Urban Angels Music Group (UAMG) studio on Northside Dr. in Atlanta is rich with musical history. The studio, formerly known as DARP studios, was previously owned by producer Dallas Austin, and has had iconic artists from Madonna, to Lionel Ritchie and Janet Jackson record there. It isn’t the typical place where you’d expect to find 22 year-old, up and coming rapper Zach Farlow.
Electric guitars and plaques from superstar artists adorn the wall. But for Farlow, UAMG studio is his comfort zone. The dim lighting sets the mood and the blue LED lights that run across the interior of the booth allow him to truly connect with his music.
Farlow grew up in Dickson, Tenn., but later moved to Todd County, Ky. with his father, following his parent’s separation. His family is filled with musicians and he lists country, rap and rock as his major musical influences. His father also used to be a country singer. In 2013, his uncle Frank acquired DARP studio, and not only encouraged, but also provided Farlow with the management and direction he needed.
“I do what the music tells me to do. I got some songs that I’m playing guitar on, so I’m getting a little bit more creative with stuff,” Farlow said. “I just wanted to do something different too. I don’t want to be known as another white rapper.”
Farlow’s tall stature, which is about 6-foot-3, allows him to project an air of confidence. He’s handsome and charming, but his easygoing personality doesn’t mean that he lets anyone in his circle. Some friends, first introduced me to Farlow’s music in September, and I immediately became obsessed with the melodic sound. While his music has trap roots in its production, his lyrical content deals a lot more with his life story.
After having a near-death experience from being stabbed during an attempted robbery, Farlow was forced to reevaluate his life. “It was just bad shit. I was going down a bad road,” Farlow said.
In late 2013, he made the decision to move to Atlanta and began to work on what would be his debut 17-track mixtape “The Great Escape”. Released earlier this year, it garnered over 200,000 views, and helped him build a strong social following.
Some of the highlights on the project include songs like “F*kk Around,” “D.R.U.G.Z,” “Keep” and “Toast.”
The standout record, “Black Diamonds”, is the song that brought him the most attention. 808 Mafia are the producers behind the track; and as a collective are major influences on the trap scene. Farlow connected with the production group while living in UAMG studio, and after playing them some tracks he and 808 Mafia decided to work together.
“The feeling was overwhelming,” Farlow said. “When you get that vibe you have to grasp it and take control. That’s the time when you make the best music.”
As we approach the New Year, Farlow plans to release new music soon. It will be interesting to see what he has in store next.
“I’m bout to be a star. Y’all better be fucking ready for me,” Farlow said.