Splitting time between Phoenix and Detroit, Simulated Youth creates electronic music with a dark twist. To drive their belligerent yet beautiful sound, they add some aggressive breaks, ethereal drops and creative arrangements. Their goal is always to balance the emotion of the track between bright and dark parts, ultimately providing a fun and original sound as listeners dance away. Each song hopes to put listeners into an almost dreamlike state, where they become entranced by what they’re listening to. Their musical influences are Alice Glass, the dark tones of Crystal Castles, Björk’s ethereal melodies, Catnapp, Aphex Twin and the aggressiveness of Die Antwoord.
The song “Digital Memories” tells a two-sided story of breaking up in the modern age where one cannot escape their past due to relentless reminders on social media. In a sense, it is about escaping from the ties of technology. It has an intense chorus that helps balance the cyberpunk style rap vocals. Overall, the song provides an original listening experience among all of the copy/paste loop pack EDM songs flooding the industry these days. The goal with Digital Memories was to create something unique, danceable and fun, with a darker message to balance things out.
The artist said, “Social media is everywhere nowadays; many people are totally obsessed with their internet persona. As things are on the web forever, it’s quite difficult to escape your past and your “bad memories”, such as a relationship that ended. That’s what allows listeners to connect to this song”.
They combine darker-themed electronic dance music with rap or traditional vocals. For emotion, there’s a balance between bright (happy or energetic) and dark (melancholic or slow) in every song. It’s important to make the songs ‘danceable’ because the ultimate goal is to perform the songs live in the future. Their earlier songs focused less on lyrics and more on the instrumental side, but the two sides are balanced more equally now. As a relatively new musician, Simulated Youth is still honing their skills and redefining their signature sound.
Simulated Youth (SY) is a solo act, with Zach writing and producing all the music, as well as handling the mixing and mastering. It’s important that their ideas are fully transmitted to what listeners will hear, regardless of if it follows “industry standards” or not. Zach creates all original melodies using virtual instruments. Despite not knowing any music theory, being an avid music listener for over two decades makes it easy to tell when notes don’t seem in the right key. He enjoys the improvised aspect of it, which allows him to be creative and discover new things, making each song fun and less pressured.
SY is a fan of international collaborations, with tracks featuring vocalists from El Salvador, Belgium, Russia, and the USA. They try to balance equally between using their own vocals and featuring other singers. Their dream collab would be with Alice Glass, Catnapp or Die Antwoord. They also really like Camoragi’s work and have worked with her three times now. She is an underrated musician who can sing in a range of vocal styles, in two different languages. She also has a similar dark electronic style to Simulated Youth.
Social Media, if done honestly, is a great way to grow an organic fan base. However, many indie artists try to fake a fanbase to impress listeners and that harms the progress of those who try to grow organically. This aspect of social media is what makes SY dislike it, hence they only use it for their music and to write songs now. They spend a lot of time on each song, creating it from scratch and they hope that extra effort is appreciated in today’s world of copied EDM loop music. A tremendous amount of work goes into Simulated Youth’s music so every listener is extremely valuable and appreciated.
SY plans to release monthly singles until their audience grows considerably and would like to release an album sometime in 2022, once they start doing live performances.Listen to ‘Digital Memories’ by Simulated Youth on SoundCloud.