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BIRTHING AUTHENTIC CREATIVITY: A CONVERSATION WITH ZAHIR

Enter the mind of renowned artist Zahir as we delve into his creative process and explore the captivating world of his innovative and thought-provoking artworks.

Photography by Courtland Myles | Words by Raya Biasca
Photo by Courtland Myles

In the world of artistry, some individuals transcend boundaries and explore creativity across multiple dimensions. Zahir, a remarkable talent, stands at the intersection of modeling, photography, directing, and music.

Zahir entered the music scene with the release of his debut single “Unusual” in March 2023, followed by the captivating track “Big Drop” on June 5th. When asked how he got into music, Zahir told us:

“That’s a long story, basically my mom’s a singer and my parents introduced me to instruments when I was younger. So, I played like the trumpet, I played African drums, learned piano. My mom being a singer taught me about vocals when I was growing up, but I never really used it professionally or intentionally within my work until 2022. I decided I wanted to release a compilation album, an album where I’m not on it vocally but having input on the beats and sounds or who I want to be on the project. That sort of reawakened a lot of my musical prowess that I had growing up, and then from there, it inspired me to release my own music.”


When asked about his creative process in making a song, he said:

“Funny for me, it’s very raw because I haven’t been making music for a long time, so it’s very much like ‘what sounds make my heart drop’ and just go on from there. What sound makes me emotional, what sound makes me feel something.”

“I was a visual director before I started releasing music. For ‘Unusual and Big Drop,’ I directed the music videos, and for the EP I have coming up, I want to make a music video for every song to showcase my visual directing prowess,” he added.

Photo by Courtland Myles

When asked which he likes more, being behind the camera more or in front of it:

“I would say I like being behind the camera more, but I do enjoy being in front of the camera. I think that’s a good thing. Starting out as a model, I understand what it takes to be in front of the camera. So, I directed a lot of videos, but I’m also the main character in the films. That’s because I understand exactly what’s needed to be in front of the camera. I’ve also worked as a casting assistant before, so working to put people into roles. If you see some of the videos, there are other people in the film as well that play their roles really well. That’s just because I studied how to put people into proper roles as well. I enjoy directing the most, but the other aspects of making the films are also things that I enjoy and have knowledge of how to do as well.”

When asked about his favorite directors, he mentioned two big names.

“Tyler, the Creator, he always incorporates new elements into his work. I love the things that he does. I think it’s interesting. I studied a lot of Virgil Abloh’s work, and he didn’t necessarily direct films, but just the way he translated art into his form of work is something that I study a lot,” Zahir expressed.

When asked about his current favorite song, he mentioned his own song, Unusual and Mick Jenkins’s Smoke Break-Dance Feat. JID.

“I think the best part of being a musician is being able to say things, convey things, and give words and meanings to feelings that people have that they can’t convey themselves.”

Zahir views Tyler the Creator as his role model.

Photo by Courtland Myles

When asked about the best piece of advice he has received, Zahir said:
“It’s already inside of me. They always reaffirm that, like you have everything that you need inside of you, and never lose that confidence within yourself.”

Stepping into the realm of creative minds, Zahir’s insights and experiences provide a distinctive window into the world of artistic fervor. As you journey on your personal creative endeavors, carry with you the wisdom Zahir imparted and watch your own creativity thrive and flourish.

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