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10 Quick Ones with ZOUZOU MANSOUR of SORAIA – September 2017

According to a recent press release: “In anticipation of their new album Dead Reckoning, Philadelphia rockers Soraia have debuted a new song via hometown station WXPN The Key! PRESS HERE to listen to “Wandering Star,” an anthem of loss and destiny imagining the singer as Jeff Buckley’s girlfriend as she experiences his passing. Dead Reckoning will be out on October 13, 2017 via Wicked Cool Records in partnership with The Orchard and is available for pre-order now, PRESS HERE to pre-order.” We get lead singer ZouZou to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, her influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

I think “Quicksand”, “Tahiti”, and “Come Down, Angel” may require a few listens. The lyrics use a lot of metaphor for experiences I was having at the time I wrote them, and really, some of those were experiences going on with my band mates, too, so it was easy to tap into that. But yeah, those especially. Maybe “Why”, as well, which was written by Steven Van Zandt.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

It was definitive and magic. I was playing drums for my high school band, and we were playing at a mall in Washington, D.C.  I had just bought a pair of sunglasses and said to myself, “This I want to do forever”. So–I am!

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

  • Michael Jackson for his songs and his whole musical journey into so many different styles and energies
  • Tina Turner for THAT VOICE and her passion and relentless desire and fire
  • Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs whose voice is both mature AND child-like—and her performances are, too. Yet in her music and vocals she has this vulnerability I always hear coming through.
  • Prince. Because he’s Prince. I have no words for what I feel for that guy and his music. He has everything.
  • David Bowie because he experimented with so many styles and personas and he just — there’s no part or time period of David Bowie’s music that I am not in love with. He is another one that’s just everything music  to me.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Nile Rodgers. That would change me as an artist, I just know it. He comes across as really loving the artists and music he works on, and I always want to learn and try new things and be fearless with the music we create. I would grow a lot as an artist working with him.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Raw, intense, real. That about sums it up. It comes from a deeper, darker place.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Getting to do music every single day. Meeting the amazing personalities I get to meet. And working with people who put their hearts and passion into the music they’re creating and performing. When you just sit back and think about it, it’s the closest thing to magic there is.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We tend to eat out, haha. But we aren’t drinkers much–I’m sober and the rest of the band kind of does their own thing. We are strangely quiet, shy, and private people–even with each other. I think that’s what bonds us. We all sing “Maria” by Blondie in the car, though, if you ever want to hear it.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I guess being a teacher. I love to learn, and I’d have my summer’s off!

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

I do. But I wouldn’t do it over. It made me into the woman and artist I am today, and for that, I’m grateful. I had worked with a person that became extremely controlling and abusive, and I became more and more invisible in every way. Even to myself. It’s a very dangerous place to be as an artist, but extremely easy to get there when you don’t believe in yourself. That was the lesson: it wasn’t that particular person as much as I didn’t feel I had the talent or ability, and I didn’t even believe in or like myself. It took that happening to get me to see and value my worth. Which took a few years after that, even. A hard lesson, but a necessary one.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Purple Rain. I listen to that record on repeat at least once every few days. Every song on there speaks to a part of me. Everything about that record is exciting to me.

SORAIA LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

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Photo: Mark Weiss

10 Quick Ones with ZOUZOU MANSOUR of SORAIA - September 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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