Artist Spotlight: Zen Mantra


Sam Perry is Zen Mantra: a one-piece synth pop project hailing from New Zealand. The bedroom-producer embraces the energetic and feathery sounds of indie dream-pop and then combines them with the rhythm-heavy chords of shoegaze and lo-fi synth. The lyrics that accompany the woozy and dreamy hooks are very personal and rooted with deep emotion. Sam speaks on Zen Mantra below:

“My second Zen Mantra record was written over the course 
of the last three or so years, and thus it covers a lot 
of emotional ground for me – I practically spent half of 
my teenage years writing it and grew up a lot in the 
process… Years went by, years spent finishing high school, 
falling in love, touring the world for the first time and 
coping with the sudden death of my father, my relationships
changed, my relationship to music changed – I scrapped a 
few records, and the one I ended up finishing got bent 
severely out of shape.

When I started out making music I wanted everything to 
sound huge. My ideal sound was ambient, polished, 
compressed, driving and loaded with hooks. Some kind of 
blissful, stadium sized psych-pop project. In the end I 
wanted to make something that felt like a pop record, but 
with an underlying sense of dissonance. Something that for 
most part is quite energetic and rhythm heavy, but without 
forgoing any atmospheric qualities.”

Give his self-titled a listen:

Favorite tracks: Bailey & Second Skin

Zen Mantra has all of of his music available for streaming and purchase via Bandcamp and Flying Nun Records

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