Zak Stawski

Award-Winning Producer

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11 Reviews
Zak Stawski on SoundBetter

I'm an award-winning producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. I've written music for Nike, Apple, Pepsi, Heineken, Walmart, short films, and more, and had my songs playlisted hundreds of times. Proficient in all styles, especially Pop, R&B/Neo-Soul, Hip Hop/Trap, and Rock, and their sub-genres. Hit me up and let's make something awesome.

I'm a producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist who's won 9 awards for music composition, from the w3 Awards and Tellys, to the Communicator Awards and AVAs.

I'm also the owner of Kaz – a commercial music studio – and have written custom music for Nike, Apple, Pepsi, Heineken, Walmart, Ithaca Hummus, Merrell, and other brands. In doing so, I've produced songs in a wide array of genres: Future Funk, Neo-Soul, Trap, Hip Hop, Pop, House, EDM, Post Rock, Synthwave, and more, along with film scores.

On Spotify, Apple Music, and elsewhere, I'm also Kaz – a Neo-Soul artist who combines infectious grooves with modern instrumentation, and collaborates with all kinds of artists.

Originally from Detroit, I've been playing music for over 27 years, and am a multi-instrumentalist who's proficient in guitar, bass, percussion, keys, and music production.

Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.

Languages

  • English

11 Reviews

Endorse Zak Stawski
  1. Review by Charlie Hong
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    by Charlie Hong

    Zak Stawski is a delightful human being - who happens to be an incredible musician and writer. He's professional, talented and a joy to be around, let alone work with. Can't recommend him enough!

  2. Review by Brian White
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    by Brian White

    Worked with Zak on a quick turn unexpected music need. Zak was amazing. Hit every deadline with amazing options. Worked with us on budget and was highly collaborative. 10/10 recommend.

  3. Review by Kim G.
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    by Kim G.

    Zak's background as an agency Creative Director makes him so easy to work with in terms of briefs, brand considerations, and client/team stuff. He brings such great energy to projects, and he approaches smaller and larger assignments with the same enthusiasm.

  4. Review by Patrick Gietzen
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    by Patrick Gietzen

    Working with Zak is an absolute delight. Understands feedback well, turns rounds around quickly, comes to the table with ideas and ways to make the end product better. He is a great communicator and is makes it easy to connect with.

  5. Review by Yelena Avanesova
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    by Yelena Avanesova

    Zak's an amazing writer/composer/musician. He understands the brief, and delivers amazing options quickly. I highly recommend working with him. Plus, he's a really nice guy!

  6. Review by Jan Paul Kaim
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    by Jan Paul Kaim

    Zak's music is consistently fresh, original and perfect for our needs. He's mastered the languages of storytelling and emotion and is highly skilled at matching our clients' tone. He nails it every time. A joy to work with and a truly talented partner on any creative endeavor.

  7. Review by Andrew Bly
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    by Andrew Bly

    Zak is exactly what you look for in a creative partner; taking an OK nugget of an idea and to that next level. I had the pleasure of working with Zak on a jingle for Ithaca Hummus to promote their ridiculously good new flavor Buffalo Ranch Hummus. What started with a jingle idea, turned into a ridiculously good trap banger that got Western New York excited and had the awards rolling in while the tubs flew out of the stores. From start to finish, working with Zak was a real pleasure and look forward to many more collaborations.

  8. Review by Carey Kight
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    by Carey Kight

    Zak is a great musician and marketing partner for us and our clients. He works fast, he's versatile, and he brings an enthusiastic approach to the brief, the work, and the final product.

  9. Review by Sarina
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    by Sarina

    Zak is a gifted musician and approaches every brief with enthusiasm and a problem solving approach. He is a pleasure to work with, is versatile and we would highly recommend him for any creative project.

  10. Review by Brandon Holliday
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    by Brandon Holliday

    "Zak is an amazing collaborator and gifted musician, capable of taking feedback in stride and effortlessly producing a track that not only nails the vibe, tempo, and musical style you need, but also builds on your work by adding a level of depth and customization you could never get out of a stock music track. Highly recommend."

  11. Review by Katie Steward
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    by Katie Steward

    Zak is a versatile composer who can create anything from acoustic and emotional pieces to hype EDM bangers. We worked with Zak on a number of composing projects, and have always been happy with the process and the result. Would definitely hire again.

Interview with Zak Stawski

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: The :30 composition I made for Nike. You can find it here: https://www.kaz-studio.com/nike I'm proud of it because Code & Theory (a well-respected ad agency) hired me to create a custom composition for some Nike content they were making. As the owner of Kaz (the music studio they hired) and the principal composer, I helped outline the direction of the song – from genre, to mood, to instrumentation – and wrote and produced a Future Funk/EDM banger that felt appropriate for both the brand and project. It was SUPER fun to make.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: 3 new Neo-Soul singles that I'll be trying to get playlisted on Spotify. One is with Leavv, an artist with roughly 700,000 Monthly Listeners.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: I talked to Dan Berk once or twice, though I never hired him. That said, he has an amazing voice and would totally recommend him.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Most of my equipment is digital for 3 reasons: it doesn't take up nearly as much space, is much more cost-effective, and sounds practically identical to many analog counterparts. That said, a TON of my guitar setup is analog. I've got about 20 different pedals that help me shape my tone, and I prefer that for guitar, as that's how I grew up.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: I'll make something that'll exceed your expectations.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: That I get to do what I love! Which, of course, is making music.

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: How fast can you compose a song? I'll answer by saying a week or less, and also ask if they have a specific deadline they're looking to meet.

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: That it's simple. Much of the best music sounds simple, but a TON goes into making an earworm that people actually want to hear.

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: What kind of song are you looking for me to produce/compose? What mood are you going for? What genre/subgenre should the song be? Are there any particular instruments you're hoping to hear? What are you thinking from a tempo/pace standpoint? Do you have a reference track to shed some further light on what you're thinking? If so, what do you like/dislike about it?

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: Try to have a general idea of what you're looking for. I know this may sound obvious, but it goes a long way to have a ballpark idea of the genre and mood that you want when hiring me to create a song. If possible, come with a reference track and tell me what you like about it. It'll help me nail the vibe with whatever I go on to create for you.

  21. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  22. A: Great question. Here goes... My 27" iMac, because without it, I couldn't produce a thing. My Ableton Push 2, as it makes composing a synch My Fender American Professional II Stratocaster, as it plays like butter My Audio Technica Headphones, as they help ensure everything is sounding perfect My Apollo Twin X, as without it, I can't record!

  23. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  24. A: I started playing music over 27 years ago. First, I took to the violin, but shortly switched to the bass guitar, and then the electric guitar. Along the way, I also dabbled with percussion and drums, and eventually got into music production. Over the course of those 27 years, I've played everything from Classical, to Punk, to Jazz, to EDM, to Neo-Soul.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: Versatile. I'm experienced in creating just about anything and have the track record to prove it.

  27. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  28. A: Anderson .Paak. He's so amazingly talented and versatile, and I'd love the chance to collaborate with him.

  29. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  30. A: Of course! If I had to tell a beginning producer one tip, it would be this: when starting a new project, focus on nailing the chord progression. This will ensure that whatever you're making works on a compositional/theory level. After that, you can get into the details of swapping out instruments and sounds. But if your chord progression doesn't work, nothing will work.

  31. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  32. A: All kinds, from Pop and Neo-Soul to Hip Hop and Rock. That said, most projects I take on have some element of Pop in them in that they're designed to be catchy and appeal to a wide audience.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: Producing. More specifically, figuring out what a song needs, and making it happen.

  35. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  36. A: 27 years of playing and writing music. With that comes a well-trained ear, a keen understanding of various genres and their parameters, and the technique to pull just about anything off. What I'm really saying is that I bring a fresh perspective, and a wealth of experience to help you create anything.

  37. Q: What's your typical work process?

  38. A: When producing or composing a new song, I take a strategic approach. I first think of a concept that will inform the song's overall mood, genre, lyrics, and instrumentation. From there, I start by writing a chord progression that captures the vibe I set out to create, and then build on top of that – from adding bass, drums, and keys to guitars, effects, and textural elements. Once I get to a section I'm happy with, I'll move onto the next section, constantly asking myself, "What does this next part really need?" I'll continue to do this until the song feels right, and then revisit it the next day with fresh eyes to make any final adjustmens.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I've got a full home studio setup with the gear and know-how to make anything: Computers iMac 27” MacBook Pro 13” Interface Universal Audio Apollo Twin X Quad Monitors & Headphones KRK Rokit 5 G5 5” Monitors Audio Technica Headphones KRK Studio Monitoring Headphones Sonarworks for Headphones and Speakers MIDI Instruments Ableton Push 2 MIDI controller ROLI Seaboard Rise 2 ROLI Lumi MPE controller Native Instruments Maschine+ Guitars & Basses Fender American Professional II Stratocaster Fender Ultra Jazz Bass Taylor T5 Thinline Guitar Schecter Guitar Ibanez Bass Amps Mesa Boogie Mark V/25 Head Egnater Rebel 30 2x12 Pedals Line 6 DL4 Delay Pedal Expression Pedal Wah pedal Boss Tuner Boss Noise Supressor Boss Flanger H20 Chorus Tremolo Pedal Channel switcher with reverb switch DAWs Ableton Live 11 Pro Tools Ultimate Plug-ins Native Instruments Komplete 14 Ultimate Collectors Edition Output Suite Waves Vocal Production Suite Waves (various other plugins) iZotope Suite Omnisphere ROLI Studio Player ROLI Studio Drums Cypher2 Strobe2 Equator2 Addictive Drums 2 Vital Synthesizer Splice

  41. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  42. A: Anderson .Paak, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Tom Misch, Tycho, GRiZ, Tash Sultana.

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: Producing and composing custom music. I work in all genres: Pop, Neo-Soul, Hip Hop, Trap, Future Funk, Ambient, EDM, Rock, and more.

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Kaz, The Fruits

I was the Producer and Guitarist in this production

Terms Of Service

Up to 2 revisions per project.
Turn-around is 6 days or less.

GenresSounds Like
  • Anderson .Paak
  • Tycho
  • GRiZ
Gear Highlights
  • iMac 27"
  • Apollo Twin X
  • Ableton Live 11
  • Push 2
  • ROLI Seaboard
  • Maschine+
  • NI Komplete 14 Ultimate Collector's Edition
  • Output
  • Waves
  • Addictive Drums 2
  • Fender Strat
  • Fender Ultra Jazz Bass
  • Taylor T5
  • Mesa Boogie Mark V/25 Head
  • guitar pedals
  • etc
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