Soul Man Zach Deputy Redefines the Solo Album

Zach Deputy is a road warrier again.
Zach Deputy is a road warrier again.
Photo by Joaquin Anico
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

"It's soul music," Zach Deputy says of his sound. "It touches the soul and the soles of the feet. That gets everyone moving to the orchestra in my head."

The Savannah, Georgia-based Deputy, who will play the Wynwood Yard this Saturday, is a 21st-century version of a one-man band, using a looping pedal to layer chord progressions, beatboxing, vocals, bass, drums, and guitar into his performance. He says his most recent record, 2016's Wash It in the Water, took his solo act to a new level.

"It is a one-man album. I did everything from beginning to end. I wrote it, produced it, I played all the instruments. It was something I always wanted to try."

Deputy's self-made-album dreams were inspired by legends like Stevie Wonder and Todd Rundgren. But now that he's on the other side of the project, Deputy better understands the pros and cons of the process. "Making an album all by myself removed me from any influences, which could be a good thing or a bad thing," he says. "It leaves your vision intact when you're not leaning on anyone else. You have to have the song in your head to begin with. You're not thinking about how other people are taking your music; you're just making it."

Now that he's crossed composing his true solo album off his bucket list, Deputy has resumed his road-warrior ways. "I'll probably play 180 or 200 shows this year. I'm trying to slow it down from 300." He credits water, rest, talking to himself, and knowing when to absolve himself from a party for helping him remain on the road for so long.

His next album will be a souvenir of the Zach Deputy concert experience, titled Live in the V.I. It was recorded in the Virgin Islands and is due out this year.

"My mom and grandmother are from the Virgin Islands. Going back there is always special," he says, describing Virgin Islands music as a happy, joyous mixture of Calypso, reggae, and West African sounds. Those rhythms and notes have been eternally inspiring, he says.

"If you hear my songs 'Twisty Twisty' or 'Wash It in the Water,' that's Calypso. It's taking things in a 30-year circle. I'm taking the music that came out of there from the '60s and '70s and bringing it back in 2017."

Zach Deputy
9 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; thewynwoodyard.com; 305-351-0366. Admission is free.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.