ZEE MACHINE’s ‘4 On the Floor’ music video embraces body positivity

ZEE MACHINE’s new music video for his latest single “4 On the Floor” includes a beautiful and diverse body size cast lip syncing and dancing to the song, and we couldn’t be more obsessed!

Zee Machine is a Midwestern born, internationally raised, music school educated pop/rock/electronic singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. With infectious hooks, soaring vocals, and cutting lyrics, their empowering music and live sets are a celebration of all things queer. With influences ranging from Prince and Jeff Buckley to The 1975 and MUNA, they have brought his brand of arena-ready pop bombast to major venues throughout Los Angeles to crowds of thousands at Pride festivals across the country.

Zee Machine’s 2018 EP Brainchemistry debuted in the top 25 on the iTunes pop charts (the title track of which was named by Billboard magazine on their list of “50 songs you shouldnt have missed this year”, and name was named by The Advocate on their list of 7 queer artists changing the game.

His new single “4 On the Floor” embraces catchy lyricism combined with his stunning voice to bring us an anthem we can’t stop listening to. From the acoustic guitar, to the claps throughout the track, to the song structure and progression itself, ZEE creates this raw soundscape that puts us in the room with him.

It’s one of those songs that makes me absolutely crave being at live shows again — mainly because I know ZEE’s energy on the mastered track will match that energy live. I can feel it. That’s when you know it’s good music.  

The music video for “4 On the Floor” brings that energy and joy of the song to a whole new perspective. The music video includes a wide array of fans and friends with various body sizes singing and dancing along to the song. From bearded drag queens to handsome bears and adorable cubs, you can feel the confidence and joy everyone exudes!

Seeing everyone smile and enjoy themselves made me tear up. Seeing ZEE bring together so many people with something we all can enjoy is a true gift, especially after the last year the world has been through. This video is something everybody should watch to brighten up their day! 

I recently talked to ZEE MACHINE and asked some questions about this song and music video, check it out below! 

Bryce Quartz: What was your inspiration behind the insanely catchy song? 

Zee Machine: I wanted to write something I could both belt out to an arena but also play to an intimate room with a guitar if I wanted to. I sorta have a habit of masking a lot of really heavy subject matter with infectious little hooks and so that it doesn’t immediately come across so dark.

BQ: How did you go about getting people to record their takes for the video? 

ZM: A friend of mine sent me a video of him dancing to this song and I jokingly said “this should be the video”. But the more I thought about it I was like… Why the hell COULDN’T something like this be the music video? He’s a gorgeous gender-bending big boy and just watching that little video he sent me from his room pushed me to want to make this video a moment of unadulterated plus-size joy.

So, I literally just posted a Facebook status and Instagram story asking for plus-size hotties of any gender expression to send in videos of them dancing, lip syncing, performing, or just straight-up rocking out to my song in any way they wanted. I only gave them a few specific directions (i.e. film in landscape, give me a range of energy, give me at LEAST a minute of footage) but otherwise I wanted them to express themselves with autonomy and to wear whenever made them feel fine as fuck. I couldn’t have been happier with the beautiful range of people who ended up participating. (And it also worked out nicely for me on a few levels because I actually kind of hate being on camera unless I absolutely have to be.)

BQ: What was the hardest part about making this song and video?

ZM: The hardest part about making this song was FINISHING IT. I almost didn’t release this song, so just for the hell of it I posted a clip of the demo on TikTok… and it kind of blew up. So I was like shit, I didn’t know this was gonna connect like it did. I guess I need to finish it now. But I’m so happy I did.

As far as making the video, I’ve never been in charge of wrangling THIS MANY people for a project of mine. My imposter syndrome kicked in and i told myself “this is ridiculous and they’re all gonna think you’re dumb”, but seeing everyone’s submissions kind of took my breath and my anxieties away.

BQ: What was your favorite part about making this song and video?

ZM: Hearing that final mix of the song where everything finally clicked just the way I wanted was such a satisfying culmination of everything I hoped it would be. Musically and lyrically it felt very special and memorable and like such an honest little piece of me.

My favorite part of making this video was going through everyone’s submissions and feeling the happiness and energy radiating off the screen. I couldn’t help but smile the entire time I was editing. By the time I was done I felt like I knew them all a little better than when I started.

BQ: What is one thing you want people to take away from this video? 

ZM: I honestly just want people to see it and feel happier than they were before they watched it. It was very important for me to showcase and represent bigger bodies in a way that was joyful and beautiful on their own terms because I don’t see bodies like this showcased in the media very often.

It was important that I create a moment here where the presence of plus size bodies wasn’t just to help serve the message of, say, a song about #BodyPositivity, but rather that they be showcased as just a cast of beautiful people exuding joy to a cool song, period. 

BQ: What can we expect next from you?

ZM: With vaccines rolling out and some semblance of public life slowly starting to resume, I’m definitely hoping to hit the ground running (or at least power walking) with live shows again in LA. I feel like that is where I really shine and I haven’t had a chance to perform any of the music I’ve put out in the past year.

I’ve got some really really cool new stuff being recorded and produced right now and have some very exciting co-writes on the horizon. I’ve built up a good momentum in 2020 that I don’t foresee (and don’t plan on) slowing down this year. 

BQ: What other artists and songs are you listening to currently?

ZM: I’m going through a big anthemic alt-pop/rock phase right now. Walk The Moon, ARIZONA, Gotye, MUNA… A lot of songs I would cry to at a concert (and wishing I had written it).

But honestly, by the time this drops, I’ll be listening to something new and trying to write a song that sounds like it. I’m constantly getting inspired by the creativity and the grind of my fellow queer indie artists as well.

BQ: Thank you for chatting with us!

Be sure to watch the music video below!

Stream “4 On the Floor” on all streaming platforms now, and follow ZEE MACHINE on Instagram and Twitter!

Latest Articles

Bryce Quartz

Bryce Quartz is a queer, cubby rapper currently based in Brooklyn. In addition to contributing to Bear World, he is also a writer for Ryan Cassata’s music blog Rock The Pigeon. He has performed at bear events across the US and has worked with popular drag queens, including RPDR alum Brita Filter.