Premiere: Zanillya - "For You"
What is one of the main things you hoped to communicate to your listeners with "For You" ?
When I write, I'm always coming from a place of personal experience. Songwriting for me is a cathartic process of self-expression. However, when I take a step back I often realize that there is a message for others to take out of it. I hope to touch people. With this song you could say I hope to empower people to stand up for themselves when they are being disrespected and mistreated-- to help people recognize their intrinsic worth even if others take them for granted. At least that's what this song means to me.
In what way does your heritage shape your sound?
Coming from an Aruban father and a Macedonian mother, and being raised in multicultural environment meant that I was exposed to many different ethnic influences in terms of music. Growing up, we spoke broken english in my household, which has translated to my work and how I come to express myself. This aspect of my Aruban background is not the only influence I have taken from it; you can often hear dancehall influences in my productions, which I heard a lot throughout my childhood. In terms of my lyricism and the themes present in my songwriting, I would have to say the Roma gypsy passion and spirituality coming from my Mom’s side has also been ingrained into my world view.
What's the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
I was at my moms’ house, and she was reading beans at our family barbecue, and my brother was there being rowdy in the background (as per usual). So we are all waiting for the food to come off the grill, and over the garden fence you could hear the neighbors blasting this super stereotypical Dutch music by a singer named Andre Hazes. He made really traditional folk music about life, it sounds cheesy but, to be honest, it’s actually pretty good. We were all making fun of it, and my brother, who visually comes across as this tough black guy with a tattooed face, suddenly screams, “Ayy I love this dude he makes such good music,” and starts doing this loud impression of this old white Dutch singer, but shockingly well. I guess you had to be there, but he kept this impression going for like an hour! We all laughed so hard, and honestly, I almost peed myself.
Is there an artist or musical group that you grew up listening to that has directly or indirectly (or both!) influenced you and how you approach music-making?
I grew up in a household with a lot of music, so to say that one artist influenced me would be unfair. I think what makes my music sound the way it does is the diversity of styles I grew up listening to. Opera, gypsy music, R&B, Dancehall, Hiphop, you name it. At my grandmothers house there would always be Soca and Calaypso playing, and my dad listened to prince and a lot of rock music, and all of that definitely had an unconscious influence on me. But I must say that it was Hip-hop, R&B, and Dancehall that stood out the most and made me want to consciously infuse it into my music.
What song best describes your day yesterday?
Yesterday was crazy busy! I was working on finishing the EP whilst also finishing the concept of my new music video. It was certainly fun, but it does get a little draining. I couldn’t really say one song captures how my energy fluctuated across the day. Yet, when I finally got home and had a chance to relax, the song that describes the feeling that set in is probably ‘Scars’ by My Brothers and I. It talks about letting go, and accepting the scars we all carry throughout the day. I guess that song describes almost all of my nights.