Q: From the sound of the lyrics, “Land of Dreams” seems to be about a breakup of some sort, either romantic or platonic? What was the inspiration behind this track?
ZOE XANDRA: I love that about songs, they can mean so many different things to different people. The track was inspired during a time of change. Many people in my family moved to California, my best friend moved to Australia, and I moved out of Toronto where all my friends were. All of these changes were positive changes, but in the moment it still feels sad to be away from the ones you love. So the song is about holding these opposing feelings, happy and sad, at the same time.
Q: Your vocals are so unique! They’re soft-spoken yet powerful at the same time. Who are your biggest influences?
ZOE: Thank you! I love Lennon Stella and Lana Del Rey’s vocals. I love soft vocals that draw you in, but then are so emotive you feel the power and weight behind the lyrics being communicated. I think Lennon Stella and Lana Del Rey are great examples of artists who do this, and that’s what I strive towards.
Q: What do you hope listeners take away from, “Land of Dreams”?
ZOE: I hope that listeners take away the fact that it’s okay to be in the middle. I struggled for a long time with staying in extreme emotional places. Either everything was amazing and magical and perfect, or the entire world was against me and everything sucked. It’s a much more realistic and honest place to live in when you’re able to acknowledge the good and the bad.
Q: I’m always interested in people’s musical journeys; do you remember when you first fell in love with music?
ZOE: I honestly think I’ve always loved music. I come from a very musical family – all my brothers are musical, my dad is musical, and both sides of my extended family are very musical. Music was always around me; My house was like a practice studio with four instruments going all at once. I remember on road trips my dad used to time me and say I’d have to stop singing for the next 20 minutes because I’d be driving my family crazy with my nonstop singing. All that to say, I’ve loved music since I can remember haha.
Q: If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be?
ZOE: It’s so hard to choose! John Mayer is my all-time favourite musician so I would love if I collaborated with him. Our genres are pretty different though, so maybe Lennon Stella or Boy in Space.
Q: I love the dark-alt pop vibe of “Land of Dreams”. Can you walk me through the creative process in making a dark yet uplifting track?
ZOE: I think we got this fun mix of dark yet uplifting because the writing sessions were meaningful and emotional but we were still joking around and having a great time, so I think that shows through in the song. Focusing on making the rhythm and percussion heavy and strong was really important to me. I like to sing about meaningful things, but I also like a good bop. My producer Everett James is incredible and was able to understand who I am as a person and put it into the song.
Q: Tell everyone what’s next for you! Upcoming shows, projects, etc.?
ZOE: I’m going to be playing a few festivals this spring, and I have two more singles coming out this year, which will hopefully lead to an album!
Q: What would you like to say to your fans out there?
ZOE: Thank you so much for listening, I’m honoured that out of all the incredible music you could be listening to, you chose mine. Stay tuned! There’s lots more coming 🙂
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano
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