Last month, we featured five up-and-coming artists from around the world, including Zellow from Melbourne, Australia. This month, we were fortunate enough to have a chat with the rising star herself!
Zellow first caught our ears earlier this year with the stunning and unique “Be Down”. Join us as we talk about inspirations, Melbourne’s music scene, and what’s next for Zellow.
Describe your sound for us.
It’s definitely influenced by soul, I used to be a backing singer in a soul band. Anything with harmonies I love too. Electronic soul, whatever I’m feeling really.
Who are your inspirations & what are you currently listening to?
Everyone. Soul. Electronic. Bonobo and Tycho, sample based ambient music. Music that incorporates vocals in harmonies. In a way, I got so caught up in thinking that I had to write pop songs. Electronic music really changed my perspective on how to write music.
How did you get started singing & producing? Do you come from a musical family or was singing something you’ve always wanted to do?
I started producing because there was so much good music, and I was really intrigued by how they made it all sound so good. I was listening to a lot of live records. When I’m producing, I usually just use the first take. I like capturing the feeling of that first moment.
Mum was an opera singer and when I was really little I would get up in the morning and sing with her. Then I discovered soul music in high school and was like, “Whoa, what is this?!”
What is your creative process like?
I usually do things in one day. Something comes to me and I start it and something happens. The more and more I work on something the more and more I don’t like it. It’s like relationships; the ones that do work, they just happen.
Do you have any pre-show rituals or superstitions?
I get really super nervous so I listen to music or try not to think about it too much. I like being outside away from everyone and I look up at the stars and think about all of the people at the venue, all of the people in Melbourne, all of the people in Australia, all of the people in the world and the fact that I’m just one person. That helps me calm down. And I think, “Just do you.”
Who’s your favorite soul artist?
Sam Cooke, his voice just sails over everything. Same with Donny Hathaway and Nina Simone, those artists really made me appreciate how pure and clear a voice can sound in such a powerful way. Any of the old soul classics I love.
Your music is a mix of influences and genres. There’s a lot of really great talent coming out of Australia right now, Melbourne especially. And a lot of those artists are making music influenced by R&B/Soul. Why do you think that is? How do you feel about the music scene in Melbourne and what is your favorite thing about it?
That’s a good question. Maybe because that’s the good stuff haha. When a soul song comes on it just makes you feel good. Maybe people, particularly in Melbourne, vibe with it. At this point in time, there’s a massive wave of electronic music in the Melbourne music scene. There’s a lot of new artists producing themselves which is so great because you no longer have to depend on someone else to help you make music, you can do it yourself.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not recording/working on music?
I swim a lot. I always go for a swim. The sound of the ocean is so therapeutic. When you’re swimming in the ocean you’ve got no worries. Everything’s just sweet. After you listen to the same song for a couple hours your ears are like, they’ve heard it so many times and they don’t wanna listen. Swimming is my way of taking a break and moving around.
What’s in the works next for Zellow?
Gigs and then an EP. I love performing live, you get such a rush that you don’t get in the studio. I love doing shows because everything is heightened, which is heaps of fun.
Any last words?
I think that more females out there should know more about production. Learn to do it yourself. If there’s anyone wanting to learn something, just message me! I think it’s great passing on knowledge.