A man in his late 20s is staring directly at Zack Bia. “I know you from somewhere,” he says. “You look really familiar.” 

Trying to remember how they know each other, the man makes a request: “Take off your sunglasses.” Bia politely lowers his shades to reveal his eyes, but it doesn’t help. The man is stumped.

The truth is, the two have never met before. The man had seen photos of Bia on the internet and confused the familiarity of his face for someone he actually knew. It’s an easy mistake. Bia isn’t a household name (yet), but if you’ve been on Instagram lately, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with his face, too. 

He’s the Forrest Gump of the social media era, always finding himself in the middle of pop culture’s biggest moments. One minute, he’s holding the Lakers’ NBA championship trophy alongside Kyle Kuzma, YG, and Luka Sabbat. The next, he’s introducing Yung Lean to Drake at a party in LA, helping to pull the strings behind their instantly iconic photo with Kanye West, Travis Scott, and Baby Keem. He’s everywhere.

Bia has become a regular presence on his close friend Drake’s Instagram page, and you’ve probably seen him in photos with stars like Jack Harlow, Doja Cat, Kendall Jenner, and Winnie Harlow. For as inescapable as he’s become, though, the 25-year-old has maintained an air of mystery around himself. So it was only a matter of time until people started asking questions: Who is this fresh-faced kid who’s suddenly best friends with everyone in Hollywood?

Google searches for “Who is Zack Bia?” started rising back in early 2019, and every few weeks, there’s a new spike of interest from curious followers. With a little digging, you’ll learn he got his start as a club promoter, and quickly gained a reputation for throwing the coolest parties in LA. Before long, he was also one of the city’s most in-demand DJs. People from all corners of the entertainment industry—musicians, actors, models, athletes, artists, designers—flocked to his parties, and Bia was responsible for creating an environment where they could all interact with each other in a low-pressure way (no photos allowed). 

Bia’s name has become synonymous with LA nightlife. One viral video even includes the punchline: “The DMV has the only line in LA where saying ‘I’m with Zach Bia’ won’t help you.” And during a recent episode of Apple Music Radio’s flagship program The Zane Lowe Show, the hosts joked, “There’s nothing more Hollywood than name-dropping Zack Bia.”

He admits that he’s had fun with the memes and played into some of the mystery by not over-explaining his backstory, but now that the initial novelty has worn off about his origins, it’s time to dig deeper and find out what’s happening under the surface. Who is the real Zack Bia? What motivates him every day? What’s his end game? That’s what I went to LA to find out.