EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — He’s been in the El Paso music scene for quite some time, and his presence continues to shine bright throughout the city with his unique jams, vibe and performance.
Born and raised in El Paso, Esteban Zubia, known as Stan Z, is multi-talented in all creative realms. He’s a local artist, musician, producer and engineer.
He was introduced to the world of creating music when he was in elementary school through his brother and his friends.
“I really started getting into music when my brother (David Zubia) and this guy (Lorenzo Rojas) met. They met in middle school, I was in elementary school and I’d just hang out with them. That’s when I really got introduced to music,” said Stan Z.
After that, his creativity started blooming and he began crafting his own sound. The musician added that his family came together through music, and along the way, supported his dream.
“Around middle school I made my own band and that’s when my friend was like ‘Yo you actually make really cool stuff’,” Stan Z shared. “We showed my parents and they thought it was pretty cool. That’s when I started dreaming and thinking that maybe I could do something with this.”
During his senior year at El Paso High School in 2015, Stan Z dropped his mixtape which quickly started spreading around campus. After hearing the buzz from his classmates, he knew he had to keep it going.
Stan Z best defines his music as alternative hip-hop, however has dipped into other genres like jazz, indie rock and EDM. He’s performed solo on-stage hundreds of times and more recently has utilized live instrumentation.
“I like to throw a flow on stuff. There’s chorus’ and structures to it, but it does come back to the flow and rap. Really just speak and use my voice as an instrument,” he shared.
The artist has performed at SoFar Sounds El Paso (2020), Neon Desert Music Festival (2016, 2017), Sunset Heights Block Party (2017), as well as venues in Austin, Texas and Vinton, Texas. Within this time, he gained a strong and consistent fan-base that only further sparked his recognition.
Star City Studio Productions has been home to many local artists, including Stan Z. He started an internship there in 2017, and since then has grown as an artist while collaborating with others.
“Everyone invites you with open arms here at Star City and it’s just an amazing place,” he said. “The people here has just really built a community for me and given me a lot of resources. The quality that comes out of here, the facility is amazing.”
When we spoke with the artist at Star City, the live-instrumentation collaboration for his song “On Time” included David Zubia on bass, Judah Boseman on the drums, and Lorenzo Rojas on electric guitar. The musicians brought their own talents to the table and produced an eccentric, feel-good sound.
“I’m fortunate enough to be able to play with these guys because they’re amazing. They all have their own stuff going on so when we come together, we have some sort of direction where we know we can do something with music and bring value to it. We’re all on the same page. We’re going to take it as far as we can go. We’re just going to get there and it’s going to be dope,” Stan Z said.
As El Paso’s music scene keeps growing in the right direction, Stan Z shared that he feels the city can make a notable stamp compared to other cities across Texas.
“I feel like El Paso, we’re like the underdogs you know,” he said. “We’re at a really cool place. We’re almost on the cusp where we can really explode as a city. I’d like to see that and be a part of it.”
His goals for the future have no limit, but one thing he knows for sure is that he wants to bring his success back home.
“I’m trying to go for the Grammy’s you know. I’m trying to go all the way. I’m trying to bring this sound all around the world and bring it back here. I want to really have an impact on music in this city and just make it pop,” he said.
A piece of advice Stan Z wants other aspiring artists to know is one to remind yourself on the daily: “It’s really good to recognize your individuality and really understand there is nobody like you. Nobody has anything else anything like what you have to share.”
And no matter what, just keep going. “Work on your craft. Don’t ever stop.”
You can catch Stan Z among many other talented local artists at Chalk the Block on Saturday, October 9, 2021 happening in Downtown El Paso.
To follow the latest content from Stan Z, check him out on Instagram @stanzprod and Facebook. You can also check out his music on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.