ECHO

EXCLUSIVE: Zak Abel Talks New Single, ‘Be Kind,” Working With Kygo and More

Zak Abel has released his new track, ‘Be Kind’ — his first new solo music of 2021. Co-written with Nate Cyphert (Marshmello, Bebe Rexha) and produced by Nick Ruth, ‘Be Kind’ radiates the warmth and sincerity that Zak put out into the world throughout the course of 2020.

A smoky, feel-good jam full of verve and groove, ‘Be Kind’ itself listens like an anthem for the soul, an antidote to the division and intolerance that Zak sees and feels all around him. Zak says: “We are living through a strange time where it feels like we are so divided, and intolerant of people that we disagree with or are different to us. Often, that intolerance is based on someone’s race or religion, sexuality, gender, or identity. To me, the content of one’s character is the much, much more important factor. In a world where you can be anything, I’ll be kind to you. Could you be kind to me?”‘Be Kind’ follows the success of 2020’s ‘Freedom’ — a collaboration with Superstar dance producer Kygo which has since amassed over 100 million streams

How are you doing?

 I’m doing very well. Thank you. I’ll be honest. I only just stepped out of the shower. So, this look, this wet look that we’ve got going on is genuinely a wet look. Um, um, I’m pretty, uh, I’m pretty showered right now. Other than that, I’m good.

Your new song, “Be Kind” that you just released kind of has a very positive message to it, especially for the state of, you know, the world that we’re in during this pandemic. What was kind of your inspiration behind the song and to release it at this time? 

Well, I think I was feeling just like, I’m sure a lot of people are feeling like the world is in a very divisive place and a very intolerant place. And I kind of, I wrote the song because I wanted to, you know, provide some sort of counter narrative to that.

I think that there needs to be a lot more kindness and I think now more than ever, we need to be coming together as opposed to looking for our differences. 

What would you say are some ways for people to like, kind of be kind during this time or specifically, um, I know like kind of towards the end of it, hopefully, but, um, what D what have you seen that, you know, ways that people have been kind to during this pandemic?

How were you inspired working with Nick Ruth on your song?  

Well, firstly, he is a lovely, lovely person and also had the intention of really wanting to say something on whatever song we put out, like once it gets to feel real. So that was definitely inspiring. We spent the first kind of like hour and a half of the writing session, just talking and trying to think about what we could talk about. We all agreed that kindness was something that we felt passionate about and it was needed at the time it’s still needed now.

That was inspiring also. He’s a really dope musician. Also, he can play so many different things. I think when you’re in the room with someone who’s just really good at music like that makes me feel inspired. 

You released another song towards the beginning of the pandemic called “Freedom” that you worked on with Kygo, when did you write that song?

Probably like a month or so, before I wrote “Be Kind.” I wrote it in Sweden, that was at a tribute concert for Avicci. I performed at the tribute concert and when I was there, I met Kygo. Then I was writing with, someone called Sandro Cavazza, who is an amazing artist in his own. So, it was him, Laurie Martin, and we were writing together, and I think it we’d, written one song already in the day. This was like maybe three days after the Avicci tribute concert. And we were like, you know, what, should we write one more song? And this was like, maybe midnight at this point. And we’re like, yeah, why not? And so, we just decided to write a song and it ended up being “Freedom.” We sent it to Kygo that night because Sandro is friends with Kygo. 

What about the song? Like what qualities of the song make you feel, make you feel freedom? 

I guess, I guess the chorus, it just feels like an explosion of like emotion and. A celebration. And I think that the times when I feel the most freer, it’s like when I’m celebrating something, and it’s just feels like an overwhelming amount of emotion. And I think also when it, when it gets into the drop, you can imagine like a music video just like zooming out from like on the beach.

Yeah, that, that definitely gives me a sense of freedom. 

If you could set up a fan in a setting for them to listen to your music, what setting would that be?

We set them up on a nice kind of like deck chair, right. They’re looking at the beach they’ve got a vegan mango Lassie in one hand and, uh, and what do they like for nibbles? Vegan cheese and crackers That’s what they like. I don’t know why they like that. They just love it. They got the vegan cheese and crackers in one hand, they’ve got the vegan mango Lassie in the other. Then they have their headphones which have just been placed on them by me and turned up to the perfect volume for them. We don’t know what that is. Maybe they have sensitive ears, so it’s a little bit quieter. Also, obviously because they can’t, eat the vegan cheese crackers, because both their hands are full. They have someone named Albert who is going to be feeding them with a glove.

That is my ideal scenario for listening to “Be Kind.” 

What’s one quote that you’ve heard in life that you’d want to ECHO out to fans.

It’s going to seem very coincidental, but, in a world where you can be anything, “be kind,” that had to be done, had to be done. 

Stream “Be Kind” & “Freedom” now!

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