After watching his older brother record in their basement, Zach Diamond found his inspiration for music. Growing up in Ottawa, Zach started making music at the young age of 13 and hasn’t looked back. Now 18 years old, Zach has hit over 1 million total streams and managed to do so without even stepping foot in a recording studio. His dedication is truly inspirational as he continues to make moves in his career while also being in school. His most recent video on his youtube channel, which has over 5,500 subscribers, showcases some Ottawa views and of course his lyrical talent. We got to know the inspo behind some of his most popular songs, his biggest challenges, and who the Diamond Nation is in our interview with Zach:
His twitter fans were thoroughly impressed this month by his Sicko Mode freestyle, which got tons of retweets from fans and over 23,000 views. His moonlight freestyle, an earlier release from May, was viewed over 74,000 times.
Did you grow up in Ottawa?
I grew up in Ottawa. I live in the Orleans area and have lived here my whole life. Ottawa will always be home to me
Tell us about how you got started in music? When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
I started making music when I was 13 years old. I have an older brother that raps as well and when I was 13, he set up a mini microphone in our basement where he would record his music. I always had a true passion for hip-hop, but back then I never knew just anybody could record music. I used to think that you had to be a professional musician or celebrity to make music. Once I saw my brother recording demos and releasing songs it gave me the courage to try as well. As soon as I started rapping I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I found my TRUE passion and I knew I wanted to be an artist. Any song I used to record I believed it was amazing – even though it probably wasn’t the best at that time. To be real with you, I think in order to be successful in music it’s important to have undying confidence in yourself. Even at the beginning stages when your music isn’t great yet. That confidence I had when I was 13, definitely took me to where I am today.
Growing up, who were some of your favourite artists?
Growing up I didn’t listen to a large number of artists but there were 3 artists, in particular, that I listened to often. Eminem, Lecrae, and J.Cole. They stood out to me so much because every time I listened to their music, it felt like I was watching a movie. I really admired the way they would tell stories in their music and how they always stayed true to themselves.
How did you make the transition from wanting to make music, to making music?
To be honest, the transition from wanting to make music to actually making music came naturally for me. I’m the type of person that as soon as I want something in life, I won’t hesitate to achieve it. I’ve always been like that since I was young. I feel like once you think about things too much, doubt starts to creep in. Overthinking and doubt ultimately leads to less productivity. If I genuinely want to do something and have a true passion for it, I will find a way to do it and I’ll act upon on it as quickly as possible.
Tell us about your latest single?
My latest single is called “Do It Now,”
and it’s one of my favourite songs I’ve released thus far. It’s about treating life with a sense of urgency and encouraging more people to chase after their dreams and pushing people to do what truly makes them happy. I know people often say “Ah, I have time I can always do it later.” But in the song, I’m literally saying “NO! Tomorrow isn’t promised.” Your whole life can change in one night so go after your dreams now!
What is Diamond Nation?
Diamond Nation is a brand that I created that represents my fan base and what I stand for and believe in. I always hesitate to call it a “brand” because at this point Diamond Nation is more of a family. I always interact and talk to my fans every single day. I get so many messages every day from people all around the world and I always try to reply to as many of them as possible. I believe you can never be too big, or famous, to take the time to reply to the people that basically made you who you are. Diamond Nation represents anybody with dreams and goals. I’m here to show people that achieving your is dreams is possible. I can’t stress that enough. I hope my music can motivate people to pursue what they love in life and not dictate their decisions based on the opinions of others. The real power is within you. I’m literally doing all of this while still being in school. I don’t have any industry connections helping me out like 95% of big artists. Don’t get me wrong I haven’t even come close to achieving my end goal, but I’m in the process of making that happen. I feel like at this point if you support Diamond Nation you’re not just a fan of my music, but you’re a fan of me as a person. Sidenote: For those who have been asking, merch is on the way!
You recently hit 1 million streams on Spotify. Tell us how it feels and what it means to you to have hit that milestone?
It feels amazing. It’s almost unbelievable but believable at the same time you know what I mean? It’s crazy because a year ago I took a screenshot of my Spotify artist page and it said I only had 94 monthly listeners in total. That means only 94 people had heard of my music at the time. To go from 94 streams to having one million total streams is crazy for me. I also know how the music industry works and I know that the majority of these artists all have huge companies behind them. I just make music in my house or in my room. The fact that I hit 1 million total streams as an independent artist without a record label is amazing to me. That’s just a testament to confidence, persistence, my faith in Jesus and the support of Diamond Nation. I owe it all to them because I’m not even famous at all yet and they still listen to me regularly. That really means a lot me. We still have a long way to go and I have a lot of new music on the way. My best music is yet to come and I can’t wait to release it.
Where do you get your inspiration from? What makes you different than other artists?
Inspiration has come in a lot of different ways for me. I think every day something in my life happens that inspires me. I think it’s easy for someone to be inspired by something but I think the hardest part is staying inspired. When you’re feeling uninspired, you have to find ways to motivate yourself. You can’t wait on other people to motivate you. I think the difference between other artists and myself, is that I actually take the time to interact with my fans. If you look at my Instagram page right now you would see that I try to reply to every comment. I don’t believe that I’m “too big” to do anything and I take pride in treating everybody equally. I do this because I truly appreciate everyone that supports me as a person along with my music. Two years ago I barely even had any music out. I know how it feels for no one to know or care about you and I don’t forget that feeling. That’s why I’m genuinely grateful for anybody that supports me and the Diamond Nation movement.
Comment on the hip hop/ music scene in Ottawa?
I think the Hip-Hop scene in Ottawa is dope right now. There are a lot of really talented artists from the city making big moves. I love seeing people pursue their dreams instead of conforming to the system that society has placed us in. There’s not a huge push for the entertainment industry here in Ottawa, so I commend the ones who are brave enough to follow their dreams and do what they truly love. I support everybody doing their thing here in Ottawa, it’s great to see.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your music career?
I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my music career so far is trying to balance my social life with my music. People don’t understand how much sacrifice, hard work, and dedication it takes to make music. Especially being an independent artist and having to do things myself. I had to sacrifice a lot of things but lately I think I’ve been getting better at balancing the two. I think over time I’ll continue to get better at it.
What are some of your goals for your career?
I try to avoid that question as often as I can. I believe living in the moment and taking things one step at a time. I also think that setting goals can be a good thing just as long as it keeps me focused on my present situation. In 5 years I hope to be one of the biggest artists in the world while inspiring kids to chase after their dreams. I have a lot of other things I want to accomplish but simply put, that’s the dream.
What advice do you have for anyone trying to get into the music industry?
My advice for anyone trying to get in the music industry is to be persistent and have confidence in yourself. I’ve been making music since I was 13 and I’m just now starting to make a name for myself. I’m 18 now which means I made music for 6 years and got no results. Most people would give up after the first year or maybe even sooner. That’s why I think persistence is the most important thing for any artist to have.
What’s one of your songs that you’re most proud of to date and why is it so meaningful to you?
The song that I’m most proud of is a song that I’m going to release in about 2 weeks. The song is called “Hold On.” It’s easily my most personal song yet and I can’t wait for people to hear it. I don’t want to give too much away, but I really got a lot of things off my chest. I’ve been going through a lot of issues lately and I let it all out in the song. This song will be on the album as well and I honestly can’t wait for people to hear it.
What’s next for you? Any works-in-progress that you’re focusing on at the moment?
Album on the way! I’ve been working on this album since August and I’m really looking forward to dropping it. It’s easily the best music I’ve made so far. Haven’t made the announcement yet but it’s definitely dropping early 2019! It’s going to be insane.