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Floyd Zion on fusing trap & rock sounds on his Pink by Floyd EP

Model/alternative artist Floyd Zion is about to release his ‘Pink by Floyd’ EP. Inspired by hip-hop & indie-rock, he talks about his sound & how working in fashion has influenced him. Continue reading…



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Floyd Zion’s face is everywhere, as he’s collaborated with brands like BMW, Amiri and Zegna while walking down runways all over the world. But Zion is a multihyphenate who’s carved out his own unique type of stardom. His 2018 project, Artist Unknown, was a trial in hip-hop that reflected the influences from his hometown of Houston.

Read more: Indie band Blvck Hippie aspires to overhaul the DIY scene and uplift artists of color

Now, after taking a break from music to focus on fashion and modeling, Zion is returning with the upcoming EP Pink by Floyd, an auspicious blending of shoegaze, trap and indie rock. Culling sonic and textural motifs from Nirvana, Kid Cudi and Jean Dawson, Zion has firmly put his foot in the door of the music world with an electric, psychedelic melting pot brimming with a desire to flip the music industry on its head. Pink by Floyd finds Zion writing about the stationary, slowed-down, mundane parts of everyday life, a stark juxtaposition of the always-moving fashion landscape he traverses.

I’m curious about what’s influencing you on Pink by Floyd and how your tastes have changed since Artist Unknown.

What’s funny is that [with Pink by Floyd], I made it when I was completely away from music. I was really inspired by the fashion world at the time, thinking about music that could be played on runways or when I’m on fashion shoots. I’m hearing the kind of music that’s just flowing in the background, and I started getting interested in music that people can listen to without having to focus so much on the words and the meaning [and] can still jam to it, but those things are still hidden in there. 

Artist Unknown places hip-hop at the forefront of the music, but “Belly” shows this really graceful turn toward indie rock. Meanwhile, “Sabrina” and “Been On” balance shoegaze vocal textures with trap percussion. To you, is there a relationship between hip-hop and indie rock that people aren’t talking about enough?

There is. Rock and trap were genres that blended nicely. You’ve got the [Lil] Uzi Verts, artists stretching rap and trap. I feel like there became a formulaic way to add rock into rap music. Taking time out from music, I was trying to figure out some different ways to do that without sounding so formulated. I started studying old hip-hop, like ’80s, ’90s breakbeats. When I started really paying attention to the drums, I started noticing that these patterns are not that much different from what I’m hearing on Nirvana records. Once I drew that correlation — because a lot of those ’80s breakbeats were samples from pop records; they were samples from dance records — it made me very confident. I’m still putting hip-hop in [my music], but I’m just putting it in a different way that is not seen yet. 

What’s the musical chemistry like with producer Kayhan Azadi? How does working on a project with him differ from anything you’ve previously done?

Kayhan is a blessing. My whole fear, in working with producers in the past, was getting an ego dealing with producers who couldn’t be dynamic within the studio. But with Kayhan, he has no ego. We’re both in the studio with no ego, and I think that’s super important. When artists are collaborating, when there’s no ego but everybody’s talented within the room, that’s when you’re about to create something crazy.

How do you parlay the influence you’ve cultivated through modeling into your music career, or vice versa?

I got signed to a model agency, and it actually took on a world of its own. During the pandemic, I took a break from music. I took a break from releasing music because everything was just crazy in the music industry. [There was] a lot of uncertainty, and I didn’t want to confine to those times. I stepped away from music, but modeling picked up a lot. I was doing Paris Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week. That connected me with so many people because, as a model, you’re able to skip the line and meet a lot of influential people who need you for their brands. Through modeling, I was able to meet a bunch of dope people that work in the creative space who are successful. That, honestly, inspired me to get back into music.

You’ve called Pink by Floyd the “best unreleased music never heard yet.” How will the attitude change once the record’s out?

It’s funny ’cause I was always telling my homies, “Yo, you better stop playing with me. I’m the best artist unreleased.” I was just telling the same homie yesterday, “Now I’m the best artist because I’m out now. I’m releasing the best music.” We’ve taken the right time to make sure everybody gets it organically. I think I have a lot to offer, not only to fans but [to] the music industry, showing artists that there still is hope in feeling like a creative artist.

Floyd Zion appears in Alternative Press’ spring 2023 issue. Grab a copy here or below.


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