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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW MANCHESTERS SZOU

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I went to a festival when I was 12 and saw Friendly Fires live. I had no idea who they were but felt such a strong feeling of euphoria. I wanted to be up on that stage, performing music that moved people too.

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

Hi, I’m Zoe and I’m an electro-pop artist living in East London but I’m from near Portsmouth. I make songs with my two friends Calum and Dave. Somehow we end up making music that sounds a bit like The Stranger Things’ main theme song and also Dua Lipa. I lived in Manchester for a few years where I became influenced by lots of dance music. Since moving to London, I’ve done loads of gigs and written with lots of other artists. 

Name me your 3 favorite Albums.

Charli XCX – Crash

Friendly Fires – Pala

Lorde – Melodrama

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Bloodflows by SOHN. Soulful, sad, euphoric, and dancey all at the same time!

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

I’m having a lovely time figuring out my place in music right now. I’m trying to enjoy the journey as much as possible. I’m trying to be proactive. Go to as many gigs, networking events, and writing sessions as possible. I’ve learned that the industry is pretty much based on who knows who. It’s a sad reality but I guess I’m trying to get the most I can out of any opportunity.

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help? 

I mean fundamentally men need to look at their behavior in all parts of society, not just at gigs. It shouldn’t have to be up to venues to keep their behavior in check. I think if venues ran consent classes that would be amazing but the issue is would those men who make women feel unsafe actually attend? Those men usually don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. It’s fucked up.

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

As sad as it sounds get on TikTok. I think it’s a super important tool to get strangers to hear your music. You need strangers to become your fans as much as it’s great having support from friends. It’s a unique place to throw your music out there and see what sticks. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I hate horror films

I’ve worked in a Zoo before

I have better vision than 20/20

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

It’s messed up. No one can make a decent living from it. Something needs to change.



Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

I’m not a conspiracy theory girly but I am fairly superstitious. I would never ever put new shoes on a table. Something bad would definitely happen.

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

So many skincare products…

What was the worst experience on stage?

I used to perform in Manchester and use my recording software, and logic on stage (what was I thinking?). There was one time my computer kept crashing mid-set. Because my keyboard was hooked up to my computer I couldn’t even accompany myself with a piano. It was so humiliating and it actually put me off performing for about 4 years! Thankfully I use Ableton Live now and never had a repeat episode.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.

I am a very confident person but I really value my own private time. I’m a bit of an extroverted introvert.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

I write big pop songs about unusual topics. My new song ‘July’ is about being in January and wishing it was July. I’ve written a song recently about female masturbation. 

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

My new ‘July’ is out everywhere now and I wrote it as a letter to myself to try and feel positive in January when life seems a bit hopeless. I received some money as part of Youth Music’s NEXT GEN FUND to fund this one and it sounds all the better for it!

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

January is so hard for most people but I wanted to remind people that despite that, you can find joy even when it’s dark and depressing. You shouldn’t wish your life away thinking that the grass is greener. Try and enjoy the now.

What was the recording process like?

It was very easy. My co-writer Calum and I wrote it in an hour or so but I came with lots of ideas to the session so it sort of fell out. I then took it to the crazy talented Lleo to produce the track with the idea that it could sound like a 1975 track. She did such a good job. If you haven’t heard her music then go and do that right now!

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

That collaboration is key. If I’d written this song on my own it would be half the tune it is today.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Maybe some of my vocal takes on there but honestly, you have to get to a point with your music where you draw a line. Otherwise, you fall out of love with the track and start to hate it. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Please come and see us live! We want to do as many gigs as possible and want to make you feel joy. 

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