Whoever you are and wherever you live, you can’t get away from the piano’s importance in music. It is the most versatile and suitable instrument to create your music with. It can be hooked up to your computer with ease and you can learn so much from playing with some sound libraries and your piano keyboard. In today’s post, Pianist and Media Composer Zihvya speaks to us about her passion for composition and teaching.
Is Zihvya your real name? If not, how did you decide on this as an artist alias?
Zihyva: Nope. It’s similar sounding to my real name, though. Frankly speaking, back then I just wanted a made-up syllable, an alias nobody has used, under which I can publish personal music.
Do you have any other jobs outside your work as a Pianist and Media Composer? If so, what do you do?
Zihyva: I’m a full-time musician. Aside from music compositions, I do piano coaching. I enjoy my time being a teacher.
How old were you when you first started to create music as a Pianist and Media Composer?
Zihvya: Nineteen. It’s comparatively late though.
Are your friends and/or family musical? Where did you catch the musical bug?
Zihyva: None of them is a musician. Still, I grew up listening to classical music and soundtracks all the time. Music was like a daily dose of sanity. My teenage dream was to become a conductor, which was too far from reality, so I chose piano instead. In my third year of university, I decided to self-learn composing. Is another way of dream realization (in terms of working with orchestra)
Also, I have synesthesia, so music is more than “sounds.” Every piece of music comes with color, smell, taste, emotion, and even some fragmented memories/visions I’ve never had. Scary as it can be sometimes, it’s been fascinating and comforting. A very unique way of storytelling that music is to me.
Do you use hardware instruments in your work as a Pianist and Media Composer? Do you just work inside the box (with software instruments)?
Zihvya: Piano is the only instrument I can play. I use a whole bunch of sample libraries, played with a keyboard, with very little quantizing. I also sample noises from daily life and tweak them around into something completely different.
Can you write music in sheet form? Are you classically trained?
Zihvya: Yes. Though I’m classically-trained as a pianist, not as a composer. I self-learned everything about music writing.
Did you study music at University level?
Zihvya: Yes. I’m a piano major.
Have you received any honours or external recognition already in your music career? If so, what?
Zihvya: As a pianist, I got several awards from competitions. As a composer, since I’d like to be true to my heart, I keep a distance from competitions or “recognition”. That being said, I do care about the quality of production — I’m fairly critical about personal works myself, and I ask for feedback from other producers too.
Where does most of your income come from as a Pianist and Media Composer?
Zihvya: Coaching and occasionally performing. Sometimes I accept music producing commissions.
I see you have more than 600 monthly Spotify listeners as Zihvya. This is a fantastic number. What is your marketing strategy to drive this number of listeners to your Spotify music?
Zihvya: Thank you! Haven’t done much marketing so far since I just started to use this name a couple of months ago. Did a bit playlisting only.
Do you ever perform live? If so, what was the biggest audience?
Zihvya: Yes, but none of those was my own music, haha. Basically commissioned gigs for all kinds of circumstances. The audience was just folks, but seeing them enjoying their time with my performance is enough.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
Zihvya: When I decided to create music with my own stories. Cheesy as it might sound, it was not until I started to write music that I felt genuine excitement and passion, like fresh windblown to my life. When I was young I looked up to composers as if they were in their pantheon. I’m glad I made that decision.
If you could write a letter to your 12-year-old self, what would it include?
Zihvya: Better not to interfere with the timeline, so I would just write some encouragement. Somehow I didn’t get any encouragement back then.
What advice would you give to younger people who wanted to have a career in music?
Zihvya: Be good and responsible; learn from the masters; music is not easy and you would probably starve without a day job.
Where can people find out more information about Pianist and Media Composer, Zihvya?
Zihvya: Here’s my site: https://zihvya.xyz/ And you are welcome to mail me anything, I might not be able to reply to them all but I read through all of them.
Are you interested collaborating with other musicians? Where can people contact you?
Zihvya: Of course. You can DM me on any platform, or send emails to email@example.com.
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