After five remixes and one debut single, neutral. has found himself in a place that not many artists ever achieve, especially not at this pace.
Tonight, In Chicago, neutral. will be opening up for San Holo, performing his remixed version of San Holo’s “I Still See Your Face”, which has seen tons of love since it released last October. The Chainsmokers, one of neutral.’s more Pop-focused inspirations, even reposted the song on SoundCloud and Twitter, causing it to subsequently blow up.
I asked neutral. what it was like to achieve such sudden success but he seemed unfazed, like it was all part of the plan, saying: “When I started off under my name I just went out there and naively thought people would hear it but that’s just not how it is. So I spent like six months researching promotion and how do to it before I even thought about posting anything online.” This wasn’t neutral.’s first foray into the music scene though as he previous was mixing under his real name, Zach Salmi, making Progressive House music. He says he still has great respect for the progressive house scene but “as the sound of what I was listening to changed, what I was making changed. I just thought I should be making stuff that I want to listen to myself, so I did.” He describes his sound like that of Pluto or The Chainsmokers and takes a lot of inspiration from lesser known producers, like Dnmo, who, neutral. exclaims, is “making some the coolest music out there right now.”
That transition from Progressive House to Future Bass has proven to be a beneficial one as neutral. has already been signed to Bonfire Records and is making quite the name for himself within the Future Bass scene. But he doesn’t see the need to be defined by certain genres and sounds, saying: “I’m trying to get away from the Future Bass sound a little bit, just trying to make something more unique. That’s just stuff I haven’t even come up with yet, I’m still very much experimenting with sounds and songs that I haven’t released yet. And there’s more variance that will be coming in the future.” He says some of his upcoming music will have more of an Indie-Electro sound to them, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
From Peoria, Illinois, neutral. grew up very involved in music, especially music with a bit of a beat to it. “Most of my favorite songs had an electronic baring to them, it was always very production based. Kind of weird, but the song that actually made me sit down and start was “Beautiful Now” by Zedd. I fell in love with that song and was kind of experimenting with how people do that, like how they make that sound, and then I bought my first MIDI controller that week, got FL Studio and got to work.” neutral.’s graduated beyond FL Studio now, after dabbling in Ableton, eventually he found his home in Logic, even though he thinks they’re all “pretty much” the same thing.
Those aren’t the only changes he’s experienced in the last few years though. Zach, who was once 350 pounds, lost one hundred pounds in a six month span, showing his work ethic beyond music production as well. He looks back on it happily saying, between laughs, “big boy’s not that big anymore.” It truly is a perfect representation of what he’s been through as he has been able to achieve so much in such a short amount of time that’s it’s almost unbelievable.
There’s only good things ahead for neutral. and, with or without all the changes, great music is still great music, no matter the genre or sound, as long as it can connect with someone that’s all it takes, and after listening to neutral.’s music, you’ll probably be feeling anything but neutral.