We had the good fortune of connecting with Zan Dretti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zan, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
For creators, knowing when and when not is often tough to decipher. There are so many factors that drive us – social anxieties, mental health, work/life balance, and burnout. Being an artist or creator is a lonely journey and you often find yourself questioning many things. It’s an unexplainable thing, but the best thing is to keep going. Slow down, strategize, but never quit.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been creating music forever, even when I was a kid. I’ve always heard and felt music differently. It’s the art form that connected with me through the lyrics and sounds. I started playing the piano when I was 6 and I’ve been making beats and recording songs since I was 14. I studied the greats and mimicked some of their process, but also added my own methods. I’ve learned that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes, it’s okay to step away and take a breather, and it’s okay to be human. My brand represents being self-made, overcoming the toughest times, understanding your value, knowledge, and protecting your peace.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well first, we gotta get wings. We might eat wings everyday, honestly. American Wings, Saks. There are so many good restaurants in Chattanooga. City Cafe, Champys, Universal Joint…(I know I’m leaving a lot off of the list). I’m not big on clubs but I’m always down for some bars. Oddstory Brewery, Bitter Alibi, and Bar Moxy are two of my favorite spots here. If you come to Chattanooga, you have to go to the Tennessee Aquarium, Walnut Street Bridge, Hunter Mansion/Museum, and the gold Westin.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are several mentors that I would like to thank, but I’ll try to narrow it down to my most influential. Dr. John Mackey was my U.S. History professor at Chattanooga State. On the first day of class, he said “I hope you haven’t bought your textbooks, you won’t need it.” He proceeded to teach us the real history and untold stories of this country. I guess you could say I was “woke” after that. Dr. Mackey would always say “life is like a den of vipers,” and over a decade later, this statement remains true. My father, mother, and brother, are my other most influential mentors and biggest supporters. The two books that created a paradigm shift are No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson.