Our second print volume of 2019 is here. Welcome to 'The RESET (Reframe, Elevate, Support, Empower, Transform) Issue'. It's time to take a good look around at the world we live in. Society needs to change its opinion on women and female voices need to be heard. Be empowered. Empower others. Transform your future.
When we speak to Zara, she’s coming off the back of her comeback single, ‘Ruin My Life,’ and preparing to release her next, ‘Don’t Worry About Me.’ The tracks will act as a preface to her as-yet untitled second album (third if you count ‘1,’ her 2014 collection which was only released in her native Sweden). Zara’s previous LP effort, ‘So Good,’ was her breakout moment on the international stage; ‘Lush Life’ hit number one in the UK and around Europe, ‘Never Forget You,’ a collaboration with British queer pop singer MNEK, hit the top 20 in the States. Now, Zara’s ready to take things further – and she’s taking her fans along for the ride.
“I’ve been working on [the album] for quite some time,” Zara says. “I have songs that I either couldn’t release on my last album, or songs that didn’t make sense with it. Songs that I still love that I want to put on the next one, which means [the recording] will be longer than a two-year process.”
Two songs in particular, hangovers from the ‘So Good’ sessions, have stayed with fans – the spiky ‘Wanna’ and the tropical vibes of ‘Permission.’ Zara wants to placate her fans, sharing that she still has plans for these bops.
“I love Wanna!” she quite literally screams. “It’s definitely going to be on the album. I’m working on the production now, to make it cool and fresh. MNEK did it with me, he’s phenomenal.”
Permission stans won’t miss out either; Zara says that she might put it on a deluxe edition of the new album, for “the people that have been riding with me for some time.”
For Zara, the release of ‘So Good’ must have been a been a frustrating process; the success of ‘Lush Life’ seemed to both speed up and stall her career at the same time, she became stuck in a promo purgatory for about a year. We wonder what she learned from this, and what she’s carried over to her new album.
“I love all types of music,” Zara says. “I got to explore that a lot with ‘So Good.’ It’s really fun to do it like that, I collaborated with so many amazing people. But I don’t have any collabs on my album right now, period.”
One thing we also bring up is the state of pop music right now, which seems to be in a great, innovative place, especially for female artists. Zara compares it to pop’s “prime” ten years ago. But, as ever, there’s always room for change; especially allowing women writers and producers their time to shine, which is something Zara’s grappled with first hand.
“When I’m writing, I like to write with a girl,” Zara says. “First of all, because it makes me feel comfortable. Pretty much everything is male dominated, you have to really fight to claim your space. I talk to my A&R, and they’re like ‘this guy made this,’ and I’m like, ‘yeah, but why can’t I have a girl in the studio?’ Because they haven’t had a hit? That’s because you don’t put her in the fucking room!”
It takes a certain way of thinking not to conform. The individuals who are able to break the mould are the ones who can choose to tune in and act on their inner beliefs. This life we choose.
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