Zach Person’s lead single “Can’t Stop Running,” continues to climb college and non-comm radio charts. 40 stations have added the track nationwide, with five of them quickly charting the song in their Top 30.
Hailing from Houston, Person received his first taste of the national spotlight while appearing on the 15th season of American Idol, earning admiration from celebrity judges Keith Urban (who told Person “You’ve got your own style”) and Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo said, “He’s from another time.”
In 2017, the young wannabe represented the Houston Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge, a competition featuring some of the best blues artists from around the world. This would later allow him the opportunity to perform alongside blues legends like Robert Cray and Buddy Guy. Person’s performance moved Grammy-winning Guy to say, “What can I say, this young man is hot!”
Label and Management Signing
Person moved to Austin in 2018 and was signed to an exclusive management deal with industry veteran Christopher Durst. A former rock photographer, Durst is known for his iconic imagery of legendary artists like Willie Nelson, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.
Person and Durst then partnered with BlackDenim Records co-founder Will Loconto. BlackDenim Records positioned Person as their flagship artist. The label has offered Person an equity position, making him one of the first unreleased Indie artists to have ever received ownership in a label for signing.
We caught up with this multi-talented musician to chat about his debut album, label and experience as a hungry artist.
How do you feel about being the first unreleased indie artist to receive ownership in a label for signing?
It has been a wonderful experience to work alongside industry veterans Christopher Durst and Will Loconto. They’ve positioned me to be able to thrive as an artist, lead the way in the creative direction of the label, and attract new artists to BlackDenim.
Tell us about your experience on American Idol.
Going on a competitive singing show forced me to focus on myself as a singer first and foremost. I was fortunate to get away from the show early enough, before getting locked into any heavy contracts. Had I stayed on the show any longer, they probably would have pushed me to be someone I wasn’t at the time. Working with Will Loconto in the studio and performing live for the next few years allowed me to discover my sound organically.
Who inspires you?
I’ve always been inspired by the sounds of classic rock and blues music. Modern artists like the Black Keys, Jack White and Chris Stapleton highly influence the music I make. The musician that inspires me the most, however, is an artist from Austin, TX named Dave Scher. He is one of the most interesting sounding guitarists you’ll ever hear. I never get tired of listening to him play.
Tell us about your single, “Can’t Stop Running.”
Originally, a lot of the lyrics stemmed from a place of complacency, exhaustion, and the will to persevere. As we moved into pre-production for the music video, we discovered a whole new narrative within my lyrics. The concept of the duality of self. The inner struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, and humility or ego.
What do you want fans to take away from the album?
I’ve been fortunate to have experienced a lot of different cultures and music in my life thus far. Each music scene has elements within them that resonate with me. The heavy longing of the blues, the excitement and untamed energy of rock, the mystical slide sounds of Americana and folk, the deep and meaningful story-telling of country, the bright, twangy licks of southern guitar styles, the soulful vocals and complex chords of Neo soul, and the “fat beats” and 808’s of hip-hop.
Over the course of a show or an album, my hope is that I can evoke all of these feelings in the listener, and create real moments that they can hold on to and treasure for a lifetime.
Either Chris Stapleton (that guy knows how to write a song!), Dan Auerbach/Patrick Carney (The Black Keys), or possibly John Mayer…because every “millennial” guitarist wanted to be John Mayer at some point when they were a kid.
Name the last three songs you listened to on your playlist.
“Live in the Dark” by Jeff Beck. “Carried Away” by H.E.R. “Conscience” by my friend, ZKennedy.
What’s next for Zach Person?
On April 02, I’m having an LP release show at Empire Control Room in Austin, TX. Fans can also be on the lookout for more music videos and singles as we continue into the year. Also, in August we head out on tour in Europe for a few weeks, before coming back to ATX just in time for ACL 2021.
Cover photo courtesy Christopher Durst
Leean Vargas is an Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of
Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.