“I want my album to make people feel like they can take over the world“
Zara Mizrahi is a complete change of pace for us here at Lady. Bang. Beat. Her music is pop personified. It is to say, very danceworthy. She is a young songwriter who has huge ambition! Across the country in sunny Los Angeles, Zara Mizrahi is out with a new EP that features songs such as, “I Can’t Hear You” and “Hot Boy“. We would compare her to the likes of Nelly Furtado but don’t let that fool you, we also spotted her playing a cover of Adele’s heartfelt “Someone Like You“. This further proves that Mizrahi has the talent to take her own shape and twist it in each direction she chooses. Our recent interview with the pop singer gave us a true look at what drives her to make music and whats keeps her pushing forward with her dreams.
Lady:Bang.Beat.: How did you get started in music?
Zara Mizrahi: Music has been a huge part of my life since I was young. I remember hearing my dad sing a lot which inspired me a ton. I would figure out songs on the piano and sing when I was by myself but I was always too shy to sing in front of people. I joined a band when I was 13 called Antidote that really made me realize how much I love music. When we would write and I would hear everything come together it was seriously magical. It was too bad we didn’t last, but I made sure not to let music go. From there I started playing at least 8 hours a day and got proper training because I didn’t want to be shy about singing and wanting to be a rockstar anymore. Finally I met a music producer through Facebook when I was 18 and we completely clicked. He quickly became my dear friend and co-writer. We ended up writing some kickass songs together.
LBB: Tell us a little bit about the concept of your EP. Is there a concept?
ZM: My first EP was more of a discovery for me. My song “I Can’t Hear You“, with its feel-good rap edge, was the last song we wrote, and I realized that’s the direction I want to explore next. I wanted to make music that was catchy, fun, sassy, but with a real message to give; not more bubble-gummy vapid music that one can forget about as soon as it’s done.
LBB: The album is very dance pop, what inspires your sound?
ZM: I think that even though a lot of people deny the fact that they like pop music, it’s hard to say that pop doesn’t have a way of making people feel bubbly and excited. I want my album to make people feel like they can take over the world. There are certain pop songs in history that were so good they can easily be classified as classic songs. Songs you can listen to again years later and it’ll still have an effect on the listener. Pop doesn’t have to be temporary. Good songs will be good forever. That’s what I want with my music.
LBB: What is the writing/recording process like for you?
ZM: Writing music is like giving birth. It’s my favorite part. It’s one of the most amazing sensations in the world to work with someone who just gets you. My producer/cowriter and I bounce ideas back and forth for hours until we get the perfect sound. It’s so fun when he’s like, “What if we did this?” and I’m like, “Yes! Then we can do this!” and before we know it we have a rockin’ song that sounds great.
LBB: What has your experience been like so far in the LA music scene?
ZM: It’s been really interesting. I’ve been wanting to be a musician since I was little so to have it finally come together and be so involved has been amazing. I can enjoy concerts in a new way because I have more respect for what artists go through- especially the ones who write their own material.
LBB: If I was to turn on your iPod right now, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
ZM: You’d see Paul Van Dyk, Owl City, Lauryn Hill, Kid Cudi and Emily Osment. I love being influenced by so many different artists because it allows me to have an open mind when it comes to my own music. If eventually I feel like doing a song with a reggae tone I can say, “Oh! Damian Marley is one of my favorite artists… I’m familiar with this.” It makes the process so fun and it creates a very authentic edge.
LBB: Where do you see your music career in the next 5 years?
ZM: My hope is that I’ll be working with my favorite artists such as Dr. Dre, Timbaland, and Lady Gaga. At some point I’ll be incubating new artists and producing music. I often wish people who have made it in music were more eager to find new talent.
LBB: If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?
ZM: I would love to be a DJ who writes electronica. Writing music is my strong suit (as opposed to melodies, lyrics) so if I could just rock out on a synth for a while I’d have a blast. I had a heavy hand in the production of my album as well so I would know what the listeners want to hear. I also love that electronica gives the DJ and the listeners the freedom to rock out for a long, long time. Sometimes I’ll listen to a song and wish it were longer because I was so into it. But with electronica, the artist has the freedom to go on for 20 minutes if he/she wants to, whereas artists who want radio play generally need to keep the song under three and a half minutes.
LBB: What advice would you give to a young girl who wanted to write their own music today?
ZM: I would tell her to write as much as possible and to talk about it as much as possible. You never know what someone can say or do that will push you forward. Stay inspired and do whatever you can to maintain that- whether it’s going to concerts, watching interviews, etc. And don’t stop doing it. It’s so easy for someone in this crazy industry to say, “Eff it I’ve done all I can, I’m giving up,” but it’s the people who push through who become successful. When you feel down, write a song about it. You can never hear enough heartbreak songs.