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Singer-songwriter Danny Zapata on new single ‘ways to say ily’

By Cristina Paolozzi, July 29 2021— 

Calgary raised and Vancouver based producer, singer and songwriter Danny Zapata is releasing his new single “ways to say ily” on Aug. 13. 

This smooth and soulful single explores the different ways people can show their love for each other without explicitly saying the phrase “I love you.” 

Zapata moved from Calgary to Vancouver to attend the Nimbus School of Recording & Media. He studies music production and performs around the Vancouver area.  

Zapata wrote, performed, mixed and mastered “ways to say ily” himself, showcasing his talent not only in front of the microphone, but also behind the scenes. His catchy hooks and swinging melody make this an easy listen with a meaningful message.  

In an interview with the Gauntlet, Zapata spoke about his own personal music style and the inspiration behind his latest release. 

Zapata described how his disdain for common romantic clichés and the ways he personally shows his love for the people in his life fueled his inspiration for this song. In the chorus, Zapata writes, “Send a little text when you get home safe,” showing the simple acts that can make a big difference.   

“To people who know me, it’s no secret that I like writing love songs, but I hate being cliché,” said Zapata. “I am always looking for creative ways to express that same idea of appreciation, because that idea is such a simple thing — but when you truly experience it, it can be such a profound feeling.” 

Zapata is also heavily influenced by R&B and Soul music, and said that growing up, he was influenced by music that was more melodic and rhythmic. Zapata also mentioned that his musical influences also extend to other genres as well. 

“My ear tends to gravitate towards music that’s more rhythmic, and so I love music that is a little bit more complex,” said Zapata. “I have an ear for things that are more old-school sounding, but now in my career, I’m trying to incorporate that with a more modern sound.”   

Being a Canadian artist, Zapata has chosen to stay and continue to create in the Canadian music scene. When asked why he felt determined to work and make music in Canada instead of setting off to the United States where the industry is larger, Zapata noted that there are far more opportunities afforded to artists who do stay, than to those who choose to leave. 

“There is so much opportunity, there is so much room for growth, there’s so much, I guess you could say, unmarked territory for lack of a better term,” he said. “Places like L.A., places like New York, it’s very crowded and especially the way that the industry is now, you can come across opportunity wherever you are, especially with social media.” 

Zapata also mentioned the support that Canadian artists receive from things like grants and other resources that emerging artists can access. 

“You’re starting to see so many more Canadian artists really make a name for themselves, because of that large amount of support,” said Zapata. “You look at the charts and go through the names, and I can bet you there are a lot of Canadian names that contributed to these records.” 

The song “ways to say ily” is the first single off of Zapata’s upcoming EP The Original Feminine Man. Zapata described the songs on the EP as music that is intentional in the emotions it will convey. 

“I don’t ever want it to be a project people will put on in the background and start chatting,” he said. “For me making it, is for people to really sit down and really listen to it and explore it — I would rather people find connection and find that meaning within the song than to enjoy [the EP] passively.” 

Zapata said that “ways to say ily” is the third song he’s released under his own name, and it has been a journey to explore the different sounds within his music. Zapata also mentioned that he hopes audiences will notice the growth he’s experienced between his older releases and his upcoming projects. 

“I hope that people who maybe either have listened to my previous music, or are starting to explore my catalogue would start to see an amount of versatility,” he said. “That’s the main thing I’m going for with this song.” 

Watch out for Zapata’s new single “ways to say ily” dropping Aug. 13. There will also be a virtual release show, recorded at Little Mountain Studios, on Aug. 12. 

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