair.
Madness To Creation: Do you see yourself using the ukulele a lot more in your future?
Zander: A lot of my records and my EP are ukulele based, I love to write on the ukulele and take it anywhere, I can just jam anywhere and be comfortable anywhere, so it’s just fun to strum and write music on it, and I went on an entire tour, which was crazy, where I just played ukulele, and I wasn’t as good as I am on it now, and that was a great learning experience, a lot of my record with “Right Here” is a ukulele based record, “Sunshine State of Mind” is a ukulele based record, a lot of the music that I’m working on as well has a lot of that flavor to it, still involve my guitar, and I know a lot of my fans that have rocked with me for awhile know that I like to jam and shred a little something on the guitar too, so I can’t really let that go.
Madness To Creation: Speaking of “Sunshine State”, your new video has over 30,000 hits on YouTube, I love the scenic location of the video, was that the idea or what inspired the video?
Zander: Yeah! It’s amazing when you hear music videos and you never know what’s going to come out, but right when I finished that record, the music hook felt like it needed a drone to show that “super free, super fly” to expand upon the imagery of those lyrics, and its good to accomplish that and it turned out to be pretty sweet. It’s good to have that feedback, and a lot of people try to incorporate drones into their music videos, and we used a drone for the entire thing and we survived, so all is good!
Madness To Creation: What were some emotions that you felt when you penned those lyrics?
Zander: It’s funny because my friend was saying to me, as we all are, sometimes we are wrapped up in things that we gotta do, it’s very important to try to practice the presence of the situation and live in the moment, but sometimes it seems that its so much easier said than done, so my friend goes, “look around, look around”, and I wanted to write a song about looking around and being grateful for the moment no matter where we are, there’s always something to be grateful for, and that’s where the concept of the song came from.
Madness To Creation: Bernz did such a great job with the hook of that song, is there any rap artist that you want to work with someday?
Zander: I’d love to work with a rapper named Junior Gull, he does his thing, I would love to work with Matisyahu, maybe Biggie Smalls! *laughs*
Madness To Creation: Is Matisyahu one of your favorite artists?
Zander: I wouldn’t say one of my favorite artists, sometimes when you hear artists, you think it would be cool for a collab, sometimes it’s similar but different and can offer a good contrast, like Bernz, Bernz is trying to do some reggae-ish records, but you hear the hip-hop, but it’s a different kind of vibe hearing those different artists. But with Matisyahu, his older stuff is pretty cool, so those songs “King Without A Crown”, and “One Day” is such a smash, and we opened up for him at Reggae Riots in March of this year, and I was super impressed with his show, and he just kept playing hit after hit.
Madness To Creation: What can people expect from a Zander show?
Zander: Hope it’s fun man! I’m an acoustic guy, but I like to have energy and I can’t help it, I like to share energy, and I want everyone to get out of their seat and enjoy the moment, and have some fun and not worry, be grateful for what we got and jam, hopefully sing some tunes, put those hands up, snap those fingers, whateve you want to do, just be spontaneous and be ourselves.
Madness To Creation: What is the best concert you have ever been to in your life?
Zander: Tough one, but I would say Prince is up there. I saw Prince when I was a kid, I wasn’t a massive Prince fan then just because I wasn’t familiar with him enough at the time, I was young and that concert blew my mind just because it was at a huge stadium, but that man just controlled the stadium, his stage presence was incredible and his performance was incredible and his band was amazing from start to finish, so I would say that was probably the best show I have ever seen.
Madness To Creation: Do you have a favorite Prince song?
Zander: I have so many, but I love “When Doves Cry”, I love that record, I would love to play “I Would Die 4 U”, that would be so much fun, and I always play “Kiss” live, that’s a record that I always play live, Prince is one guy with such a catalog, he never stopped writing, but he was writing all of the time, with so many songs, it’s amazing.
Madness To Creation: What was the most fun process about creating the “Sunshine State of Mind” EP?
Zander: Collectively just jamming with the guys, and I have lots of music coming along the way. The most fun was this guy named Danny, he’s a great keyboard player, great producer, we just linked up and bumped into each other at NAMM in L.A., he has a nice little studio out here in Miami in Little Havana, and we just crack up and have a good time and make good music and have fun, and can’t say just one moment, we just have a good time jamming and seeing what happens. Danny is such a great guy, he’s part of a big team called The Pushers, and they’re a super talented group of musicians and writers and rappers and bassists, so it was really cool to link up with those guys.
Madness To Creation: You said you’re working on new music, is there any inklings about it that you want to share or is everything under wraps?
Zander: Well, keep your eyes peeled, I got some music videos coming through, one is for the song “Rock Steady”, and I got an epic cover that I’m so excited about putting out, and have a video that I’m working on for that, worked on it with the guys in The Sugar Shack Sessions, we just did a live version of “Right Here”, which you gotta check out, not sure if you’ve seen it, we got some fun videos coming, and should be expecting it this fall/winter. We got batches of new music, and hope to have it out at the end of 2018, and I’m happy to share it with people.
Madness To Creation: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Zander: I’m cool! Follow me on Spotify because that’s where the music is being distributed to and follow me on the socials at zanderwaves, and send me a message, I love to chat back and forth with people, and hoping to do a ton of touring in order to reach people all over the place. And grateful for the opportunity to talk with you and to share my music!
Zander has some sweet tour dates coming up! Check them out below!
Tue. 10/16- The Basement in Nashville, Tennessee
Sun. 10/21- The Miami Flea in Miami, Florida
Thu. 10/25- Society in Ft. Myers, Florida
Fri. 10/26- Johnny Malloy’s Sports Pub in Bonita Springs, Florida
Sat. 11/3- Oak & Stone Craft Beer and Live Music Fest in University Park, Florida (w/The Expendables)
Fri. 11/23- Prohibition Kitchen in St. Augustine, Florida
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.
Fans can find Zander at the following locations: