South Carolina Singer/Songwriter Zach Deputy embodies a wide array of musical ability. Calypso, R&B, soul, reggae and Latin influence are all sprinkled throughout Deputy’s catalog. With so many flavors in the mix, Deputy draws from rhythm and blues legends like Taj Mahal, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and James Brown; yet Deputy appeals to modern fans of artists like Jack Johnson.
“I would describe my music as a huge beef stew of Latin influence,” said Deputy. “My mother is from the Virgin Islands, my grandmother is from Puerto Rico and I grew up in the south; instead of throwing different foods [into the stew] I throw in different life experiences.”
Deputy recalls the calypso mix-tapes that his grandmother used to prepare for each visit on cassette. There is something about them, like your grandmas’ cooking, that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
“I would listen to the mix-tapes until they broke [literally]. Most of the time I didn’t even know who these artists were, but it is not something you can go out and buy at a record store,” said Deputy. “The same thing goes for my grandma’s cooking. I can’t even eat an empanada.”
On stage Deputy is energetic and captivating. His musical spectrum fuses with an infectious groove, upbeat guitar, electronic looping technology and beatboxing. Deputy can do it all while you’re getting down and dirty on the dance floor to what Deputy refers to as “Island-infused Drum ‘n’ Bass Gospel Ninja Soul.”
Deputy’s 2010 single, “Into The Morning,” encompases his iconic and multi-textural sound. The track was written in honor of Deputy’s grandma and roots itself in spanish classical guitar. “Into The Morning” is such a telling track because Deputy uses a lot of improvisation and performs it based on “what I am feeling at that particular time,” said Deputy.
“I reinterpreted the song out of my own imagination and I’ve never written it down. I listen to versions from five, four or three years ago and it is crazy how much it changes. It’s growing and will continue to grow over time because my mood and meditation pours out [through this song] in kind of an afterthought,” said Deputy.
Deputy’s last effort, “Another Day” (2011), draws a counterpoint to his iconic approach. Recorded at Mission Sound Recording in Brooklyn, N.Y., the album features traditional lyric driven romantic folk songs while maintaining rich soul and feeling.
The record was produced by Grammy winning Scott Jacoby and features drummer Graham Hawthorne (Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, David Byrne), bassist Al Carty (Lou Reed, Alicia Keys, Gavin DeGraw) and pianist/organist Will Buthod (Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz).