Packing funk, soul, and hip-hop together with a vivid exuberance, Zachary Murdock released his new EP Ghost to Ghost Vol. 1 this past summer. Though born in London and raised in New York, the author and musician considers Santa Barbara a second home. Having performed at EOS and SOhO in the past, Murdock feels a strong connection to the city, where half of the members from his creative collective called Channel the Sun reside.
After an ankle injury and without the usual catharsis of exercise, Murdock committed himself to consistent musical practice. “My son was born shortly after I broke my ankle,” he explained. “I was super frustrated, trapped, claustrophobic.” Murdock embraced the vulnerable and raw discomfort and began recording a song a day. “Out of the daily flows, we crystallized relationships with like-minded artists that poured their hearts into things for no reason other than expression,” he said.
Channel the Sun formed as a unique collective. Though half their members reside in Santa Barbara, the group “collaborates with people internationally and grows every day,” said Murdock. “Channel the Sun is a mirror — if you see through kindness, respect, curiosity, creativity, and collaboration, we can heal the world.” Since its formation, Channel the Sun has recorded a number of tracks, produced music videos, published two issues of a magazine, and sold art through the website channelthesun.com.
On the new EP, Murdock worked with Kevin Grossmann, Joshua Morales, and Beats by Ghostwriter to produce tracks. The collection of songs was produced remotely, started simply with a message from Beats by Ghostwriter but then developing into a long-term musical relationship. “He’s in New York and I’m in California and that’s coast to coast, and we’re ghost to ghost,” said Murdock.
Murdock unearths inspiration from the invisible and immaterial. Ghost to Ghost Vol. 1 is a tuneful testament to his less tangible muses. Blending lyricism and powerful beats, the EP, while only five songs long, carries enormous depth. Murdock, an avid reader, finds tons of inspiration from books, particularly science fiction — freshly atop his mountain sit the Dune and Hyperion Cantos series.
His soul penetrates through the tracks with lyrics that attest to self-confidence and rebellion. Ghost to Ghost Vol. 1 resonates with those in pursuit of truth and inspires listeners to dance to the beat of their own drum. When I spoke to Murdock, he discussed his desire to inspire people: “unlock your passion,” and avoid a profession “unless it’s in your blood to the point where you love it.”
The music video for “Throwing Vegetables” is based on Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” in which an orchestra played on through a barrage of flying vegetables from the audience. With lyrics that sing “They’re throwing vegetables at all my masterpieces / but that never budged me,” the song rejects a necessity for external validation. “We had the time of our lives,” said Murdock of filming. “It was such a beautiful day of laughter.” His remarkable disposition and affable boisterousness resonate with the video as a whole.
The video, filmed in the Pacific Palisades, stars Murdock, his wife, and his son, among other cast members traveling through an enchanting forest scene. The Earth gives the travelers a message, empowering them to laugh and dance amid a bombardment of vegetables. Video director Bryan Sih writes that characters “invert [throwing vegetables] with joy and resilience by the film’s end.” The music video and song speak to the liberation that comes with embracing self-acceptance, a message firmly in the mind of Zachary Murdock.
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