PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Shotonwa
HER debut single is out, so…
it was a good moment to speak to ZoZo about I Won’t Leave Your Bed Tonight. She talks about her studies and what she has planned next in her career; the music she was raised on – and those artists she is listening to right now. I was eager to learn more about her music and the themes that go into it; what compelled her decision to get into music – and what London is like with regards inspiration and creativity.
ZoZo looks ahead to Christmas and talks about gigs; how she feels about the situation in Catalunya (as she is from that area) - and why she moved to the U.K. years ago.
Hi, ZoZo. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi, Sam! Great thank, you.
I’ve just released my first official single, I Won’t Leave Your Bed Tonight, so that’s all that’s on my mind really! I’ve also just started studying a Masters in Songwriting and Production at Tileyard - so I have quite a lot there, too.
Busy time of the year!
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
Yes, sure. My name is ZoZo. I grew up in Catalunya and moved to the U.K. six years ago to pursue my love for writing and music. I describe my music as Dream-Pop with lots of synths layers and cinematic sounds. My lyrics touch on everyday life - along with stories and secrets we don’t tell.
I Won’t Leave Your Bed Tonight is your new single. What is the story behind it?
The song revolves around having a connection with a guy but you only seem to meet up and hang out at night. I only ever knew him while he was drinking and, as a non-drinker myself, I was aware of the way he/we came across to others in venues. I woke up in the middle of the night, once, and realised I didn’t know this person at all, really, and wanted to leave - but I didn’t until he had a clearer mind and ‘remembered who I was’.
Will there be a video for the song coming up?
Yes! There’s currently a lyric video on my YouTube, but there will be an official music video coming in a few weeks, around November!
Excited for this one!
The song is released via Killing Moon. What is it like working with the label and are there more song coming?
They’re great and I’ve been free to express myself the way I wanted to. There’s more singles coming after the music video - no dates set yet but more singles from ZoZo coming soon yes!
How did you first get into music? Was it something you got into at an early age?
My dad is a Classical pianist and always played beautiful music all-day-long, echoing through the house. I grew up with a lot of cheesy ‘bad’ Spanish Pop - which I loved as a kid and would pretend to be on stage dancing in front of the mirror! It was never something I thought I’d end up doing until I bought a guitar the day I finished school at eighteen and just couldn’t stop writing songs.
I’d always written lyrics and sang to myself in the woods but, finally, really got into music properly in my late-teens.
Who are the artists that inspire you most, would you say?
I love artists like Christine and the Queens, Aurora; Lorde, Rhye and Shura. I only discovered them in the past four years. Earlier on, I used to listen to a lot of ABBA and Coldplay. I think all these artists portray their art so genuinely - and are just great musicians with amazingly catchy songs!
Recently, you modelled for Ofio (and their autumn/winter collection). Will you be doing any more fashion shoots and what was the experience like?
Yes. It was great!
I’ve known them for a year or so. I did some modelling when they first launched last year. I specially loved this last shoot as it captured the warm autumn colours, which I love. It was a great shoot in Holland Park; the colours are so vibrant at the moment! I hope to do more with Ofio in the future. I used to do theatre and have always been fascinated by visuals, so I’d love to more modelling. There’s a lot you can express in a photo and I feel visual art and music go hand-in-hand.
Always up for collaborating with photographers and interesting brands!
You are a Catalan/Scottish girl living in London. Why did you decide to come to the U.K. and what do you think about Catalan’s fight for independence at the moment?
I decided to move for music. I studied music in Brighton for two years and then moved to London because I was getting more and more gigs here. I think it’s one of the best places to be for what I want to do. I developed my sound over the past years while living in this crazy place - and I’m really happy with everything surrounding me.
Catalunya…I grew up there, so I feel strongly about the whole situation that’s going on right now (and over the past decades). I’ve never been very political or patriotic so my views come from having grown up in the country; living with the local people who have lived through Franco’s dictatorship. It’s horrible what happened three weeks ago when the Catalans went to vote; horrific.
Spain has to change and independence definitely seems the way forward for Catalunya.
What is London like in terms of opportunities and inspiration? Is it a city you feel alive and comfortable in?
I adore London!
Yes. I love people watching and discover new places every day. There are lots of opportunities but I also think you really have to go out there and chase them (like everything). It’s an amazing place for new music and every type of artist to express themselves.
I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else (for a long time, for now!)
Next month, you will be playing at The Old Blue Last. Are you looking forward to that gig and are there going to be any more gigs before 2018?
Yes. I’m really looking forward to it! I haven’t played a live set in a few months, so it will be exciting to perform some new songs and upcoming releases on the 7th. I don’t have any other gigs planned before 2018.
We’re putting on a Xmas showcase with my MA. on the 14th December at Nambucca - so you may catch me playing some songs there; more info closer to the time on my socials!
IN THIS PHOTO: Billie Eilish
Which new artists do you recommend we check out?
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
These three albums mean the most to me because they just transport me to another, strange world - I’ve listened to them on-repeat at certain points in the past two years - and I can remember exactly where and what I was doing.
Music is amazing!
Christine and the Queens - Chaleur humaine
I just love the textures and simple, but really catchy, production on all her songs. I’m fascinated by androgyny and love that she portrays that freely in her music, videos; dance and lyrics.
Lorde - Melodrama
Lorde and Jack Antonoff, who co-wrote most of the album, are just brilliant songwriters! I love this album because of the amount of experimenting they did in the production. There’s similar piano parts in a couple of the songs - which made me go back and re-listen to them again. They’re very clever at putting strange, interesting sounds and vocal/harmonic changes together.
It’s a whole journey I was listening to on-repeat at the beginning of the summer as I made the decision to release my first single. It takes me back to feeling excited but nervous!
Aurora - All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend
Runaway was the first song I heard off the album. The middle eight made me cry almost instantly. All of her songs have that strange feeling where you’re smiling, but could almost cry at the same time. Her lyrics are both childlike and very profound (and grown-up) which I love. I feel like I connect very well with her quirky ways and enchanting music.
I think my music could be a mixture of all three - they’re very inspiring.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Write loads, all the time. Go out and meet people. Perform a lot and network.
Record every little idea and start producing simple demos. I really found my sound after I started producing and I started writing differently. ‘Persistence’ is probably the best word to describe artists: you just have to do it.
I’m still trying: we’re all trying!
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already or will you be busy working?
Yes. I’m going home to Catalunya for a few days. I’m in the middle of planning my next single and thinking of the video concept - so I may be filming and editing that over the Xmas period.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Yes. Billie Eilish – watch
Such a cute, catchy wee tune!
Thank you! ZoZo