Zaida - 10 Questions Interview
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
When I was much younger, I kept a diary that I would constantly write poems in. As I got older, the poems became short stories, and when I learned how to play the guitar, those stories became lyrics. When I was in college, weekly, I went to a place called the Warehouse Cafe. The place was always crowded with artists, writers and musicians. One night, I was watching a girl on stage who sat on a bar stool playing her guitar whilst singing her song. I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to express my stories, my experiences and my thoughts through my own music, using my beat up, classical guitar, and do the very thing she was doing.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
When I released my first record, the label at the time, decided that a tour would be a good way to promote my first release. At that time, social media wasn't as readily available for new music and artists, as it is now. I made an instantaneous decision to take one year off from college. The next day, I got in a minivan, with four other musicians that I had just met one month before, and hit the road. I didn't think twice about it. It was a surreal experience for me. Sweet Briar College was the first venue that I had ever performed live at.
What has been the high point of your music path?
I wish someone told me when I first started out in this industry was to believe in myself whole-heartedly. When I started out (in my teenage years), I relied on others to direct me. I believed that I was talented, because I was told that I was. But as I became older, and my experience in this industry fortified, I learned that I had to believe in my skills and in myself as a whole. The high point of my music path thus far, is that I am now at a level where I consider myself a music producer. I can write, record, perform, and manage myself as an Artist, and be 100% confident about it.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I will share my creative process for my latest release, Savannah. It is very rare that I compose a song in 20 minutes, and that is exactly how it happened with Savannah. I have always wanted to compose a song with a name in it. One night, I was watching a Facebook live show by a local artist, and he called his daughter over to him, her name, Savannah. At that moment, I knew that was the name of my next song. I picked up my acoustic guitar, took a sip of red wine, and started strumming a few chords. Then the chords were followed by lyrics of a fictional love story, and Savannah transpired.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
The music industry is very competitive. There are many talented Indie Artists in this country. I can easily write and sing a song, but the difference is that I have to make it my own. I have to make myself unique, in order to stand out and be that one in a million, and I believe that is the biggest challenge. And because the music industry is a business, I believe that the roads are a bit more narrow for us Indie Artists. If I could ask the music industry to change one thing, it would be to open the path to those artists that are non-commercial, and who are uniquely talented, and to take us into consideration for more than 60 seconds.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Rob Thomas. I have followed his career from the beginning and his amazing achievements. It would be an incredible honor to share the stage with him. His song “Hang” was the first song that I learned to play on the guitar. So, my dream would be to play that song alongside him.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
The day before a live show, I stay home, and try to not speak to anyone. It's a great thing that we have text messaging nowadays! I tend to go to sleep quite early, although at times, I don't stay asleep. I get so excited before a show. My mind is racing with song lyrics, what outfit I should wear, is my voice 100%. And the hours before the show starts, I stay in bed relaxing (I attempt to, but for some reason, I start cleaning the house), drink a lot of hot tea, and do a vocal warmup in the shower (it has the best acoustics).
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Stay. It has not been released yet. I plan to do so this year. Four years ago, my father passed away. I wanted to write a song about him. And the song never came to fruition. I remember being upset with myself because the words would not come out. I thought to myself, "I am a songwriter, this is what I do, why can't I write him a song." Then, one month ago, my father's song came to life, in a matter of a half hour. It was the most incredible moment of my songwriting career.
What's coming up in the future?
My next single, Bulletproof Queen, I am truly excited about. Compared to Savannah, it has a totally different sound. And, I am going to have a guest artist singing on the track. That track will hopefully be out next month. Get ready, because it will having you dancing!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Zaida was born into art. Her mother is an amazing artist, composer, and musician. “I remember sitting on the couch watching my mom's fingers move graciously throughout the piano keys. It was mesmerizing for me.” Zaida learned how to play the piano from her mother when she was 12 years old. “From then on, my love for music began, but not for the piano, my love was simply listening to the music.”
Inspired by musicians like Rob Thomas, Pink, and Jewel, Zaida is a storyteller in her song-writing. Zaida had a few lessons on her first, used and worn-out classical guitar, and started combining her own original poetry with some basic guitar melodies. That was the result of Zaida’s debut album, “Train Ride”. As an independent artist, Zaida released an EP called "Little Box of Secrets." Zaida’s single, Serendipity, is a story of love, exploring whether to take chances and opportunities when you see them. And Zaida's latest self-produced single, Savannah, showcases her expressive vocal delivery, as well as her storytelling. While listening to Savannah, the listener becomes a traveler.