On May 2nd 1994, Zak was born in New York City. The medical term “congenital complex syndactyly” was never something his parents never thought of or even thought of, but on the day Zak was born, it was hard to miss. Zak’s fingers were webbed together on his right hand, and it would require 3 surgeries to allow his hand to operate functionally, before leaving him with just 3 fingers. The incident inspired his former stage name “Proph3cY”.
“I used to jam out with my brother on the ukulele. This is long before I picked up guitar. In middle school, I was in the band for a little bit and I started to play the trumpet because I loved jazz and it was easy for my hand as well, but luckily from a young age I found I could always strum strings too. That definitely made me feel more capable. I think proving to yourself that you can use your body well, and doing things you thought your couldn’t is extremely important- disability or not. Playing guitar, football, kayaking, basketball- it doesn’t matter, just prove to yourself that you’re more than capable. To anyone out there with any kind of disability, you have to prove to yourself that you’re a capable human being. If not with your body, then with your mind and spirit”
“My high school experience was very diverse. There were definitely a lot poor kids growing up in tough neighborhoods, and there were also insanely rich silicon valley kids, all in the same melting pot. It made me realize that everyone had their problems and they were all just personal issues in the end. Either way, there turned out to be kids who are now really making something of themselves and becoming great/self-accomplished people, and there are those struggling (mostly with themselves). It didn’t matter how much money anyone had because the weak ones are falling and the strong ones are moving up. Those who wanted their life to mean something are finding a way”.