Zach David Simms and Emily Cooper are blazing trails in the new normal as the electronic duo Future Joy. Their countless stream performances with some of the biggest events and promoters such as Potent Productions, Party Guru, and Rocky Mountain Virtual, have illustrated their status as top tier “QuaranStream performers”. Their busy publishing schedule of several single releases, their first label release “Abode”, and a remix of “Circles” are keeping the duo in the public eye.
The project started 2 and a 1/2 years ago as a duo featuring Zach and live drums, “Thirsty” and “Up All Night” are notable early releases. After the departure of the drummer in early 2020 the project pivoted to a solo DJ set including sax. Eventually shows started to feature Emily, which lead to an organic path towards her status as a full member. This created a “crossflow” approach to DJing shows that the group calls mixing with “4 hands”. On Thursday May 28th I sat down and talked to Zach And Emily about live-streaming, staying relevant in the current music market, and where they see music taking them next.
After their Spring tour was cancelled due to Covid-19 the duo found themselves stuck at home focusing on home recordings. Eventually they started to watch other streamers, eagerly taking notes on the elements that most impressed them. As they began to live stream they focused on fine tuning their performance and production, and over time made gradual improvements. While talking to Zach and Emily it was clear that there was a direct emphasis on watching others to learn and grow while working as a team.
The evolution of their productions included expanding to multiple platforms like YouTube and Twitch, dialing in the sound quality, incorporating multiple camera angles, and a green screen. I was especially inspired with how forward thinking the duo is in their approach, as they are always looking to expand or find the next “thing” while integrating other’s novel developments. This includes working in almost every medium that has come to define the music landscape during quarantine. Included is a remix and music video of Post Malones “Circles”, which generated 70 fan submitted videos and achieved large reach.
recent live stream from Rocky Mountain Virtual Festival
Clearly their quality of production, variety of content, and audience engagement are catching a lot of attention. This has allowed them to maintain a steady flow of streams performing as many as 12 in 10 weeks.
The teams consistent and high quality streams are helping to build a healthy and thriving audience and community. Live streams have made live music events more accessible and Future Joy is having success encouraging their existing audience to participate online, including their parents who have even signed on to Twitch in order to participate. With greater access to fans Zach and Emily are in position to grow larger and more engaged audiences including a growing interest in foreign markets.
Currently the hope for the future is looking to fill diverse, unique and DIY performance opportunities. They both mentioned how much they were missing the full sound of shows and actual people. As early adopters of socially distant shows they have invested in a trailer to bring the music to people in real life again. They are busy researching alternative opportunities to retain in-person shows, and are open to parking lots or other spaces to perform social distance parties. They mentioned some hybrid festivals in the fall that haven’t been cancelled, and they are still holding out hope that they will happen. I asked them and as of now they are planning on live-streaming all future performances. Right now, they are making moves and waiting with anticipation to see if things will reopen.
Zach and Emily are looking to keep super busy through the Summer, including their new EP “Abode” which was released on June 12th by the Gradient Perspective label. Featuring five original tracks the collection brings atmospheric attitude and hypnotic beats, “Luvrs no. 11” is a particular standout. I was also very impressed with Zach and Emily’s support for the community when I asked for their advice to other creatives and streamers. Their advice centered around trial and error while focusing on integrating the tech and finding good video and sound quality. They mentioned fellow Rocky Mountain Virtual alum Sarah Niemitz as a great example of an artist who provides a truly captivating show. It was evident that presence and captivation are key, as well as distinguishing yourself through genuine and authentic engagement.
As the music industry evolves in the “new normal” they continue to reach larger audiences and develop international interest, while maintaining a hyper focus on the next trends. Future Joy is blazing trails and helping to
redefine success in the modern music industry, my conversation with them was informative and inspiring and I can’t wait to see where innovation takes them next.
Check out Future Joy!
This was written by Ross Sandlin