Zane Carter: Greenup County's Own Global Superstar
The Ashland Beacon
“Baby, when I'm next to ya
I can barely control it.
I get hypnotized, hypnotized.
Swimmin' into your ocean…
All your love and devotion
Every night, every night.”
That is just a small excerpt from the hit song “Holiday” performed by the global pop group NOW UNITED (NU) which was formed in 2017 by former Spice Girls’ manager, Simon Fuller. The group is comprised of 18 group members each representing a different country and nationality from all over the world. In late 2022, NU added a new member to the group when one of the members left. The newest member of this global sensation is none other than one of our very own from right here in Ashland.
Zane Carter was born in Ashland in March of 2003 and is graduate of Greenup County High School. Growing up, Carter enjoyed hanging out with friends, going to church, playing sports, and doing live streams on the popular social media app, TikTok. Carter has been taking the music world by storm since joining NU. The group is famous for their upbeat music, and their popularity seems to increase with each passing day. I was fortunate enough to catch up to Carter and chat with him about his incredible journey from small town athlete to worldwide superstar.
Growing up, did you always envision yourself doing something within the music industry?
Zane: I have always been somebody that's had a love of all things musical. I didn’t really find out that it was something that I wanted to pursue until I was going into high school. Growing up my dad, his dad, and his friends were always playing guitars. So, I grew up around that and because of that I just have a special place in my heart for the guitar. There is just something special about how it sounds. As far as singing goes, there's not really anybody in my family that was
really into that. When my parents, friends and other family found out I wanted to pursue a singing career… well it kind of threw them for a loop because it was something that as they say just kind of came out of left field.
How did you come to the realization that music was something you were passionate about and wanted to pursue?
Zane: Well to be honest, it really kind of happened by accident. I started out as a social media influencer, and I would often make funny videos. Then one day during one of my live streams, I had some music playing in the background, which is something that I always did. But on that day, I started to sing along to the music in the background. Well… my followers loved it and the positive response I received just came as a complete shock to me. I started getting requests to sing a song, so after that I put up the song “Let Her Go” by Passenger. I got such a positive response from my followers that it made me think “well alright, maybe I can sing after all.”
How did that make you feel knowing that your followers loved your voice and wanted to hear more?
Zane: Ahhh, it was just amazing and shocking! I mean here I was doing something that I had never done before, something I had never really imagined myself doing, and something I hadn’t realized was even a possibility until that moment. Growing up, I always enjoyed performing because I was always involved in sports. Growing up my stage was a ball court or a field. I have always had that desire to perform, and now I am ON A STAGE! It’s just so incredible, and I have bene so blessed by the Lord. Being able to find something that I am truly passionate about, enjoy doing, and that others get enjoyment from watching… its… it’s just such an incredible opportunity and such a blessing. There has not been a single moment that I have ever felt like this wasn’t something I was meant to do. I feel like I am right where I’m supposed to be in life… right where HE (the Lord) wants me to be.
What were your musical influences growing up?
Zane: When I was younger, I really enjoyed listening to Brad Paisley. He is just such an incredibly talented musician. As I got older, I really started to appreciate musicians like Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Zach Bryan, and Shawn Mendes.
What has been the highlight of your musical journey thus far?
Zane: Definitely going on tour. I just love being able to perform on stage. It’s just so surreal. When you are up there, you just get so pumped up seeing the crowd, the lights, and their response to our music. It just gives you a feeling that you can’t get anywhere else… it is such a thrill.
What do you do to mentally prepare yourself before a show?
Zane: We all get together and have a pre-show talk and have a breakout… 1-2-3-UNITED and then we all throw our hands up in the air. It’s just a way of getting us all pumped up. For me personal… I prepare for every show by praying.
When you are on stage performing … how does that energy the audience gives you make you feel?
Zane: Oh my gosh! I’m getting chills just thinking about it. It’s impossible to put into words. I know that might sound a little cliché in a sense. There really is not sentence I could give you that would allow you to picture in your head just how amazing it feels. It’s just a ridiculous feeling. I remember the first time I got to perform with the group. We were in Brazil, and we were performing in front of 30,000 people. There was this one song called “Beautiful Life” toward the end of the third act that I got to start out and sing in. There is the moment where we slow down and interact with the crowd. Everybody has their flashlights out, and we started this clap chant that the entire audience joined in on. In that moment, it was just so surreal. I started to tear up; it was just so intense.
What is something that you would want to tell others who might have dreams of breaking into the music scene?
Zane: Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to try new things. You can’t just close yourself up to opportunities because they are out of your comfort zone or because it’s something that you don’t think others will think is cool. You have to believe in yourself and what you can accomplish. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be where I am today. If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be touring and performing on stage, I would have thought you were crazy. I am where I am today because the Lord has blessed me with this opportunity and the courage to try new things. You never know what He (the Lord) has in store for you and what He (the Lord) has planned for your life. Some of the greatest things in my life have come from stepping outside the box and trying new things. Because of that, I have met some of the coolest people and made some really great friends along the way. I have all these immeasurable moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life all because I was open to trying something new. So, for anyone just starting out… don’t be afraid to just go for it.