All of you Buffalo beat sorcerers in producer land, listen up: There’s a guy cranking out slices (his version of tracks) on Soundcloud like an addict pops pills. He goes by the name DJ Pizza Pizza, or “Yung Zza” (The friendliest of prodding wouldn’t get me anywhere, dude will probably never give up his real name). Even with his identity withheld, Yung Zza has caused a mighty stir on social media with his hypno-trancin’ edm and hip hopified beat machine powers. He’s got the Twitterverse wondering, who the hell is this guy? I didn’t think I could find anything more indulging than scarfing down my favorite pie (cheese, mushrooms, and pepperoni if anyone’s interested in feeding me), but zoning out to Yung Zza’s music comes pretty darn close. Find out what I was able to learn about this mystical being of culinary excellency below, including his impeccable pizza critiquing ability.
Q: Can you offer me your real name? Also, how old are you?
A: My name is Yung Zza, 23 years old.
Q: Are you originally from Buffalo?
A: I am from Buffalo, grew up in the burbz… I live right in the city now though.
Q: I kind of heard about you all of a sudden it seems, on the internet. You’ve got a lot of people hopping on this pizza craze. Was that always your schtick, the pizza thing? Is there a story behind that or anything?
A: No real story, I just love pizza…I mean who doesn’t. I used to produce and DJ under a different name and just wanted to start a fresh slate under a different name. I already had a handful of tracks ready to release and I was scrambling to think of a name, and the pizza pizza thing just emerged (I think my roommates and I were eating a fresh pie at the time).
Q: How long have you been producing?
A: I have been a musician since I was a kid, learning to play piano, accordion, and organ. Throughout high school I was taking two lessons a week learning to play jazz and funk, and began producing relaxing electronic music, similar to what I make now… but on a simpler level. I began producing “harder” EDM tracks through the moombahton era, and then branched out creating bass tracks with bubbling/tropical/kuduro influences. Now that I don’t DJ as often anymore, I am back to making music that I both enjoy making and listening to. The type of music you can play at the beginning or end of the night and really enjoy the musical complexity and flow rather than blipps, bloops, and whomps (which I still love but you know what I mean).
Q: Do you work solo?
A: The Pizza Pizza project is a solo project. I have collaborated with artists in the past under my other name, but I’d rather stick to producing each slice on my own to reflect the mood I am in at the time.
Q: Do you have a day job aside from beat making?
A: I have a field service engineering job, traveling to a different city every week. I am only really in Buffalo on the weekends. With numerous hours spent in the airport with delays or layovers and hotel boredom after work, I have plenty of time to sit down and crank out tracks to take my mind off things. The Pizza Pizza project is just a hobby to me.
Q: Your sound is very unique. How would you describe it?
A: I don’t even know… I have such a broad musical background and have experimented with so many genres that I usually just classify everything as “Bass.” On my last two albums, most songs are chill, glitchy hip hop based instrumentals, but I have included songs that incorporate juke, moombahton, trap, twerk, and jazz. Its all over the place.
Q: Who or what inspires your sound?
A: Mr. Carmack. His music blows my mind. I hope to one day be on his level of production.
Q: Love the album. Is that your first album release?
A: It is. I have produced multiple original tracks in the past, but never really had a chance to put them out in an album. I don’t even know if I’d classify the “Pie XX” series as an album release, it’s just a way to group the songs together as I make them to be more available for free download… I am currently working on Slice 24 (at the time of interview, he’s now on Slice 38!) and grouping them together in “Pies,” just makes it easier to organize everything. I’m not marketing it hard, not trying to make a profit, not trying to be famous, and I don’t really take the project that seriously…I just feel I make decent music as a hobby and want other people to enjoy it!
Q: Why have you decided to conceal your true identity?
A: Like I said above, its about the music. Everyone hates me anyways so I might as well conceal it (just kidding).
Q: Top three favorite kinds of pizza.
A: First of all, Buffalo has the best pizza in the world (I can rightfully say this because I have tried “pizza” in every city I travel to for work)
New York pizza is like cheese and sauce on a cracker, and chicago crust almost has a graham cracker pie crust consistency.
There is nothing like the nice fluffy dough achieved in Buffalo pizzerias.
1. cheese + pep
2. Buffalo chicken
3. stinger slices
Q: Where is the best pizza spot in Buffalo?
A: 1. My personal favorite is Gandy’s pizza (Union and Cleveland dr.). The owner is awesome, the pizza is amazing, and the prices are right. There’s like an inch of cheese on the pie!!!
2. Leonardi’s (NOM)
3. 24 hour pizza (when I’m drunk – 99 cents a slice come on)
For more music, check out his Soundcloud page.