Zory Burner is a Singer-Songwriter and composer originally from Bulgaria, but now living and pursuing her music career in London. Zory’s style of music is hauntingly original and we were really happy when she agreed to complete a full feature interview for Song Revelation. Read on to discover how Zory creates her innovative yet commercial tracks, her musical inspirations and which modern day artists she looks up to.
Q: Who are you called?
Zory Burner. When I moved to London to pursue and develop my music career, I registered in the online community ‘Second Life’, where I used to do some virtual gigs. That’s where my stage name Burner comes from.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?
My general goal as a composer and songwriter is to create completely innovative styles and music which is unlike anything out there… If I had to place it in a category, my music would probably go under experimental rock and world fusion genres. I like to mash up alternative metal elements with Bulgarian or Celtic folk and add symphonic instruments to bring in a soundtracky feel…
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
A beautifully dark and haunting hybrid of styles, bringing souls together through the mysteries of sound that make you travel to another world.
Q: What is your musical background?
I studied music theory and played the piano professionally for 10 years (Bulgarian School of Performing Arts), which included a solo or duo classical concert every year. For about 7 of those years I sang at an Orthodox church choir, the last of which I lead the choir. Then I concentrated solely on writing music and lyrics. My further training expanded to taking several courses (composition and orchestration, live music band and vocals) in Moscow and in London, UK. In 2008 I moved to London to pursue my dreams, where I started producing my own tunes, as well as gaining experience in writing film music.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
The year of 2010 proved very productive in my path as a creative artist: in addition to getting a master’s degree, setting up my own self-titled label and releasing my debut album (after having worked with several recording studios and put 3 singles on the online market, as well as leading several UK unsigned charts for weeks), in 2010 I’ve scored 4 short films, composed the theme and soundtrack to an online mini series (3 episodes so far), and wrote and arranged the music to my very first stage musical.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
My Bulgarian background has set the basis for me: the harmonious and disharmonious folklore, as well as the Byzantine Orthodox chant music. And, of course, my personal taste in rock music is a part of me every step of the way.
My vocals have been compared to Lisa Gerrard and Norah Jones, my melodies are influenced by Blackmore’s Night and Damien Rice, my arrangements and general feel are influenced by Stained and especially by Linkin Park’s input of hybridity within a musical genre.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Linkin Park, Staind, Lisa Gerrard, Bjork, Eminem, Green Day, Nightwish, Blackmore’s Night, Blue October, Deftones, The Rasmus, Norah Jones; composers like Hans Zimmer, Alexandre Desplat, etc.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Eminem! Surprised? I’ve been interested in such a possibility ever since his duet with Dido came out… Of course I would absolutely love to get to work with Linkin Park one day – I’ve been a true fan, especially from a musician’s perspective, from the start. I am also quite curious what it would be like to be at the studio with Bjork!
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
I little bit of everything. I recently started going over the music of some of the American Idols – Carrie Underwood, David Cook, Adam Lambert… I love discovering new music, I tend to pick songs I hear on various TV shows or movies…
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I usually just sit at my piano, play something randomly and a tune comes out, with accidental words or even just syllables or a hint of a story… Sometimes I like challenging myself with how great of a melody I can come up with on the spot while having my fingers play something completely random on my keyboard… Sometimes I wake up in the morning with a new tune on my mind or on a train while looking out the window and musing… It’s a bit less common for me, but it happens to start with a message I’d like to put into a song and bring it to life with an appropriate melody. And then comes my favorite part of that stage of the process – the arrangement. Y’all know how the rest goes 😉
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
They’re equally important. Even though it would depend on the purpose of the song. The melody tends to be the first thing that captures your attention, so a good melody is what pulls you into the song in the first place; while the lyrics might draw a stronger appreciation later on, if they happen to be meaningful to you personally, after you’ve been initially intrigued, quite possibly even by the arrangement of the track…
Q: Where are you based?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I am originally from Bulgaria. The beauty, the intricacy and sheer perfection of the Bulgarian folklore is a very strong foundation for any musician-to-be. Unfortunately the opportunities for realization and development, especially for an artist like myself, are especially limited. London is my second home now and it currently holds my professional hopes and dreams, so the specificity and richness of my background can indeed be fruitful.
Q: What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am working on several projects, the biggest of which is a Christian musical. I wrote 22 tracks for it in 2010 and now I’m working towards putting it on stage.
Here’s where you can find out some more about it: http://jcwop.zoryburner.com/
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
The release of my debut album in the middle of 2010. It came together with the launch of my personal website – www.zoryburner.com
What felt especially amazing to me was a message I received a few days later from an acquaintance of mine, saying how impressed she was by the fact that exactly a year before my album’s release date, I’d said to her that I intend to write, arrange, perform, record and ultimately release my first 12-original-song professional CD, which would be a great step for me in my career as a recording artist, and exactly a year later that’s what I did… Set a goal and made it happen!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I’ve been writing plenty of new songs recently, as well as instrumental pieces for various record projects. I am working towards putting together the right material, so I can start off the studio recording process. I’m planning on releasing my second album in 2012.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I am blessed to have my professional life match my hobbies and interests. When I’m not working on a project, I enjoy just playing; I recently started learning to play the electric bass, as I’ve always had a great passion for the sound of the bass. Apart from music, I enjoy doing a bit of video editing and graphic design, though I’ve started developing those skills to a more professional level. When I’m not working on any of those as a job, I would play around for fun; I love creating and sharing my creations or dedicating them to people I care about. As far as outdoors activities go, nature walks are my thing and taking pictures (and then editing them in photoshop). When it comes to non-creative ways of chilling out – I’d watch movies or TV shows, or even play some computer games – what can I tell you, I’m a geek 😉
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Here’s a link to my showreel as a film music composer, which I designed and put together in late 2010.
Editor’s Note: Zory Burner creates a unique blend of sounds and harmony that supports incredibly strong melodies to give a haunting, profound and extremely pleasing sound. At Song Revelation we’re really looking forward to listening to more of Zory’s work in the near future!
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Zory Burner, just follow the links below:
web page link: http://zoryburner.com
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zory-Burner/211994984397
Youtube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZT7HxQULNc
twitter link: http://twitter.com/zoryburner
myspace link: http://myspace/zorybg
cd baby: http://cdbaby.com/cd/burnerzory
soundcloud link: http://soundcloud.com/zoryburner/crying
reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/zoryburner