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ZIA HASSAN

Washington, DC

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Like these tunes? Download the whole album for free (or for whatever price you want) at http://ziahassan.bandcamp.com

Experience is everything. I write custom songs for free. They can be about anything you want. Just email me: ziasami at google's mail service. I write them for free, perform them for free (if it's for an event or a loved one perhaps), stream them for free, and you can download the mp3 on a pay-what-you-wish basis (no minimum).

Words first, always. That doesn't mean that I always start with the lyrics, but it does mean that I can easily form a song around an idea, concept, or hook. I carry around a stack of index cards, each with their own lyrical idea, one or two words at most. I pull them out when I sit down to write and I build sounds around the words, and there's this avalanche that happens where more words come crashing down onto paper, flooding me with thoughts, memories, and imagery.

A lot of the stuff singer songwriters create ultimately has no emotional value. Their words just sound good against catchy chord progressions. This is aesthetically pleasing, but it's ultimately worthless. I avoid this type of songwriting at all costs. And it's not that I don't have catchy chord progressions. Oftentimes, a catchy lyrical concept will require a progression or arrangement to match the idea.

A concert is a two-way experience. I strive to feel just as much emotion as I want my audience to feel. This desire is ingrained into the songs that I write and it's blatant when I perform.

I write about human emotion and I find that it gives my fans something to connect with. I would much rather play to a small attentive crowd in a coffeeshop, but I bring that mentality to any venue I perform in. This is the only way to achieve intimacy and a connection with listeners - by opening up yourself and being present in the moment.

I'm inspired by Brian Eno, Duncan Sheik, Glen Phillips, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Imogen Heap, Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, David Wilcox, Ellis Paul, and many others. These artists are able to form a bond with their audience and there's a two-way level of trust that occurs at their live performances. It's not just a recitation of their records. It's a new and enriching experience every time, for both the artist and the listener.

I want to talk with you. Consider my song as a handshake. Return my greeting in any form that you want. The crazier, the better.
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