While Zella Day possesses a vintage charm, implementing elements of 60s and 70s psychedelia, she proves to be ahead of the times with her originality, talent, and dynamic musicality. Rarely do you find an artist who balances the past, present, and future with such grace.
Starting in her early teenage years, this Arizona-born starlet began releasing songs – initiating her career with an independent debut album, “Powered By Love.” She would later work as an acclaimed songwriter, and once she was signed, she began pouring out tunes – and she is on a roll.
Having released two albums, several singles, and a new EP, while being a popular performer at many music festivals, Zella is one to watch. Where Does The Devil Hide is Zella’s newest project, a five-track EP featuring several hits interwoven with the mystical, otherworldly tone of the 60s and 70s.
Zella is a beacon of hope for artists pursuing their own paths, as she unapologetically creates what she loves. Her music is fantastic and original – and Ladygunn had the pleasure of interviewing her.
How are you doing? How has the quarantine affected you?
Today I’m doing great. I’m writing to you from my friend’s cabin that is nestled up here in Northern California. I’m doing my best to roll with the punches.
Your music has the feel of Fleetwood Mac, the Doors, and the psychedelic ‘60s. What musicians do you look up to or seek inspiration from?
The spirit that comes through the artists that you mentioned is something that I can only hope to achieve at some point in my career. I’m drawn to artists who are unapologetically themselves and to that golden era of music where rawness was invented and inevitably changed the world. It’s hard these days to create something new, but I think as long as you are pushing yourself to the edge of your own creative abilities you start to tap into the source.
“Only A Dream” is the fourth single released off of your forthcoming EP, Where Does the Devil Hide. Why release this song now?
The timeline was created at the top of the year, I’ve stuck to the release schedule and somehow it’s all making sense.
What did the songwriting process of “Only A Dream” look like?
That song took a little longer to finish. I started it in my mom’s backyard in Long Beach over a glass of wine and then decided to put it away until I felt I had the broader message worked out. I had the idea of wanting to personify my own issues into a devil character that lurks in unforeseen places both in ourselves and in our relationships. I worked through the majority of the song before bringing it to Nashville and finished it in the studio with Dan.
The music video for “Only A Dream” is beautifully intimate and personal. What was the thought process behind making this video so artistically vulnerable?
I made the video with some of my closest friends. I wanted to make sure that I felt as comfortable as humanly possible on set so that I could fully commit to the character. I’m not an actress, it’s never come naturally to me, but I wanted to tell this story and to do so I had to trust myself and the people around me in order to create a supportive environment for my emotions to come through. The four of us set out for the weekend with a rough shot list in mind seeking the spontaneity that exists between lovers whether it be good or bad.
How is your forthcoming EP different from your previous works, such as Kicker and your other singles?
I’m growing and changing and so is the music.
When do you know when a piece of music is fully complete? Is there a moment of satisfaction that you can pinpoint?
I think the most beautiful thing about music is that there isn’t one right way to complete anything. Of course there are physical manifestations like making a record, but it’s about allowing the music to be. Some of my favorite things I’ve made still feel unfinished and are always evolving.
If you could have written any song ever created in the history of music, which song would you pick? And why?
Probably “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton. In my opinion, she’s one of the best songwriters to ever live. She’s written songs that became hits over and over again.
In your time in the music industry, how have you grown as an artist? And what artist do you strive to be?
I strive to maintain artistic integrity without having an enemy complex for the music industry. For me, it’s easy to slip into a place of blaming the beast but I’ve found it rewarding to learn more about the business so that I can continue to make music without feeling lost in the madness.
CONNECT WITH ZELLA
story / Taylor Thompson
photos / Cameron McCool