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The name Zack Martino is swiftly becoming an electronic music buzzword, and not without good reason. Martino made musical waves not long ago when considered for a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, thanks to 2017’s “Hold On To Me”–and that was only the beginning of a fierce change of pace for the producer. With a freshly inked deal with Armada Music in his back pocket, alongside a stream count situated in the millions, the trajectory of Martino’s career is continuously moving in an upward fashion. Martino can credit some of this ascendance to his recent single, “MOOD.”
The sultry house showing sources its vocal from multi-platinum-selling artist, Dyson, whose involvement with the track arises as a reminder that features–and certainly, collaborations–can be conceived with unprecedented ease in the digital age.
“I slid in her [Dyson’s] DM’s,” Martino told Dancing Astronaut when asked how the established singer came to lend her readily recognizable vocals to Martino’s new tune. “I hit her up and was like ‘I’m a huge fan of your work. I’d love to start something with you,” Martino said.
Dyson went on to send Martino five different vocal samples, the first of which bore the title “Mood.”
“I thought, ‘I could do something with this,’” Martino said. “It was just a little piano and voice. I took the acapella and messed with it for the next two days, and on the second day, the song was finished.”
“MOOD” is evidence of Martino’s penchant for vocal-centric productions that foreground the sung contributions of the featured artist, like 2018’s “Good Vibe” and 2017’s “Hold On To Me.” Martino cites Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Sofía Reyez, Ally Brooke of Fifth Harmony, and Halsey as some of the songstresses with whom he’d like to collaborate in the future, and emphasizes synchronicity between beat and vocal to be a crucial component of his music-making process.
“I love making songs that you can sing to, and I love working with vocalists,” said Martino of his aural vision. “Sometimes, a hard-hitting beat doesn’t suit the vocalist. Having that balance of the voice and the beat, that’s how I want to portray my music.”
A pop-electronic hybrid with a distinctive house spin, “MOOD” is on trend from a standpoint of form as the multi-pronged approach continues to maintain its presence as a prominent production style in the context of contemporary dance releases. Tonally, “MOOD” casts a glance backwards in time:
“After hearing the vocal hook I wanted to take in that Ibiza, ’90s house vibe,” Martino said. “I do a lot of progressive house [and] harder stuff, but I wanted to experiment with different sounds [on this record].”
“MOOD” is accompanied by a lively visual that stars dance influencer, Vanesa Seco. Shot entirely in New York City, the music video is a nod to Martino’s New York roots and to Armada’s newly established New York office. A highlight of the video is the Times Square billboard, which showcases the record. Seco’s moves are a choreographic translation of the spirited sonic personality of “MOOD” that have inspired many “MOOD” listeners to show off their shuffling skills in the eponymous shuffle challenge. Martino offered “MOOD” fans the opportunity to film themselves shuffling to the track, hashtag the track title, and share the videos online.
“The plan is to make one big collage of all of them,” Martino said.
As “MOOD” continues to pervade playlists, Martino is already plotting his next move. Martino told Dancing Astronaut that he has “about 12 other records in the chamber,” and plans to follow “MOOD” with a collaboration with an undisclosed artist whom Martino lauds as one of his “biggest inspirations.” While Martino has yet to declare a formal release date for the joint project, one thing is certain: we’ll be listening.
Photo Credit: Mark Dragon