Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “new music showcase,” the feature where I introduce you to artists that readers of this site may find interesting. This time I have an exclusive Q&A with Dr. Raza.
METAL ANARCHY: Tell me a little about your music:
DR. RAZA: My name is Dr. Raza. I am a self-taught keyboard player and a one-man band with a background in Dentistry and I make synthesizer based progressive, instrumental rock. I specialize in a DIY approach to music that is conducive to the modern lifestyle and purposely avoid elaborate productions and recording setups. My aim is to push artistic barriers while demonstrating that people do not need the latest and the best gear to make decent music.
METAL ANARCHY: Who are your main influences?
DR. RAZA: I take influences from a wide variety of genres of music from classical and jazz to progressive rock/metal and all kinds of metal sub-genres. My biggest influences include Dream Theater, Rush, King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer and YES. I am also heavily inspired by the works of progressive keyboard players such as Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Jordan Rudess, Kevin Moore and Derek Sherinian.
METAL ANARCHY: What is your latest release and why should readers of this site check it out?
DR. RAZA: My latest release is my album titled “Brain in a Jar” (Coming May 1st 2019). ‘Brain in a Jar’ is a concept instrumental album set sometime in the uncertain future and tells the story of a musician, set inside a virtual world that exists only inside a large supercomputer and actual humans have long since been extinct. The story follows the life, struggles and the happenings of the protagonist Octava all while acknowledging that the existence they are living in is a simulation. I always emphasize to my listeners that in order to fully understand my music, listeners read the concept story that is present within the release notes in order to fully grasp what my music is about.
I feel what I do appeals to a lot of metal fans in general in addition to fans of the progressive genre. Metal music (and the fan culture in general) have always been at the cutting edge of thematic discussions that involve issues of the day as well as pushing thought when it comes to talking about broader more abstract and social issues. My music is not only technical in nature, which a lot of metal music is, but also touches on various philosophical and ethical issues that pertain to our species and presents them in a relatable way, dressed as a science fiction story. This discussion combined with my command over the compositional narrative makes my music highly appealing to the readers of your site.
METAL ANARCHY: What can people expect when they go to your live shows?
DR. RAZA: People can expect to hear energetic and heavy music that is not traditionally expected of keyboards. They can expect to be entertained by the expertise of the performance and question the limitations that are traditionally put on the unexplored richness of the synthesizer sounds.
METAL ANARCHY: Where do yourself in 5 years?
DR. RAZA: I see myself as having a sustainable career as a full time in 5 years’ time which will allow me to look forward to planning my first North American Tour.