Zachary Sinutko has spent 2020 working on music at his home studio in Troy.

Zachary Sinutko has spent 2020 working on music at his home studio in Troy.

Photo provided by Zachary Sinutko

Troy student accelerates music career in quarantine

By: Eric Czarnik | Troy Times | Published November 10, 2020

 Zachary Sinutko, standing on a ladder and holding a camera, aspires to reach new heights in his music production career.

Zachary Sinutko, standing on a ladder and holding a camera, aspires to reach new heights in his music production career.

Photo provided by Zachary Sinutko


TROY — When COVID-19 shut down Troy Athens High School classrooms last spring, Zachary Sinutko feared missing the highlights of his senior year of high school, such as prom and graduation.

One thing the virus didn’t stop, however, is his growing career as a music producer.

“At first I was in shock, like everyone,” he said. “But after I took a few breaths and took some time off to myself, I thought now is a better time than ever to make music. I took it as more of a blessing than a curse.

“One of my big motivators was the fact that I was stuck at home, where my studio is.”

For the past few years, Sinutko has kept himself busy doing music production at his Troy home studio.

“I started at a beginner entry level, where I was doing it with my friends and doing music because it was music,” he said.

But what started as just a fun activity in his spare time soon became a passion and an outlet to spread his feelings and messages. And soon enough, his work started earning recognition. One of Sinutko’s proudest achievements is winning two of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’  Michigan Student Emmy Awards. He added that he has been nominated for three.

Sinutko said he is inspired by all kinds of music genres, but particularly rap. He has been working with a local rapper, G-Slack, adding that their work has gotten over 1 million plays on Spotify this year. He said the two also appeared on 97.9 WJLB-FM’s “Dope or Nope” show, where they did interviews and freestyles.

Sinutko also said he is working with Lia K Catallo, a singer-songwriter who does soft pop and acoustic rock. They have already had songs played on metro Detroit radio and TV stations, and this year they have collaborated on an album called “In My Fantasies.”

“All our music is all 100% clean acoustic pop/soft rock music that we created from scratch ourselves,” he said. “We aren’t signed to a record label; we don’t have a fancy recording studio. We are just two 18-year-olds trying to get our point across using music.”

Even in an era of social distancing, Sinutko, now 19, and Catallo were able to network and assemble a crew of creatives to work on their album. Examples of outside talent include rock band Blue October’s bass guitarist Matt Noveskey and electric guitarist Will Knaak, as well as Scottish drummer Roan Anderson.

Metro Detroit orchestra members played violin and cello, Sinutko said.

“Many artists had to cancel their shows, tours and albums due to the coronavirus, and we knew the effects of this too,” he said. “So we reached out to a few big artists to see if they would be able to send their talent to us from all around the world.”

Catallo said working with Sinutko is both fun and productive, and she praised him for his work ethic and his habit of searching for new opportunities to grow.

“We build on each other’s strengths and talents by trying new things musically, trying to be creative, and using our gifting in the way we create music,” she said. “Zach is great to work with; he is very talented and holds lots of knowledge.”

Catallo said creating music this year was different than normal, but very fun all the same. She said Sinutko made a lot of the music in his own time, and then the two would record vocals and jam together.

“It has looked different because we weren’t able to always be working on stuff together, but it was not extremely different,” Catallo said in an email. “It kept me and him distracted from things going in the world during this crazy time.”

Sinutko said that despite the quarantine and canceled events, he and his colleagues have found ways to perform virtually, through the media and in alternative venues. For instance, Catallo did a virtual Arts Beats & Eats performance. And both Sinutko and Catallo play music at Kensington Church in Troy.

Looking ahead, Sinutko said he hopes to eventually do college internships that take his career to New York or Los Angeles.

“It’d cool to be able to pick up and move everything I’ve been doing and start over in another city,” he said.

Find out more about Zachary Sinutko and his music by searching for his channel on YouTube.