In the past two months, Atlanta's churned out another handful of buzzing artists: OG Maco, iLOVEMAKONNEN, Father and the Awful Records crew, and more. Now it's Zach Farlow's turn.
Farlow is originally from Tennessee and just moved to Atlanta less than two years ago, but he's no stranger to the scene. In February, he released his Great Escape mixtape, which has since racked up 200,000 views on LiveMixtapes. If you’re not already hip to Zach’s music, one listen to some of the tape’s standout cuts like “D.R.U.G.Z.,” “F*kk Around,” “Wassup," and “On Me,” will leave you more than intrigued with his potential.
Even with his growing buzz and cosigns from a number of the game’s top producers—Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital, 808 Mafia, to name a few, Farlow doesn't want to be limited to the tag of an Atlanta trap rapper. With a new project on the horizon, and plenty of eyes watching, we spoke to Zach about his journey to Atlanta to pursue his rap career, his musical inspirations, working with Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug, and his unmatched drive to achieve his dreams.
We've also got the premiere of his latest single, "For Me," streaming above.
Interview by Zach Frydenlund (@ThaRealPchopz)
What made you move to Atlanta last year?
Basically, I’ve been doing music for a long time, and I really followed my passion for music after an incident when I was 18 years old. I got stabbed and what not. After that I just really started pursuing the dream, and I was going through some rough times back home in Tennessee, and I was down bad, and I came to a couple family members that I knew. They helped me out and believed in me, and I made the move to Atlanta. We bought Darp Studios, and it’s now Urban Angels Music Group, and that’s what happened. We came from Tennessee in a year's time to now where we are.
Your style, especially for a white rapper, is pretty unique. How have you developed as an artist since moving to Atlanta?
I literally stayed the night in the studio every single night and didn’t leave. I went to the gym, ate here, and that was it. I stayed the night there every night. I was listening, and I was practicing, and all I did was get in that booth, and I stayed in this room by myself. The B Room here is our studio, and I really got in tune with myself and tried to find myself. I really wanted to try something different. I don’t like to be like everybody else. I’m more of a leader. I want people to follow me but for a good purpose. I try to take all the elements that were surrounding me and put them in one and become who I am today.
I really wanted to try something different. I don’t like to be like everybody else.
Did you have a strong musical background growing up?
Yeah, you could say I did. My father plays guitar, his father plays guitar and drums, and they’re amazing. My father is actually an artist too, and he did country for a long time. He actually had a big time record deal a long time ago, so you could say that. But I just kind of fell into when I was in high school too because I played ball a lot. I had a lot of friends, older friends, and they started the rapping thing, and I just really got into it. It was natural to me and came to me easily. I play guitar and all of that.
Who were some of your musical inspirations growing up?
I grew up in high school banging Gucci Mane. Gucci was the one nonstop. When Future came out that was a big sound, and I really enjoyed that. Pretty much Gucci, it was Gucci everywhere. I had four 12s in the back of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I was banging it everywhere I went.
Earlier this year you dropped The Great Escape. Were you surprised by how much attention it got?
Honestly, yeah, I was. I had expected something to go well with it because I make music that I like to listen to, so I had figured that if I liked to listen to it then everybody else liked to listen to it because I have good taste in music. But yeah, it was a blessing for real I just dropped the tape. I really put my heart into that tape, but I was also finding myself. A lot of them songs was the beginning stages. A lot of stuff I have now is deeper, and I emphasize on more things, more stories and more into what I’m doing…bigger records. So it was a big deal for me, and I really put anything I had into that.
I think what opened a lot of eyes to the tape were the production credits on it. How did you link up with Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital, and 808 Mafia?
When I came to Atlanta, the studio that we had, my uncle’s name is Frank Lufarino, and he’s a awesome business man and what not. We had bought this studio, and it was already a popping studio back in the day, Dallas Austin’s old joint. After that, everybody in Atlanta pretty much was there. I’m talking about every producer you could think of when we opened it back up. We renovated it all, and they all just came back in. I was in there working like I said, I was sleeping here for about six or seven months. After that we just linked up, and they heard some of my music coming out the door, and next thing you know they started walking in on me, and it was over from there. They fell in love, I fell in love, and you can’t get much better than that. The music that they make is A1.
Who’s your favorite producer to work with right now?
They’re all pretty equal to me, but if I had to pick one or two, I would go with 808 Mafia and Metro Boomin…along with DJ Spinz, man. They’re all kind of mixed together because they have the same sound in their own unique way. They all work together, they all have beats together.
How did you link up with Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug?
No lie, Rich Homie and Thug are like my big brothers. They’re literally in the same studio every night. Those guys have a hell of a work ethic. Them boys right there, they’re something special. They’re in here every night, and I’ve been in the booth a few times, and they just give me nothing but inspiration. Actually for his age, he’s not that much older than me, but he’s still a mentor. He’s already going through everything that I hope to be going through. They’re really like my big brothers although they’re almost the same age, but they’re great people.
How do you set yourself apart from everyone else coming up in Atlanta?
I don’t want to be known as just an Atlanta rapper. I really want to be bigger than that, and I’m trying to take it to another level. I can make records better that are bigger than just a club record, and I want the world to hear my music, I’ve got a lot to say. I feel like that’s one way that I’m different. Also my talent, no disrespect, but people can’t do what I do. I can really notes and do crazy things that people can’t do. Because I work so hard at trying to figure out how to do that, and I have a lot of inspiration, and I’ve taken a lot of attributes from other people to make my stuff as good as possible just like anybody has. It worked out for the best.
Are you working on a new project right now? It’s been a little while since Great Escape.
For sure. I’ve really been building a big catalog. I got a lot of good things in the works. We haven’t just been chilling, we’ve been working hard. My whole team, UAMG is really something special, and y'all are about to hear a lot of new things coming. I got a new song and a new video dropping next Friday, and I’m working towards another tape, but I might drop another EP first, but I know I’m going to drop a lot of good things for everybody. I worked with Snootie Wild, Quan, I worked with Thug. That’s really all. There’s a few others. I can’t go nowhere else but with my boys. They got the sound, they got the swagger on everything and that’s what I go for. I’m trying to do some other things, and I want to expand out. I just don’t want to be trapped. I want to expand out to some bigger records…some Drake and 40 type things.