We had the good fortune of connecting with Zach Paradis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zach, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
This is a question I’ve been trying to answer for several years now. When I first started in my career, my plan for achieving success was to simply work all the time. I wanted to be a recording artist and music producer and I already was working as an audio engineer, which is in the same field but a different role. So I would engineer full-time and come home to work on the other projects I had, whether it was making beats or writing songs. I had no balance really because all I did was work. I had just moved to Atlanta and so I knew very few people and work replaced my social life. I became very good at being busy. I now freelance with music-related projects full-time, which made balance even more difficult to maintain because I was often stressed about making enough money. Thankfully, the balance has changed over time to include more rest. And ironically, taking more time to rest hasn’t diminished my income or my ability to complete projects. Reserving a day to sleep a little extra, hangout with friends and family, or simply do less has made a huge difference in how I view my work. Since I’m not constantly exhausted, I have more excitement for each day’s tasks and more focus in completing them. A day spent on pause also gives me time to assess where I am in my career and personal life, which is hard to do when in a whirlwind. I am able to live more intentionally just because I made a conscious effort to maintain better work life balance.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’m a pop, singer-songwriter and I’ve been releasing music since 2016. Both through my sonics and my storytelling, I love blending the light and beautiful with the dark and heavy. Because life usually isn’t just happy or sad; it’s a mixture of both. So whether it’s adding a gritty 808 under a beautiful music bed or adding a happy twist to a sad reality, I try to balance the good with the bad and make people feel less alone. Getting to where I am currently am simply took work. It was definitely difficult but it was mainly as simple as sticking to the decision to work for what I wanted, knowing it might take a while. I have enjoyed the process of getting here thus far and I’m grateful for all the turns along the way. I think consistency has been the greatest asset that I’ve had.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is an interesting question for our currently Covid-stricken city. Let’s see. There’s a bar on Memorial Drive called Augustine’s that is one of my absolute favorites. You have to try their House Favorite burger. Also, I show the murals in Cabbagetown and Krog St Tunnel to almost every friend that visits me. I found them so fascinating and impressive when I first discovered them and so I always show them off as a “very Atlanta” thing. If concerts are a thing in this hypothetical situation, I’m definitely taking them to a show at either the Vinyl for a smaller act or maybe the Tabernacle. I have great memories in both of those spots as well as other venues in the city. And what trip to ATL would be complete without harassing pedestrians on the Belt Line as we ride past on Bird scooters, heading towards Ponce City Market? Trivia at some local spots like Grindhouse Killer Burgers, grabbing pizza at Antico’s, ice cream from Jeni’s, a walk thru Piedmont Park would all definitely be some of my go-tos. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I completed a Recording Arts and Technologies program at a community college in Cleveland, Ohio called Cuyahoga Community College (or Tri-C for short) and they definitely deserve a shoutout. In particular, David Kennedy, Brian Boyd, and Bill Hartzell all helped me significantly. Their practical, hands-on approach to teaching audio engineering made getting a job in the recording industry a smooth transition and I’m very grateful to them! Also, my former boss, Jacob “Biz” Morris deserves a shoutout. He showed me the ropes at my first studio job with Reach Records and allowed me to run real recording sessions even as a green intern. To this day, he’s generous to extend work opportunities to me. The experience he gave me, alongside helpful tips and tricks and insight into how to effectively engineer a studio session were invaluable.
Artimio Black StanPLM