composer • producer • engineer
Born in the historically significant and turbulent city of Sarajevo, Zlaya spent his formative years obsessively playing his father’s semi-acoustic Gibson guitar through an old tube radio serving as a guitar amp. The exceptional tutoring by his father and the inspired sound of the tube radio-amplifier is the catalyst for Zlaya’s love of music and is something that remains resonant throughout his work to date.
Teenage years were spent in a hugely creative surrounding consisting of the local music and arts scene, taking part and becoming an integral member of the community. Playing in a number of new wave and experimental noise bands, amongst others: SCH and Scabia; whom with toured prolifically up and down the country and enabled Zlaya to cut his teeth now studying guitar, electronics and drums.
Further work during these early years included writing music for local theatres, composing jingles for the local radio stations and co-running a club where he helped promote the new and alternative music scene; organising gigs and DJ-ing six nights a week, recording and producing local bands and artists. Soon after recording and releasing the ‘During Wartime’ album with SCH, Zlaya moved to pursue a professional career within the industry and headed to Europe, sharing time between London and Amsterdam.
Whilst in Amsterdam, Zlaya instantly found his feet working alongside the familiar local independent and underground scenes in the capacity of recording, mixing and producing. Challenging himself further, full involvement in building a recording and mixing studio on a farm outside of Amsterdam from scratch began which was home for four years before further freelance work beckoned.
Seeing eye-to-eye with the prominent independent record label ‘Konkurrent’ led to a complete 360-degree collaboration. Together starting and taking to further heights the worldwide and critically acclaimed series of recordings and releases ‘In The Fishtank’. Adding more weight to an ever growing curriculum vitae, Zlaya cofounded ‘100% Recordings’, a low key noise label and also cofounder of ‘Transformed Dreams’, a well known Dutch indie label, both of which helped garner a full understanding of the work involved in managing and maintaining a small start-up business within the industry. Finally and fruitfully establishing a mixing and mastering room under the aptly title ‘LOUD!’ Zlaya blossomed, developing all his key skills and honing in his now much discerning ear and vision for the future.
After many years freelancing and living between Amsterdam and London gave Zlaya a real taste of big city life. His love for London has remained strong. The opportunity for collaboration, epic ideas and with a taste for the cinematic and bombastic, London became Zlaya’s cultural home.