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From Sandwiches to Sony Records: Insight on Zaia's big break.

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

Isaiah Eastman, 22, better known as his stage name Zaia, is an emerging artist from Atlanta that you should definitely pay close attention to. In late 2018, he was contacted by a Sony Music representative who was interested in signing a record deal with the young artist. At the time, Zaia was working at Jimmy John’s, and the opportunity proved that all the work that he'd been putting into his craft for years would finally pay off.

Written by Caitlin Whisby

Zaia. 📸 Credits: Cristiaaandiaz (Instagram)

Atlanta Recording artist Zaia's latest single, “Demons”, is an ominous track that focuses on a toxic relationship and the subsequent feeling of wishing to break it off as you start to realize your significant other may have “demon-like” qualities.

Like many artists, Zaia’s musical journey began on Soundcloud, where he released his first song “Petals.” He began making music when he suddenly found himself with plenty of time after being suspended. The suspension came as a result of a fight he was involved in, when a student threw a water bottle at him. Consequently, he was kicked off the basketball team. So, in his new free time he searched type beats on Youtube and began writing lyrics to the instrumentals. His stage name is a play on his name Isaiah, with him simply removing the I and H out of it to produce Zaia.

Zaia is a bit of an introvert, he enjoys spending time by himself. However, being that he is an artist, he has to work to bring himself out of his shell in order to promote his art.

You said in an interview that you don’t like going to parties but you have to promote your music, what type of music would you say you create? For what type of scene?

“My music is like a chameleon, you can listen to it in the car, at a party… I try to be versatile so that you can listen to it wherever. I don’t like going to parties but I don’t go because I’m a homebody. I never really went to parties, I tried to have my own but only two people came up and I was like, damn. Then I went to one and I tried to make an offer but it didn't work out.” “I feel like in the future, I would like parties though.”

After releasing his first song, Zaia began meeting other creatives who were also interested in making music. These friends were a pleasant turn from high school, where he felt like he didn’t belong.

His friends served as his motivation to perfect his newfound craft. The first friend that pushed his creative drive was fellow artist, Atlanta Xay.

“At first it was Xay, and then he introduced me to his friends. Eventually, I met my manager and it was me and him. Really, it’s not that many people. It’s really just me, Zay, and Bones, Bones and I got bullied in high school, on some real shit.”

After graduating from high school, Zaia attended Chattahoochee Technical College for a short while before ultimately making the decision to leave.

In an interview, you said that school wasn’t for you so you dropped out. Would you say this decision to drop out came partly from your wish to pursue music further?