Zetak, boiling electronic music (and in Basque) | Culture

The Navarrese musician and Zetak singer, Pello Reparaz, in a recent image.
The Navarrese musician and Zetak singer, Pello Reparaz, in a recent image.

When the whole world closed itself at home in March 2020, Pello Reparaz (Arbizu, 1990) had just somersaulted with a twist to his feet with his electronic music project Zetak, recently awarded an independent music award ( los MIN) for Best Album in Basque for their second album. The Navarrese was driving from a considerable height, that of the well-known ska band Vendetta, of which he was a singer and one of the founders at only 17 years old, and with which he came to earn a living until his separation in 2018.

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Before the dissolution of Vendetta and after settling in London in 2017 to pursue a master’s degree in composition, Reparaz decided to face his destiny in music, quite far removed from what he had done until then: “I loved what we did with Vendetta, but I was feeling a bit limited. Over time I saw that it was time to start a blank paper ”, he explains in the cafeteria of La Central de Callao, in Madrid, shortly before a Zetak recital in Room 0 last May. On that empty sheet he ended up composing the songs of the electronic music group, of which the Navarrese is the visible face and that, with two years of life, already has two albums on the market.

When “the move” began, as Reparaz refers to the covid pandemic several times during the interview, Zetak had time to publish their first self-titled work (2019, Panda Artist) and to present it in exactly six concerts. The idea was not to dare with a second album, not so soon, but the need to channel the energy that overflowed during a confinement that had caught them starting gave rise to a second conceptual work, How beautiful it will be (Polita Bear), which ended up being launched in October 2020 and which arrived as a luminous explosion, almost rare for a world that was holding its breath.

In an intelligent readjustment exercise, Reparaz and his band (Gorka Pastor on synthesizers and Leire Colomo and Iban Larreburu on percussion) have managed to get something positive out of the pandemic: forgetting. We have been able to position Zetak in a place where perhaps at this point we would not be thanks to How beautiful it will be and how the project has managed to transform itself based on what is happening ”.

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With his eyes and mind always alert, he likes to say that he comes from “a small town in the north of Navarra with 1,000 inhabitants” (Arbizu actually has 1,109). If he had to go to London to gain perspective and understand what he was looking for, his home and his people are the helm from which he now pilots Zetak’s ship. He went away to feel close, to realize that it is natural for a boy who lives in Basque to express himself artistically in their language as well.

Currently the group is enjoying the intensity of a recently released adventure, which can finally be measured with the audience in live performances. “Now it is easy to say that it has been a wonderful decision, because I am delighted”, the singer reconsiders when remembering that everything was played to a letter with Zetak. With seven nominations in the MIN Awards 2021 and one of the awards achieved by How beautiful it will beHe admits being so immersed in the project that he doesn’t take time to indulge in the good news: “The only time I forget everything we are in and I absolutely enjoy it is at the concerts. Luckily there is that oasis in which I totally liberate myself ”.

Conceived as a multidisciplinary artistic project, experimentation is in Zetak’s DNA, which together with the Bilbao-based company Sherpa AI is preparing a song that will have its origin in an artificial intelligence algorithm: “I will create a lot of tracks and the combination of these tracks and different effects will make each of the users listen to a different song, ”says Reparaz.

The one from Arbizu came to music at age eight playing the trombone and the dreams he had then have changed a bit, as he himself sums up: “When you reach your goal, you realize that it was really something else. It seems to me something positive, everything changes and that is positive ”.

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