Before there was Sapita Music, there was ZACH•ASAP. This is when I wanted to be a producer/DJ.
Dance music was really picking up at the start of the 2010’s and it became my go to hobby right at the beginning of high school. I remember I had heard the Skrillex Bangarang project in 2011, which became the catalyst for trying to make music myself, like many other kids my age at the time. I am adding this story to my page because I think it paints a helpful picture of what it was like to be interested in the scene during that era.
The thing to do back in the early stages of dance music was to create an alias/moniker, and apparently zachasap was the best thing I could come up with. 95% of the time people pronounced it zach-uhh-sap and I was like no, it’s ASAP. I used to get so mad haha. Good times.
CREATING A LOGO
Step one after choosing a name was to create a logo. My aunt DiDi helped me make my first logo before I learned how photoshop worked back in 2013. We drew a bunch of ideas out on paper and then eventually she made them in digital form. I’ve attached some of them below.
I remember telling her that I needed two different types of logos
First was a logo that was just a symbol
Second was a logo that included text
As a general rule of thumb, anything I did at this age was just a copycat of whatever Skrillex was doing at the time. He had the Skrillex ill logo for short and then also the full Skrillex logo, so I wanted to do the exact same. I ended up choosing one with a large Z and my last name S nested in the middle. I could use this as a standalone but then also add my name below it for a more recognizable form.
The font-book that I used was called Laconic and to this day I think it’s one of the ugliest fonts I’ve ever seen haha. I grew out of it very quickly after choosing it. Bummer!
TRYING TO WRITE MUSIC
At this point in time I had zero skills in the music production. I had zero real music skills in general; no instruments, theory, technical background, etc. I just genuinely appreciated it enough to want to make some for myself.
For Christmas in 2013 my parents bought me a Maschine Mikro MKII and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve said this previously before on this site, but in case you haven’t crossed it yet, trying to write full songs in Maschine is probably the most difficult way to start learning music production that I could ever imagine. I didn’t even do the proper research to figure out that it was a tool and not a DAW to write songs in. I just thought the colored pads were awesome so I had to have it. I guess I like figuring out the hard way.
I mixed all my songs on Beats Mixr blue headphones, which you literally cannot wear for longer than an hour and probably sounded like the equivalent of listening to music through a plastic cup.
I started out just trying to make remixes of already popular songs just like everyone else on Soundcloud was doing. At this point there were so many remixes put on Soundcloud every day that I just felt years behind the curve, which I remember feeling discouraged about. It’s funny because none of this was technically legal at all and many artists earned long term careers from the practice. It’s also funny how that site is now completely dead only 5 years later, losing out to the ease and convenience of sites like Spotify and Apple Music. Time flies!
I am posting these here for the kids who are just starting out and feel discouraged because they think their music is bad. It’s fine really, everyone’s starting work is. My early music is so painfully, terribly bad. Here’s some sample tracks from different eras of producing:
Send Me On My Way (ZACHASAP Remix)
SEND ME ON MY WAY (ZACHASAP REMIX) (2013)
This GEM of a track is the first thing I ever finished and uploaded to soundcloud as a Junior in high school. I think it took me like 4 weeks and is the most painful EDM remix I think I’ve heard in my whole life. My good friend Brad Lantz has always supported this track though so I’m throwing it up as a W in the archive. Why is this song FIVE minutes????? Wow I was so dumb I’m actually crying listening to this. This is literally just me trying to make that club action remix Skrillex always played in his sets with a trendy older song. So bad!
Bars & Bells
BARS & BELLS (2013)
(BARS & BELLS) 0.2/10 might be the worst song I’ve ever heard. This song is SO bad. This is actually the worst song ever made. It was my second ever technically and IDK what possibly I could have been thinking. I’m trying to remember what Drum & Bass EDM song prompted me to take a stab at this. Again, I wrote this whole thing on Maschine, so I’m not surprised with how un-listenable it is. Good nostalgia on this one, I think I wrote it at my aunt DiDi’s house while everyone was at a movie doing things normal people like. The artwork was really bad too. Wow this song is so bad WOW. I can’t find the file right now but I’ll upload is eventually. Maybe it’s because I deleted it from existence. Any beginner producer who thinks they are trash needs to hear it.
Honey (ZACHASAP REMIX)
HONEY (ZACHASAP REMIX) (2014)
I guess I watched Disney’s Holes and wanted remix Moby. Wow I wanted to be like skrillex so badly, I remember listening to Recess and copying the BPM as well as trying to flip an old sample like Griz or something. This is such a bad song and the cover art makes my eyes want to fall out. How many times you can put your logo on another track’s artwork and then change the hue color and think it’s creative? Second drop is sorta heat though I can’t lie.
(LUCKY) Another song that I wrote on Maschine, and one of the 5 that I submitted for my college portfolio. This is the first time I was able to comprehend what a scale was, mostly by smashing all of the black keys on the piano and adding different sounds to it. Lucky is super creative Zach, nice name
Just An Idea
JUST AN IDEA (2015)
(JUST AN IDEA) Okay I was finally admitted to a recording arts program somehow and I felt sweet. I started taking myself seriously and bought Ableton live that summer after high school and this was the first thing I wrote. I guess I was super into Glitch Hop of all things at the time. I remember writing this on an airplane when our family took a European vacation. I distinctly remember sitting on a cruise ship with my laptop in like 100 degree weather trying to make this stupid song and people were staring at me like, hey dude, why do you have a laptop by the pool. I had no idea how serum worked but I tried and I even added that vocal sample pack Skrillex was always using. This track is not it!
Brostep was a hot topic during this year so this was only fitting that I tried making it. People had caught on to the tear-out dubstep formula and were washing it all over soundcloud so I did the same. It’s pretty dumb.
Money Maker (ZACHASAP Remix)
MONEY MAKER (ZACHASAP REMIX) (2015)
(MONEY MAKER) I sorta kinda had figured out how Ableton worked and made another edm remix of a popular song. I actually felt like this one held it’s own at the time which is funny. This might be one of the only tracks I dare mixed into my improvised DJ sets that people seemed to enjoy to an extent. I vaguely remember playing this in the basement of our old fratentiy and people going nuts to it which was super cool to me at the time.
Fast Car (ZACHASAP REMIX)
FAST CAR (ZACHASAP REMIX) (2016)
(FAST CAR) I wrote this remix in like 2 hours when I was still learning Ableton on some random summer night. I hard copied the Fast Car MIDI piano and then changed the tempo and drums. Soundcloud was already a wasteland by then but it’s still kinda funny. I went to Lake Norris the night after writing this and had really bad allergies. My friend Mitch said it was good but I think that’s it. It used to be on soundcloud with like 12 likes for a little while until I removed it from the world.
LOOKING BACK (2016)
(LOOKING BACK) I wrote this track in the music library at IU while I was forced to miss a tailgate to record ballet recitals. I guess I was sad or something, I’ve always had fomo. It’s built on all samples and plug-ins, the drum loop has some sort of gate on it which I thought was cool at the time. The song is not very good at all haha. I actually played this out loud to a class once and it was the first time I had played a song out loud to a general audience with their full attention. It was super weird, I don’t think anyone really liked it. OH I actually just remembered that I snuck a plastic water bottle of Apple Taaka into the class session because I was so nervous. I ended up just being a little buzzed and self conscious about it the whole time. Anyway, here it is.
PROJECT CONCLUDES (2017)
By the time I was a Junior in college, I had decided to officially conclude any work under ZACH•ASAP. While I never made any good songs, played out any of my own music, or really took the project anywhere beyond my friend group, I had so much fun and learned so much in the process of doing it. From editing videos to working photoshop and learning how to record music, I’m literally so grateful that I took myself seriously when I was working on it. Besides, I don’t think I would have ever been admitted to a recording program without it, and I don’t think there was a better school for me out there than IU. The best part was that it was never something that I really even tried doing either, all of it just happened naturally because I genuinely cared about music.
There were a lot of factors to what you could consider when concluding the project. For me, I credit it to an expeditious shift away from the idea of being a DJ and from dance music in general for its general lack of substance and meaning. I felt like there was going to be no place for it in my adult life because it was really just party music for 18-24 year olds. I hated clubs, I disliked the idea of touring, and I never saw eye to eye with anyone in that general zone of music.
I unofficially stopped using the name and closed all the social accounts, took down the songs, and decided to step away music and DJ’ing for about a year.
STARTING SAPITA MUSIC (2018)
After a long break from recording and music and general, I decided to start my next venture, which is what I’m working on still today. I chose the name (Sapita Music) because I rationalized that I can’t change my real name and I started to feel like nicknames were super corny. At the same time, I also disliked the idea of using my full name (Zach Sapita) to release music under, because it felt too self-serving and I’m REALLY bad at self promo. Sapita Music is my next attempt to write songs. Maybe one day it’ll be in an archive like this for my next project!