Behind The Producer: OM ZHO

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LA-based electronic producer and DJ Om Zho recently released his club edit for “Dance The Night Away.” Producing music, Om has described as “cinematic melodic bass with female vocal leads,” he masterfully combines future bass, trap and mid-tempo electro with an electro-pop twist. Signed to A2LiVE/A2ARTIST and a resident DJ for STORM and the Now Or Never EDM Festivals, Om has embraced the stage with some of electronic music’s elite such as Krewella, Laidback Luke, and Zedd. Actively touring throughout Asia, Om has found the perfect balance between the DJ booth and the studio. We recently had the chance to catch up with Om Zho about the release of his latest single, where he gets his inspiration, and what it’s like to be an electronic producer in today’s music industry.

To the readers who are unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe the style of music you produce?

What got you into producing music in the first place? Where do you draw your inspiration? 

Growing up, I listened to a vast variety of music from Michael Jackson, Madonna, to Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails and such. But what really what really introduced me to the electronic scene was Robert Miles’ “Children”, Josh Wink’s “a higher state of consciousness”, Underworld’s “Born Slippy”, Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy”, Prodigy’s Music for the Jilted Generationalbum and The Chemical Brothers’ Dig Your Own Holealbum. Sasha and Digweed, Carl Cox, DJ Dan, and Christopher Lawrence did their part in introducing me to the whole late 1990s DJ rave scene.

For a long time, I was ok with expressing my artistic vision through DJing (as it told a much larger, over-encompassing story). However, as time progressed, I felt the need to produce my own original, slide that into the mix, and tell a more precise story. Most if not all of my inspirations come from my daily life, but Porter Robinson’s (Worlds), Madeon, Illenium have helped shape a more melodic side to my production.

What challenges do electronic producers face today? How do you confront these challenges? 

Producers today are faced with the daunting task to manage their own business and brand outside of their normal production work. As if it’s not enough to just produce great tracks, you also have to understand how to market your brand so you can be found by either the right people or the right fans. Simply being an artist is no longer a viable option, in my opinion, you must also become an entrepreneur in order to be competitive.

For me, that challenge is very real, one of which I combat on a daily basis. To stay in the studio or to plan a marketing release…more often than not I tend to spend time finding out different avenues to promote my tracks. Having said that, I like to set a length of time to strictly focus on productions, say 1-2 month straight and get at least 3-5 tracks down (songwriting, top-line melody design, lyrics and all). Once I am sitting on a pile of music then I’ll put all my energy to package them individually but holistically to the core brand. Like this, nothing suffers, as I am not juggling multiple moving parts:)

But I think the bigger challenge for all producers is how to actually make a living as a musician. Most producers I know still hope that somehow they get picked up and everything will be Gucci but, the reality is a bitch and will slap a hard one on you if you don’t get real…. fast. I don’t have a solution per say but, I do know you must understand what it takes to survive as a person first. Namely how much do you need in order to make it month to month? From that calculation, you can easily understand how much revenue you must bring in and plan accordingly (ghost produce, mix and master services etc.). Nothing is impossible but I tend to believe you should be in control of your own success and not hope that one day someone comes down from the heavens and grace you with a like.

What do you like to do when you’re not producing music?

Mostly playing and taking care of my son. I like to take my family out to nature as much as possible as nothing beats clean air and water. Aside from that, I sketch, draw and illustrate my singles covers.

What has been the pinnacle moment of your career to date? 

I’ve had several moments in my DJ career whereby I’ve shared stages with some of the world’s most renowned act but the most recent ones ranged from opening or closing for Dash Berlin, Don Diablo, DVBBS, Emma Hewett, Eva Shaw, Headhunters, Krewella, Laidback Luke, Sam Feldt, and Zedd. I am looking forward to how my productions will up my performance game in an exciting way!

What are your five favorite songs of all-time? 

1. “Sea Of Voices” – Porter Robinson

2. “Divinity” – Porter Robinson

3. “Knew Better” – Yore

4. “Pulsar Beam” – 1788-L

5. “Blood Hunter” – Varien

Which other artists do you dream of collaborating with? 

Porter Robinson

Madeon

Illenium

1788-L

Whipped Cream 

Black Tiger Sex Machine

The Glitch Mob

What are you planning for the rest of 2018 and 2019? 

So far I have several collabs with major Asian artists lined up and I’m planning to release tons of new music!!! Aside from my regular electronic releases, I will begin making acoustic versions as well.