So… summer 2020 is shaping up to be an experience. With us being in the weirdest timeline, where the simulation runners decided to add every inconceivable world event at once, sometimes you just want to listen to music. Not just music, but a voice that makes everything feel better. That makes you feel like you will be ok. Well, you are in luck, because I got the chance to virtually interview the amazing artist, Zaniah.
MT: How are you doing today?
Zaniah: I’m doing pretty well! Just relaxing, enjoying this beautiful weather in this quarantine ha-ha
Zaniah is one of the fresh new voices that we will be hearing more from soon. She has this neo-soul blend to her that is so fantastic. You can even tell by her music taste that she has a dope voice. You can also hear her musical influences in her voice, and she also has a pretty awesome backstory of getting into music.
MT: Who’s your favorite artist right now?
Zaniah: Erykah Badu is a lifetime fave, Snoh Aalegra is killin’ it, Haitus Kayote, Victoria Monnet, Dianna Gordon!
MT: What got you into music?
Zaniah: I’ve always been really drawn towards music! I can remember being younger and just wanting to be near the noise, I remember going to the fair or little mini festivals we have in Louisville, seeing singers perform and thinking, “I wanna do that!” I got my roots in old country music, I used to be able to yodel really well and my mom heard me one day. Ever since, she encouraged me to sing my little heart out!
Speaking of her mother, she also said that her mom is one of the main reasons that she [Zaniah] hasn’t given up. Having a support system is important to your mental health and it is clear that her mom is a big part of hers. Speaking of mental health, we of course discussed her connection between mental health and music. Here’s what she had to say.
MT: Is there any specific music that you listen to when you feel anxious or depressed?
Zaniah: I really like listening to jazz, blues, soft rock, soul when I’m feeling low and sad. It’s so expressive and the lyrics that usually accompany it are so relatable. There’s nothing like listening to something that explains what you have a hard time explaining. Music speaks to you so you don’t have to.
MT: Do you find that making music copes with anxiety and depression?
Zaniah: Absolutely! I feel like the root of my anxiety/depression is not feeling good enough, also being too caught up in the past or too worried about the future. Whether I’m making music or writing it, music always grounds me. Music is my meditation.
You can truly tell from her voice that this is her meditation, that this is her peace. And she makes us all more peaceful when we hear her.
MT: Let’s move on to music, mental fitness and social media. How do you say that music helps your mental fitness?
Zaniah: Music allows me to be as creative as I want to be. There’s a healing power in creating something and whenever I do, my brain feels stimulated and hungry for more. I love losing track of time, just playing the guitar or singing. I love making others feel something. Music moves and grooves me, and it does the same for literally everyone. Music therapy is real and is healing the wounded.
MT: What do you think about social media and how it affects your mental health?
Zaniah: I definitely have to take social media breaks sometimes. The only reason I use social media is to stay connected with friends and family, also to put myself out there as a music artist because it’s just how the culture is. I found myself becoming really anxious or paranoid about posting things. It honestly might be a confidence thing, like feeling like what I posted isn’t “cool” enough.
So how does Zaniah cope and get on social media?
Zaniah: I’ve been trying to switch the narrative into thinking, “this is my platform that I can use for the betterment of myself and others.” I can use my talent to inspire people. Who cares for likes? Those will come or maybe they won’t, at least I got this positive platform!
This is so important to grasp, because social media can be difficult and draining, to the point that we have to write our own mantras and change our narratives about how we use it, much like Zaniah did!
MT: Would you say that it is difficult to get on social media?
Zaniah: As an artist, sometimes it is extremely difficult because I’m trying to sell myself as a product and also trying to gain a fanbase on an almost fake platform that is based on likes. Putting anything out there into the world for others is nerve wracking.
Zaniah: We all want to be liked and the notion of doing what is popular on social media just to gain a fanbase is draining sometimes. It doesn’t feel like an authentic way to connect with people because people can’t feel your energy through a phone.
“People can’t feel your energy through a phone”. FACTS.
MT: Favorite TV show?
Zaniah: Broad City
MT: What is your second passion? If you weren’t doing music, what could you see yourself doing?
Zaniah: I would love to be an actress. I love watching old Blaxploitation films and I’d definitely love to create and star in a modern day depiction of one.
Is a Zaniah Blaxploitation feature film in our future? Possibly, but what is definitely in our future is Zaniah’s EP, which will be coming on June 5th along with her first single! Until then, check out her Soundcloud page, and just vibe out to some great music! Thank you for the interview, Zaniah. MT Out!