From The Basements to the Nightclubs: Producer, Artist The ZYG 808 Talks About 'The Southcoast Thump' Sound
Southeastern, MA — Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 — The ZYG 808 is a wunderkind, Grammy nominated producer and artist who spans the genres of hip-hop, jazz, soul, and world music; quite a feat for any artist but especially jarring when the producer and artist in question is only 17 and a senior in high school. A true student of music, as he grows his own career and fanbase, he is also cultivating the definition of a regional sound for southern New England called “Southcoast Thump”.
“Southcoast Thump is a feeling… an experience. It’s a sound that engulfs you. It’s that good feeling you have blasting a banger in your car stereo while rolling to the beach in the summer, or on your way to the club on the weekend,” muses The ZYG 808 as he sits behind a drum set in “The Apollo” live room at Polyphonic Studios, chief engineer Chuck V. indicates that he’s ready to record, and The ZYG 808 adjusts his headphones over his mane of locks, and comes right in after the click gives a 4 count. With a bit of focus, the young drummer knocks out drum parts for three different songs in a row in one take each. In a world where sampling and looping is the new normal for music making, The ZYG 808 still likes to start with real instruments before taking it all to the cutting room (“Beat Lounge” post production suite) to turn it into ‘Southcoast Thump’. What? Yup, he calls his sound Southcoast Thump. A born musicologist, The ZYG 808 as a producer wanted to identify the common musical elements of Hip-hop from the Southcoast (the area of coastal Massachusetts, including and below Cape Cod), and found a lot of Cape Verdean, Caribbean, and eastern Native American elements in the sounds; as well as the ethnicities of many of the artists; he dubbed the flavor “Southcoast Thump” because of the emphasis of booming kick drums. “When folks used to sample, they were sampling recordings of real instruments. That’s because it sounds dope!” Explains The ZYG 808, in his laid-back way.
Easing into the scene as a hip-hop jazz artist in 2018, his mixtape was noticed by a Recording Academy member who nominated him for Grammy consideration for two of his songs. In 2019 he released “BoOMBAPJAZz” earning a following in both hip-hop and jazz as an artist to watch. His summer 2020 COVID anthem “THUMPIN” earned him a following for his mix of old school beats with modern flows and phrasings, as well as introduced the concept of ‘Southcoast Thump’ as a sound. “A lot of folks feel that Hip-hop above New York City is basically a New York City knock off, which is not entirely true. I was born in the Bronx and it’s an obvious influence in my music,” explains The ZYG 808 while sitting at the control board of the Beat Lounge in Polyphonic Studios. “Funny thing, there are certain sounds, styles and that you hear in New York Hip-Hop from the 90’s that are still present in the music folks make here, that New York doesn’t even do any more.” One aspect of Southcoast hip-hop is the socially conscious lyrics as present in the music of local legends like Busted Fro, and Blessed Energy. In January, The ZYG 808 released the single and Music Video “GLORY of HISTORY”, a song that opens with a racist statement made by Harry S. Truman and goes on to discuss the fact that Black and Brown voters have never had a real choice in the presidential election, the day after the inauguration. For Black History Month, he made an online presentation about the history and cultural roots of original Hip-hop as a way to premiere his single and music video on the same topic “PIONEERS”.
“Kidd Creole was the first to say Yes, Yes Ya’ll/ In the days before Kurtis Blow was fresh-fresh ya’ll/ I’ve been bumping Rakim since I was small/ Mad love to the Pioneers…”- from the chorus to PIONEERS by The ZYG 808
Finishing his own projects, as well as adding production, writing, musician, and post-production efforts on projects for soul-funk band, The GroovaLottos’ upcoming re-mixtape “Mama’s Hamper” and album “‘Cause Yo’ Daddy Don’t Know”, post-production for rising soul band Conspiracy of Noize, and bangers for Atlanta/NYC/New England MC, Chris Koch; Reggae artist Chris Wayne, and AC jazz singer Anamuna, has The ZYG 808 pretty busy; along with finishing high school (where he is an honor student) and applying to colleges. His mixtape, “Beat Lounge Notes” with the singles rising in streams, actually began as the creative part of his senior seminar project.
Follow The ZYG 808 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @thezyg808 or check out http://thezyg808.com
The ZYG 808 is a 17 year-old producer and recording artist in the genres of hip-hop, jazz, soul and world music, on a mission to bring Southcoast Thump as southern New England’s contribution to the world of Hip-hop music. A staff producer and apprentice engineer at Polyphonic Studios, home of the ‘Southcoast Sound’ he just might be the person to do it.
The ZYG 808 is a Grammy nominated musician, producer, writer, mc/rapper, and vocalist in the genres of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul, and World Music. A rising producer and collaborating artist in the Northeastern music scene, he coined the term ‘Southcoast Thump” to describe the flavor of the regional style of Hip-hop coming from southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He is the owner of Soul Poets Records as well as a staff producer and apprentice engineer at Polyphonic Studios in Buzzards Bay, MA.
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The ZYG 808
260 Main St, Suite B
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