South Carolina-born Zach Deputy, AKA the human amplifier of soul, croons his way down to South Florida to share his one-man show with curious new ears and enthused followers. Tuesday -- that's tonight -- at the Bamboo Stage at Boca's Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery, his looped-out, beat-boxing dance party will take multitasking to unimaginable heights.
Watch as his fancy fingerings on one guitar for rhythm and lead transform into a synthesizer sound. While thumping bass, rhythmic sax, flavored steel drums, and melodic keys surround him, Deputy laces his performance with a rare four-octave vocal range. Deputy's feel-good delivery is fueled by the all-encompassing power of love. His intimate recital slowly eases its way into your heart. Once you feel the energy pumping through Deputy's orchestra, you'll be hooked on unity -- physically and musically.
New Times recently caught up with Deputy to find out how he stays "oiled up" and to learn about the unifying power of his music.
New Times: Tuesday's show at Funky Buddha is perfect to set you on course to Bear Creek in Live Oak this weekend.
We're trying to spread the love of the Bear Creek vibe, and I'd like to think that what I do encompasses the same vibe as soul, funk and love. Boca is kind of like a pregame, a predose for the fest.
You've got a great setup on stage. Can you take me through the equipment layout?
I basically play two guitar synths, two vocal synths, four vocal mics all looped through the same system. Then I have a chorus pedal, a wah-wah pedal, a volume chorus pedal, and a delay pedal.
Your performance structure is quite an art. Does the multitasking ever get frustrating or overwhelming during a show?
There's a lot to do. So, if your brain is on top of its game, it's awesome, but if I'm really tired or under the weather, it can get to be very hard. It's a juggling act. It's a lot more than just a physical element. There's an athletic element to the music and the style. When you've got so much looping going, you've got to keep your brain oiled up.
How do you stay so focused and oiled up?
I don't put any dumb things in my mouth, and I try to keep too many dumb things from coming out of it... and I don't let too many dumb things in my ears. You've got to feed yourself spiritually and physically.
Your shows are known as soul-shakin' feel-good dance parties. What exactly is it about your energy that creates such a light and positive vibe?
I think it's the roots of it. I would say a lot of music nowadays is just about the rhythm sweeping across our genre of live music. When it comes to the fest scene, it's a collective of all music in America. More and more bands don't even have lyrics and aren't saying something. "Dance Music for the Soul" is about dancing and rejoicing, but I try to sing about substantial and truthful things. I'm giving glory to God, and I think it makes people happy.
Amen. You've said before that God and family are what inspires your writing. What else goes into the song structures?
When you listen to an artist, they should have an array of emotions. No one is a certain way all the time; we all go through the trenches, we all have great days and times when nothing seems to go right. It's all part of being a human. Music is a way to define those things when the ways of words alone couldn't.
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How does one man from South Carolina conjure up such a large sea of fans?
I don't know. I really think of it as one person at a time. It's so crazy going back to a lot of the venues I've been going to back to, revisiting old rooms I'd think were so small and the change across the country. I play music because I love music, and I still live and visit my songs as if it doesn't matter how many people come. I play better when there are more people, but some of the small shows are the best things. It's really exciting just seeing the love and realizing a lot of the same people are coming out and meeting like-minded people. You create a whole subculture and connect people, and the family we are growing, I am really proud of it. The most exciting part for me is putting people together. A lot of music brings a specific type of person. I see all styles, all races, all colors, and I think it shows that "everybody's welcome" vibe. There's a lot of music, in my opinion, that separates and segregates. Music is supposed to be the opposite, to bring people together and celebrate.
-- Tracy Block
Zach Deputy. 10 p.m. Tuesday, November 9, at the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery, 2621 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $8. Call 561-368-4643, or visit thefunkybuddha.com.