Zia Hassan is a storytelling singer-songwriter who tries to capture earthly moments from a cosmic vantage point. He writes songs about reality, surrogate motherhood, space, time travel, and solar particles. He's also been referred to as "DC's #1 Love Song writer," and he has often been hired to write love songs for anniversaries, weddings, and birthdays. He sings with soulful passion and a soaring falsetto. His on-stage stories open small universes, beckoning new listeners to enter his strange and loveable world.
Zia released his first solo album, Grow Slow, in 2009. The album was received extremely well, especially on the internet -- every single song from the record was up-voted to the front page of TheSixtyOne.com, a popular music ranking service. Songs like "A Love Like That" received the most praise, spawning a fan-made video on YouTube. "Carry My Love," a song about a surrogate mother carrying a baby for her sister, a cancer survivor, touches the heart of anyone who hears it. To promote the album, Zia performed through an online broadcast so that international fans could hear his live act.
Zia's love of sound goes beyond traditional music. In addition to writing solid pop folk tunes, he produces experimental work as well, working as a "sound sculptor" in the tradition of Brian Eno, John Cage, and Steve Reich. In 2010, he released the innovative The Flop, The Turn, The River; an album of field recordings and interviews from the smokey mountains set to instrumental and spacey music. In 2012, he released the album Lines with collaborator Scott Colman, which used processed field recordings of the DC Metro. Zia is currently working on integrating neuroscience into his live show using a brainwave-sensing headband to create music using nothing but his mind.
Zia's sound has been compared to Duncan Sheik, Bon Iver, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Ellis Paul, Joni Mitchell, Ben Gibbard and others. He's played at a lot of great DC venues like IOTA, Velvet Lounge, Ebenezer's, The Atlas Theater, and The Hamilton, where he had the opportunity to share the stage with his musical hero Teitur. Zia is currently in the studio working on an extremely ambitious supermassive project called Sports, Weather, Time and Space - a two disc album (one contains folk songs, and the other contains a 60-minute ambient sonic tour of the solar system), a DVD of short films about reality, and a book of short stories and poems.
Here's a comprehensive list of most of the things I've done.