A Conversation with Zetra

One of the most exciting producers climbing through the music industry right now is Zetra; the New York born, LA-based talent is responsible for aiding the sounds of artists like ericdoa, d4vd and many more. Not too long ago, I had the chance to sit down with him and have a conversation that you have the pleasure of reading down below! Keep on reading to check out this conversation with Zetra.

Sam: Growing up, who were some producers that you looked up to/were inspired by?

Zetra: The whole reason why I wanted to start music was because of Skrillex bro. Randomly in like the 6th grade, my friend was like, “yo, I’m not going to lie, you have to listen to this…”; and I remember I’m in this literature class and he pulled it out on his ipod and it was “scary monsters and nice sprites” and he gives me his wired ear buds and it changed my life! I went home after that and just listened to everything Skrillex made and for years, I’ve been so obsessed with his sound design. That made me realize that there was so much more to music…this man was creating the craziest synths ever. I had a huge EDM phase, but then going into like 2016, there was the huge Soundcloud boom and there were the producers like Nick Mira and Metro Boomin or Taz Taylor and KBeaZy…There are just so many producers who I could mention, it’s wild.

Sam: And where are you from originally?

Zetra: I’m from New York originally, born and raised.

Sam: And when did you get out to LA?

Zetra: Last year in April!

Sam: Was that something you always wanted to do?

Zetra: I mean, when I was younger, I definitely wanted to visit LA, especially when I was obsessed with Skrillex and stuff, I wanted to be a DJ and it just seemed like all of it was happening in LA, especially downtown; But getting older, I didn’t really think I was going to move out here. I definitely visited a couple of times for work stuff and then next thing you know, I get a call from Jake who’s eriddoa’s manager and it was a group Face Time with eric and John and they convinced me to come out, which truthfully, opened so many doors for me. I can’t even explain to you how many doors opened just from being out here. Listen, New York, I love it. I wish I could still live there, but right now for music, it just makes so much sense to be here in LA.

Sam: Okay, so with that, you’ve mentioned how LA has opened doors for you and helped progress your career…With anything, whether it’s a sport or a profession, there’s always a moment where you feel yourself going from amateur to somewhat of a professional or at least very proficient at it…When was the moment that jump happened for you?

Zetra: I don’t know, I honestly still feel like an amateur in a lot of ways. I don’t want to say that I’m a pro because I’m a student of the game and I’m still learning everyday. Obviously I know my value and worth towards music, but I never want to be like, “oh, I’m the best of the best”… I always strive to be the best, but in reality, not every artist finds value in working with a majority of the producers out there. Like, you don’t see Lana Del Ray working with Metro Boomin, just because different artists have their view of who they think is the best. I just love adapting to whatever type of artist I’m in the room with because I think my most important quality is hearing a song come together in real time…But, to answer your question, back in 2020, I just met Eric and I was still making Hip-Hop music. We became friends and then in March of 2021, we were like, why haven’t we made music yet together? So we did that one day in the studio and that was the first time I met my buddy 48 and we were just crafting new sounds that I hadn’t made before. I just remember going in on the drums and putting everything together and eric was like, “man, you did exactly what I wanted you to do, do you want to come to LA with me to help me with the album?” Ever since then, it just turned from less beat making and into truly bringing ideas to life. I think meeting eric is what really turned me from just being a beat maker into actually becoming a producer who creates songs.

Sam: What are some things that you’re working on right now that you’re stoked on?

Zetra: Obviously eric, he will always be the day one. He helped me get into the position I’m in now…It’s all been because of him. We just finished his project that should be coming out soon. d4vd, working hard on him too. We found him a year and some change ago and ever since then, it’s just taken on a whole new world. His album will be in the works soon. Riovaz, thats my dawg. Also, me and JID had done a few things as well that we’re excited about. The list goes on and on, I’m just super blessed.

Sam: That’s all exciting bro. And what’s even more exciting is that you’ve got time and so many more things to achieve, so with that, what are some goals and dreams that you still have for yourself that you want to cross off the list?

Zetra: Obviously I want to help put together really cool records, but my dream goal is to touch maybe one or two people in way that encourages them to start making music in order to make other people happy. There has always been this big overwhelming theme of music in my life all the way from middle school to where I am now, so if I can inspire one other person to affect the world in a positive way through music, that’s my overall dream…Besides that though, I really want to put together more parties. I love curating spaces and seeing people dancing and just having a great time with the homies. I get all of the DJ’s together, it’s me, my friend Natasha and Quinn and Sophie, who is another producer as well…

Sam: Sophie Gray? That’s little sis!

Zetra: That’s little sis! That’s the goat! Literally, I’ll wake up everyday to her calling me and and being like, “yo, you trying to get breakfast?”

Sam: I kid you not, any time I’m in LA, I run into her at Joan’s on Third in Culver City like clockwork.

Zetra: Bro, she’s always at Joan’s with an Arnold Palmer…She’s really the goat.

Sam: Alright keep going in regards to your dreams/achievements.

Zetra: I mean yeah, I really want to keep putting together more projects as well. I think it’s really hard to get people to trust you, you know, unless you have like a huge cut coming out; and don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked with a lot of awesome people and have gotten a lot of big cuts, but none of them have come out yet, but, it’s hard to try and set up a session with [insert big name here], because they’re not going to let some nobody in, which is respectable, because as an artist, you want to make sure your shit is tight. But, I know that will change in the next couple months. I just want people to trust me to put together stuff for them. I also want to DJ more and put together a festival. Those are the current goals. I’m still young and shit’s going to change, but those are the ones.

Sam: Last Question before I let you hop off, what were some fun tracks that were just a blast to make?

Zetra: ericdoa has a song called “victim” that I have been the biggest fan of for so long. It’s so essential and the type of music I’ve been wanting to make for so long. “fantasize” by eric as well is a favorite. Also, “>one (greater than one)” VALORANT song that we did was big because he and I would bond heavy over VALORANT and then, next thing you know, riot games hits up eric and wanted to work with us and it was just nuts. Such a full circle moment. Besides that, working with faygo was great too and I honestly never thought that I’d work on a song that had Uzi on it and obviously was because the two of them were really fucking with each other, but that was cool. A lot of the stuff that I’m excited about though isn’t out yet, and I want to talk about that stuff, but we’ll just have to wait and see.