We caught up with A-ZAL to unravel the enigmatic creation of “Movie Script” and delve into the magic that propelled it to the upper echelons of music charts in just two weeks.
- Congratulations on the success of your latest single, “Movie Script.” Can you tell us what inspired this song and how it came about?
My album is a reflection of my life’s journey, where each song draws directly from my personal experiences. Through my music, I want my listeners to get to know me intimately. It is my own life story that serves as the wellspring of inspiration for my songwriting. From the very outset of crafting my album, it was abundantly clear that I should infuse my songs with the essence of my personal experiences. The underlying concept behind my album revolves around building a connection with my audience and narrating my life’s narrative through the mix of melodies and lyrics. For my debut track, I wanted to anchor it in a concept that is close to my heart: the belief in living life as if it were a cinematic masterpiece. I’ve never been a believer of a life confined by schedules and the pursuit of an impressive résumé. Life, in my view, should transcend those boundaries, retaining an element of unpredictability, akin to the excitement of a thrilling movie.
- “Movie Script” quickly climbed the USA Mediabase TOP40 Activator Charts. What do you think contributed to its rapid success?
I intentionally designed the song to be radio friendly and pick up with the audience from the first beat. Apart from the catchy melody and the groovy baseline, what contributed to its rapid success was that every element in the production made a statement. During the mixing stage, we literally chopped 30% of the tracks so that each element stood out and was on point. The mix is a clean one, yet impactful. The idea was to create that impact in the first 15 seconds and have melodies that have a recall value.
I knew this song had some magic in it, but making it to Mediabase TOP40 Activator Charts in just 2 weeks of the release is something I never anticipated. I thought the only way to get into the USA charts is if you are signed to a major record label. To see my song charting and being played on radio alongside my favorite artists such as Ed Sheehan, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo. The song started at #114 in its first week and later climbed to #92 in its second week. In its third week, the song moved up by 31 positions to rank at #62. It has also been playing on radio in UK and Australia.
- The music video for “Movie Script” has been receiving a lot of love from your fans. Can you share some insights into the concept and creative process behind the video?
It really has taken off very well with the audience and I’m really happy that it received all the love. Being my debut single, I had to make a statement of what the audience can expect from me in the upcoming album and also highlight the thought which I live my life with – which is life should be lived cinematically as if it was a movie script. This gave rise to the concept where it is high energy, cinematic and takes you to a different world altogether. For me, I don’t want to make music videos which will not transport my audience into a different world. There has to be some magic! In order to exactly bring to visuals the concept in my head, I decided to take the animation route and shot the entire video on green screen. And, the real magic happened when I saw the green screen footage turn into an animated video which exactly translated my vision of the song into powerful visuals. We spent three months in the post production of the video as it required a huge amount of animation. I loved the fact that Taylor Swift self directs many of her music videos and I always wondered how she did it. But, after doing it myself, I strongly feel that a singer should self direct their own music video.
- How does “Movie Script” differ from your previous work, and what message or emotions were you hoping to convey through this song?
Most of my previous work have been for movies and television series and it didn’t allow me to express my own voice. Through my album, I am doing just that. This is what makes “Movie Script” and my album “17 & 11 Nights” different from any of my previous work. I wanted to convey to the audience that life should be celebrated and lived as if it was a movie, and I think audience loved this thought and thoroughly enjoyed it.
- Can you describe the collaboration and teamwork in creating “Movie Script,” including any notable musicians or producers who worked with you on this project?
Every song is eventually a teamwork and I am blessed to have some amazing musicians who I collaborate with for my songs. There are so many, that to take one name would be unfair. But, we stick together as a team and that’s what creates the magic. On that note, I will say that my audio production team have worked with some notable musicians such as Justin Bieber and David Guetta.
- The song has a catchy and unique sound. What were some of the musical influences that shaped this track?
My biggest musical influences have been Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa. In simple words, I’d like to say I love Ed Sheeran’s songwriting and love Dua Lipa’s energetic production and vocal delivery. Having said that, I have a vast amount of musical influence and every influence plays a part in my music. For instance, I have heard and studied a lot of classical music by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart for counterpoint harmonies, and I use those techniques in designing my vocal harmonies. Sometimes, I use unusual harmonies as opposed to the straight third and fifth harmonies that are commonly used in pop vocal constructs.
- Given the song’s title, “Movie Script,” is there a particular story or narrative you had in mind while writing it?
The narrative in all my song has got something to do with me and my journey. For “Movie Script”, I took influence from my own journey which has been like a roller coaster ride and quite exciting.
- Your music often incorporates a blend of different genres. How do you approach genre-mixing and experimentation in your creative process?
Although, my sound is essentially mainstream pop, I do blend in various sub genres to establish my own sonic identity. What holds everything together is my songwriting and my voice. I love to experiment with sound, but at the same time I want to keep that radio friendliness in all my songs. When it comes to songwriting, I don’t follow a particular process or template. It just depends on what I’m feeling. But, most of the times I start writing a song either on my guitar or a piano. The rest just flows. Once I’ve written the song, I do have a very specific process for the production, which is quite streamlined and I’m blessed to have a solid team of musicians, producers, sound engineers with me. The creative process always starts with the story behind the song and what I want the listeners to experience when they hear it. With “Movie Script”, I wanted the listeners to travel to my world of fantasy and experience living life as if it was written like a cinematic movie. The audio production started with making a baseline hook for the song which is funky and goes with a crisp groove. I composed the top line vocal melody purely on the baseline and later added all the electric guitars and synth.
- What’s next for A-ZAL? Can we expect more music releases or exciting projects shortly, and can you give us a sneak peek of what’s coming up?
I have two albums in the pipeline which I will be releasing in the coming years. My audience will get to hear a variety of singles dropping very frequently which will eventually consolidate into my album called 17 & 11 Nights.