Blogger Spotlight: Zack Zarrillo (PropertyOfZack)

Today we are excited to be debuting a new recurring feature on the Haulix company blog that will highlight the faces behind the industry’s most popular news outlets. If you are a writer who would like to be featured in an upcoming column, please email at your earliest convenience.

On November 7, 2009 Zack Zarrillo was a high schooler with a passion for music and an interest in all things internet. The next day he took the first step toward what has quickly become a full time industry career by launching his own music news source, Covering the punk and alternative community, POZ quickly gained notoriety for its original columns and high quality video content. In 2012 PropertyOfZack joined the SpinMedia family as part of AbsoluteVoices and the rest, as they say, is history in the making.

We recently spoke with Zack about the early days of POZ, discovering new music, and what he thinks the future holds for himself and the rest of the music industry. You can read our conversation below. If you would like to learn more about zack, visit POZ or follow him on Twitter

H: For those unaware, please state your name, the site you work for, and your role at said site:

Z: I run PropertyOfZack, a website I founded and created in 2009. My every day duties are to make the site run in the ways a viewer sees it and to lead our team into getting and creating great content. It keeps me pretty busy.


H: What inspired you to start your own music blog? Did you go to school for writing or journalism?

Z: PropertyOfZack was started by accident. It slowly morphed into what it is now, and I’d say it really took a solid six or more months before I even truly realized what I hand in my hands with my team. I’m currently finishing my sophomore year in college and I’m in a music industry program. I don’t and probably won’t take any journalist or writing classes. I don’t consider myself a journalist.


H: Many sites out there cover the punk/alternative community featured on POZ. What would you say sets your site apart from the rest?

Z: I’d say there are four other sites that are similar in size and reach as PropertyOfZack. We seem to be a little more niche. We’re more strict about bands we cover, and we have a wide, but specific range of features too. We love giving bands a voice on our site, and our viewers love it too.


H: You feature a lot of indie/unsigned artists on your website. What your sources for music discovery?

Z: I just pay attention. If there’s buzz or enough people recommend something to me, I’ll listen most the time. We also take submissions for Showcases, and that’s a great way to find new bands. We covered many more small bands in our beginnings, but slowly transitioned away from that due to demand. About two years ago we brought out Showcase to help smaller bands as best we could. It’s been a success.


H: Let’s say a band wants to contact you about featuring their music on your site. What advice would you offer bands to help themselves stand out for from the others vying for your attention?

Z: Sending large paragraphs worth of information to me is rarely going to work. Spelling my name wrong is bad. Spelling my website name wrong is equally puzzling and not so good. Be straight forward, get to the point, and sell me on something. We like posting about bands – it’s better for the site in general. Just make it easy.


H: When it comes to receiving music for review and feature consideration, which services do you prefer and why?

Z: Haulix is my favorite advance listening website. Major labels use horribly outdated and painful services that are so frustrating I tend to give up on bothering listening to the music. Haulix is trustworthy and reliable. Props to Haulix.


H: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Z: I wish it was a little easier for those who work as hard as they do to be more financially successful. I hope one day that changes.


H: You tweet a lot about having big plans for the future. Before we let you go, can you tell us a bit about what PropertyOfZack has planned for the remainder of 2013?

Z: We just launched a new studio feature called Love Sessions. We’re releasing pilot episodes this summer and will be diving into season one in the fall. It’s going to be a great feature for us and our future. What else? Much more graphic design avenues will be seen on the site. We’re also going to have an overhauled design up.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.