A little more than six years ago, Zach Deputy was scheduled to play a show and had to make a tough decision when his bassist couldn’t show: cancel the gig or face the crowd by himself. He chose the latter, using a delay pedal as a looper to fill in for his missing bassist, a decision that came to define his musical career.
Deputy, a native of South Carolina, has now established himself as a high-energy touring machine, some years playing as many as 300 concerts. When he gets up on stage to start one of his infamous dance parties, it’s just him. He is the definition of a one-man band, usually donning just an acoustic guitar, four microphones and the pedals to handle all the looping and layering he does with them. Using the microphones, he creates drum and bass sounds, beatboxing almost all the percussion, as well as synthesized choir noises and soulful vocals. While his style blends influences from Latin, Caribbean and African music, he captures an inimitable Reggae/Calypso sound that he calls “island-infused Drum n’ Bass Gospel-Ninja-Soul.”
Since his 2008 debut album, Out of the Water, Deputy has produced two more full-length albums and an EP. His latest release, Another Day, came out in 2011 and departed somewhat from his previous work, coming off more as an R&B record. However, his studio work has never been much of a testament to what he is really about or what you can expect at a show. Because of his loop jamming and his creative use of layering, one show can be entirely different from another. Each version of a song can leave behind its skeleton structure in favor of fresh formations that keep the crowd on their dancing feet.
ZACH DEPUTY plays at Taft Theatre Sunday, Nov. 2. Find tickets/more info here .