Small town Arizona-native Zella Day is a 20-year-old indie-pop singer with 5 albums already under her belt. Signed to Hollywood Records, Zella released her new album Kicker this past June. If you’ve never heard any of her songs, take a moment to listen to ‘Jameson,’ ‘Sweet Ophelia,’ ‘Hypnotic’ and ‘1965.’ These zingers will make you jump on the fan wagon whether you like it or not.
Upon listening to her music, the realization hits that she’s going to be MEGA big. To understand exactly what I’m saying, hit play on her cover of ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes. Zella’s rendition is so calm that it’s almost spooky. This gypsy queen has a way of keeping the listener tuned in until the bitter end.
Zella also writes her own songs, which is something she’s done most of her life. Not to mention the first record she ever recorded was when she was 13 living in Pinetop, AZ. Like most artists, she’s sensitive to people around her and hyper-aware of her surroundings.
“Lyrics are such an interesting thing, just because there’s a part of it: Who’s going to be interested in what I have to say? Who’s going to be interested in my point of view because everything has already been said in some way shape or form?” Zella says in a Pandora interview.
Zella has also seen success in movies like Insurgent where her song ‘Sacrifice’ played. Disney’s anticipated winter release The Finest Hours features her song ‘Compass’ in the trailer.
As for right now, Zella is like any other ‘normal’ 20-year-old who’s trying to make a career in the music industry. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, where she’s been for the past 4 years.
“L.A. has been different,” Zella says in an interview with Free People. “My friends here have expected me to be better without even really saying that. It’s good to have input from people I respect, from my peers.’’
At her home in L.A., she shares a space with her roommate and her dog. She’s free-spirited at heart but knows what she wants out of life and always has. “I’ve always been very comfortable knowing what it is that I’m supposed to do,” Zella says of playing music in her interview with Pandora.
During the odd day that Zella has off, you can find her meditating on what to write next. “The days I’m not in the studio, I’m doing something that feeds my creative mind so that when I do sit down and write a song again I am inspired,” she says.
Zella’s success so far is all due to her perseverance over the years. She has her fears about keeping up the production of her music but knows she has to keep working on it. “I get afraid sometimes that maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and stop writing things that I love or come into a place in my life or a phase where I feel empty and don’t know what I’m going to say,” she says.
Like an athlete, Zella’s self awareness is on point, and she fully understands that practice makes perfect. “I definitely get into spaces where I feel like the well is dry, which I think happens to anybody and everybody. I mean it’s a job,” she says. “I really can’t … stop practicing because the second I stop writing, that muscle gets weaker.”
Her hard work is paying off. On a recent trip to New York, Zella was spotted by her fans. “These little girls came up to me and asked me if I had ever had anyone tell me I look like Zella Day. Being recognized out of a sea of people on a street, somewhere I don’t live… I couldn’t ask for anything more.” she says.
It’s obvious this kind of recognition is only going to grow bigger from here on out, especially with upcoming performance dates like the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village on September 19 in Las Vegas.
Check out Zella Day’s most recent album, Kicker, on iTunes.