Zsela Is Making Her Move

Zsela Is Making Her Move

Zsela Is Making Her Move

With her forthcoming Ache of Victory Remix EP and a new move to Los Angeles, musician Zsela is ready to expand her sound.

With her forthcoming Ache of Victory Remix EP and a new move to Los Angeles, musician Zsela is ready to expand her sound.

Photography: Connor Franta

Styling: Aryeh Lappin

Text: Gautam Balasundar

After living in New York for most of her life, signing a lease for a house in LA was a major change for the mesmerizing singer-songwriter Zsela. “I move a lot,” she says. “Settling into the idea of having a house and building a home here has made a lot of sense; once I signed the lease, it felt really good to just know where I’m rooted. In New York I’m obsessed with walking, being out, and seeing people. I get really introspective here.”

Zsela wears bikini top and shorts Etro Shoes John Fluevog, jewelry her own

That introspection isn’t entirely unprecedented for Zsela. Before her sonorous debut EP Ache of Victory came out last year, she maintained a low profile, allowing music to be a personal pursuit for much of her adult life. “So many people around me didn’t even know I made music because I was that private at the time,” she says. “I didn’t really think I would step into it in terms of a career.” That makes the quiet confidence of her debut all the more impressive, with sparse musicality from Daniel Aged (Frank Ocean, FKA twigs) that allows her deep voice and evocative lyrics to be front and center. Songs like “Earlier Days” and “Undone” touch on quiet moments of relationships when cracks begin to form, reminiscing on better days. Yet Zsela has found that as time goes on, she contextualizes her work differently, recognizing how viscerally emotions manage to manifest in her music. “I’ll even be unaware of what certain songs were about at the time. Writing has always been this outlet of a lot of feelings and lifetimes that I’ve lived. And it’s been a space I kind of pour that out into. I’ve had those absolute, ideal, lucky moments of receiving a song—when it just fully pours out of you.”

Zsela wears dress and shoes Gucci, jewelry her own

Part of Zsela’s growth as a musician has been to embrace choice collaborators, the most fruitful of which has been with Aged whom she regularly works with. “He’s not just there to take over the space as a producer. He’s very interested in knowing what sound we want together. And also, he loves playing so it’s also really fun for us to just play in that way.” Last year she provided vocals on renowned electronic artist Actress’ album Karma & Desire, and this spring she’s releasing a remix EP of Ache of Victory. “I just never imagined these songs because in any sort of other setting so it’s been fun to kind of hand them over to people that I love what they do and see what comes out of it.”

Zsela wears dress Issey Miyake, shoes and jewelry her own

Now with this final chapter of her first EP behind her, Zsela is looking to broaden her artistic scope. Her move has afforded her proximity both to her frequent collaborators as well as her family, while giving her enough space to build out a studio and retain her independence. Now she’s ready to channel that renewed focus into her music. “It’s a one-year lease and in this year, I want to make a lot of shit and the people I want to make shit with are all here,” she says emphatically. “It feels good to just commit to that and see how it goes.”

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