The Top 40 charts may never be the same. The creative collective ZiG is changing the game with a new pop music paradigm. Superstars today have hundreds laboring behind each hit, including unwieldy teams of songwriters, crews of musicians, and producers.
The live and electronic group ZiG is streamlining the process while elevating the talent. Imagine a self-contained radio-ready artist complete with their own producer, songwriter, and instrumentalists. Welcome to Pop 2.0.
ZiG boasts young and savvy virtuosic musicians capable of rivaling hit makers in a variety of genres. As the crew’s name implies, the New York City-based group zigzags through modern pop genres, fluidly penning broadly resonate singles in a variety of contexts. ZiG will share its jams this summer with its debut album, Instant Gratification.
“We’re jazz and classically trained. We come from pop, hip-hop, urban, R&B, rock, and metal. We pride ourselves in making smart but accessible music with unparalleled musicianship,” says the group’s ringleader Jonathan Zighelboim. “We want to bring live musicians back to the forefront in a modern context.”
ZiG’s sleek electro-organic hybrid conjures Daft Punk, C2C, Chromeo, Chance The Rapper, Clean Bandit and Big Gigantic. However, the group pulls from icons and iconoclasts across genres. Select influences on the crew include Coltrane, Miles Davis, James Brown, P-Funk, D’Angelo, Biggie Smalls, the Roots, Rakei, FKJ, and Hiatus Kaiyote. Over the last 4 years, ZiG has been fortunate enough to work with Thomas Jack, Chiddy Bang, Luke Christopher, Victor Porfidio, Instrum, and have been recognized by Chance The Rapper whom they are in current collaboration with.
ZiG’s panoramic artistic palette and sharp instrumental skills make it adaptable to shine onstage in a variety of contexts, including jazz clubs, rock shows, hip-hop concerts, and electronic music festivals. Members of the collective are seasoned and active New York City musicians who have played such venerated venues as Blue Note Jazz Cafe, Rockwood Music Hall, Webster Hall, SOB’s and the Knitting Factory.
At its core, ZiG is visionary Jonathan Zighelboim in close collaboration with Marlon Fischer, producer/engineer/mixing/mastering, Jonathan Schnieder, composer/keyboardist/producer, and Nic Hanson, melody/lyric/writer. Zighelboim has also assembled a trio of charismatic lead singers including young R&B wunderkind Kaileigh Grande and recording artist Tarion Taylor. Bringing the compositions to life is a veritable modern Wrecking Crew of gifted and visionary side musicians including Quintin Zoto composer/guitarist, Reggie Thomas Jr., drummer, and Jake Strauss bass. Taken as a whole, ZiG is something of a mini Motown with Zighelboim at the helm.
ZiG began in 2012 while its members were undergraduates at NYU’s department of music. Back then, Zighelboim, a lifelong saxophone player, began making beats in his room while scouring his music theory classes for competent and inspired collaborators. Slowly, he assembled his dream team and they began working like mad scientists in the lab assembling a vibrant array of pop gems.
Instant Gratification lives up to the spirit of its title through offering listeners what they want, when they want it: silken vocals, rugged beats, undeniable hooks, and lyrics that range from playful to poignant. The songs go down smooth with lush synth textures, funky horn riffs, and live bass and guitars. It’s a unique synthetic and organic wall of sound, offering the slick futurism of electronic music and the gritty warmth of organic instrumentation.
Currently, the crew’s debut album is under wraps, being carefully culled together from an oeuvre of 150 songs. A sneak peek at the album reveals highlights like the majestic pop-funk of “Stressed,” the sensual and stately modern R&B of “Turn Me Into Nothing,” and gritty hip-hop anthem “Come Down.” ZiG dig deep lyrically on “Swing Set,” urging jaded adults to release their inner child and feel bliss at its purest. The group thinks globally on the purposeful and conscious “First World Fantasy.”
Up next, ZiG is committed to building its profile the way it has been since 2012, organically. The collective has many things in store coming up, including single releases, the album release, live shows, and a visionary charity project. Posed and ready to shake things up, ZiG’s main man says: “We put a lot of care into the music. Everything we do we’re meticulous about, but, in the end, great and true music speaks for itself.”