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EZI:Exploring the Dark Side of Love

by HQ

EZI's story is improbable, fortunate, and very inspiring. After catching the attention of shoe design mogul Steve Madden, the girl, better known in the acting world as Esther Zyskind, found herself navigating the music industry with a unique combination of vulnerability and tenacity.

At one point, she felt lost, unsupported, unequipped, used, and vulnerable. But now she is ready to captivate the public. Her music has connected with a wide audience that, release after release, shows their unconditional support thanks to her honest lyrics and characteristic melody.

‘Cold Cement’ is one of those harsh lyrics that hit you right in the face. Able to open your eyes with the same force with which it pushes you to the depths of memories. Very easy to connect with both the lyrics and EZI’s voice which gives ‘Cold Cement’ a special touch with the interpretation.

We had the opportunity to speak with her about ‘Cold Cement’, love, mental health, and more. So, read until the end.

Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your single, ‘Cold Cement,’ and the story it tells?

Cold Cement is about romanticizing the recklessness and pain that can come with romantic relationships, and how sometimes that alone can be enough to keep you coming back.

Could you walk us through your creative process when writing ‘Cold Cement,’ considering it was written almost five years ago? How has your perspective on the song evolved since then?

My creative process itself actually hasn’t really changed much since writing the song. I wrote the majority of it by doing melody passes to the guitar chords till I felt the shape of the song and then dove into the lyrics. Which is still how I like to write the majority of my songs.

My perspective on the song, however, has changed so much. At the time of writing this song, I genuinely believed that love couldn’t exist without pain, and I really felt like a victim of that experience. Because of that, so much of my creativity was about or relied on getting hurt. I’ve shed that perspective completely; if something isn’t making me feel safe or good, I don’t revel in the pain of that, and I definitely don’t entertain it for very long.

The song has this feeling of deep agony that kind of goes into the bones when you listen to it. How was that possible?

I was such a sad girl when I wrote the song, lol. I was deep in the agony of it all and just poured it into the song.

You mentioned being inspired by Portishead and The Weeknd for the song’s sonic direction. How did these influences shape the sound and atmosphere of ‘Cold Cement’?

I worked with a producer named M-Phazes on this song and several other songs on my project. We were very inspired by the punchy, organic yet programmed-sounding drums that a lot of Portishead’s music is known for. Those kinds of drums really helped shape the sound of my project and my overall sound to this day. As for The Weekend, he was a major inspiration for me as an artist, especially at the time of this song.

I love the dark and cinematic worlds he creates through his music. Lyrically, I related to how tormented and emotionally detached his experiences were with love, specifically in Call Out My Name, Pretty, and Adaptation. I channeled a lot of that energy into Cold Cement and pulled inspiration production-wise from those songs as well.

As someone who has openly discussed mental health and identity in your music, how does ‘Cold Cement’ contribute to this ongoing narrative in your work?

I hope anyone who relates to Cold Cement right now knows that it gets better. Love, pain, and heartache don’t always have to coexist the way I thought they did at the time of writing the song.

How does EZI respond today to a ‘Cold Cement’ love?

Since then, I’ve experienced the latter to a Cold Cement love, so if something is hurting me, I call it and put a limit on how long I let myself give it a chance.

You’ve built a loyal fan base over the years with your authentic and reflective approach to music. How do you expect your fans to respond to ‘Cold Cement’?

People are gonna hear a very vulnerable and tormented side of me in this song. I don’t know how they’ll react, but if they relate to it, I hope it can help them heal.

With your background in acting and now as an independent recording artist, how do you feel your experiences in both fields have influenced your approach to storytelling in music?

I remember when I was acting, I felt like I was hiding behind a character or bringing someone else’s vision to life. My music is very much my story, and I’m telling it in the most raw and unfiltered way I can.

Looking ahead, what can fans expect from EZI in terms of future releases or projects following the launch of ‘Cold Cement’ and your upcoming album release?

This song is probably me at my lowest on the whole album, so people will get to hear the arch of coming out of that experience.

Photographer Cody Lidtke
Hair: @willcut2kill
Styling: Willyum Beck
Makeup: Mark de los Reyes

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