Iliya Zaki Bin Aziz is Singapore’s foremost composer in the Epic Orchestral and Trailer Music genre. He found his love for symphonic music at an early age, and progressed to music of the rock and metal at 9 years old. His childhood idols, Japanese heavy metal band X-Japan, continue to be his greatest source of musical inspiration.
2013 – Shortly after discovering Epic Music via Youtube ChannelParkourfreak (now Trailer Music World), Iliya Zaki and friend JAYEL from tertiary school formed the music group 7DAYSMUSIC (SG). It was almost a match in heaven: JAYEL’s electronic musical voice, in combination with Zaki's affinity for symphonic music, yielded a sound yet unheard in the Singapore music scene.
Iliya composed his first few epic compositions under 7DM. Being the only epic music production group in the region, his works caught the attention of Peter Ebbinghaus from Soundtracks and Trailer Music, who subsequently published a review of 7DM on his journal. Not long after that, Peter invited Iliya to compose a track for a charity album entitled Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines.
7DAYSMUSIC was eventually disbanded on personal grounds. Nevertheless, Iliya Zaki continued writing epic music in his free time and came into contact with Christian Baczyk. They formed a close relationship. Through Baczyk, Iliya was given the opportunity to work with Rain Ventsel from Really Slow Motion Music & Sound Design (RSM), kickstarting the development of his composition and production skills. Iliya managed to get two of his tracks into RSM within a matter of weeks, and soon began writing tracks for companies such as Dos Brains, Must Save Jane, Really Slow Motion and switch.
Through Facebook, Iliya got to know EpicMusicVN's audio engineer, Lyubomir Yordanov, and Do Son Thanh, CEO of EpicMusicVN. Under their guidance, Iliya further honed his compositional skills. They collectively worked on Iliya's debut EP "LYRA", which was released on 5th November 2014 under EpicMusicVN and Switch Music Group. His track ‘Starlight’ was the first work published by EpicMusicVN to receive a trailer placement. From 2015-2016, Iliya assumed the role of EpicMusicVN’s Music Director and has worked on 3 public albums to date.
Local Gigs and Projects
In early 2015, Iliya composed Malay rock ballad 'Tanpamu' for a local songwriting competition.
Months later, a dinner with close friends, Caspar Francis and Fifi Leong, sparked a collaboration that birthed ‘RIWAYATKU’ –featuring Singapore rock legend Hanafie Warren.
'RIWAYATKU' is a full-length album of 10 tracks boasting hard-crunching guitar riffs and soaring vocal melodies. Iliya wrote the lyrics in malay and co-produced the music. He also sang back-up vocals for ‘RIWAYATKU’s sell-out album launch on 20th December 2015, at the Singapore Esplanade Recital Studio.
You can listen to the whole album on Spotify.
In mid-2015, Iliya and his brother founded an automobile cleaning company: 2Wash & Detailing. After the tragic death of his friend, Iliya spent most of his time with the company, achieving some success and held the title of "Singapore's only motorcycle detailing company" for period until several competitors appeared. Even so, they maintained their high standards and became the go-to people for motorcycle cleaning. In Aug 2016, Iliya completed his Master’s Degree in Professional Media Composition from Thinkspace Education and subsequently stepped down from 2Wash to focus on his music career. It was then, Iliya wrote Fire, Save Us, a massive 7-minute long composition.
Fire Save Us
Fire, Save us is a musical representation of Iliya’s struggle to find his fire for music, and was the first track he composed after emerging from an 8-month long hiatus from music and social media. The stream of heartbreaking developments in world news, and the passing of friends– some due to suicide, spurred his decision to retreat from social media. Iliya’s turn inward culminated in Fire, Save Us, an emotional 7-minute epic through which he exposes his soul and the essence of his realisation that life is truly fragile.
The thematic material of Fire, Save Us, particularly the piano melodies, originated from Iliya’s time in tertiary school. However, it was only through his 8-month reflection that he developed these ideas into the sound he always envisioned.
From the early feedback of those who had listened to the track, Iliya envisioned a whole campaign stemming from the basis of Fire Save Us. He co-founded a campaign with Stasha Wong and See Kian Wee under the same name: Fire Save Us
Fire, Save Us campaign is a collection of stories and portraits of everyday people: snapshots of humanity, woven into a common narrative that underlies all our differences. As we peel away the Subject’s layers of socio-economic context, political values and personal beliefs, we discover a struggle at the core of each story, and reveal an individual who is, fundamentally, not so different from ourselves.
The campaign serves as a publicity strategy for Rise of Fire, an album of the Epic Orchestral genre by Iliya. It aims to break perspective and see versions of yourself int he story of another, so that you connect to a common humanity and transcend your struggle, together. The world today is in need of empathy more than ever.
Every friday, the campaign wil feature a new Subject's portrait and story on the official Campaign page and Facebook Page
Join Iliya in his fight to make the world a better place. #firesaveus #fireisrising
Listen to his latest public works here!