Photo Credit: Stephen Archer
While Zaida was born at the tail end of the decade that solidified gangster rap and made us question why Beanie Babies were ever a thing – she has managed to capture the spirit of those days in her throwback single, “No Ex.” We talked not only about the music, but the real power of girl power, the good and bad sides of locale and more.
Kendra: Many artists have decided to go back to the ’90s for their sound-inspo. What about that decade gets your creativity engine going?
Zaida: The main thing that inspires me about the ‘90s, is the realness and rawness of the music and culture. Especially in ‘90s R&B, the vibe was much more genuine and the music had way more depth. I definitely think that is something that inspires me because I like to keep a storytelling aspect to all of my music. When you’d listen to old school R&B or even Hip Hop, the music just made you feel something. I intend to keep that element in all of my music.
Kendra: Other than the music, what do you think was the best part about the ’90s?
Zaida: I wasn’t born until 1999, but when I look back- the ‘90s seemed more vibrant than how life is nowadays. I’m guessing it’s because this whole new technology/social media wave wasn’t around back then, so people actually took time to experience life.
Kendra: I definitely love that it was a time of girl power. Of course, Madonna started it in the ’80s but women like TLC, Spice Girls and Mariah Carey really solidified it. You too are about female empowerment. How important is it that you write from that perspective and not the damsel in distress?
Zaida: I think women empowerment is expressed in many ways. The key is to claim yourself and not hold back who you truly are to fit in with imaginary standards. I wouldn’t necessarily say I purposely try to write from any specific perspective other than what I’m feeling inside. If I’m feeling hurt then you will hear my pain. If I’m feeling like I’m that bitch you will hear my confidence. That empowers other women who listen to my music. They can relate and feel stronger knowing we all go through the same motions.
Kendra: Because you’re definitely in control with “No Ex.” Did that come about after one too many partners acting crazy?
Zaida: “No Ex” came from pain and hurt but also being tired of that sad and helpless feeling. So I made a song that made me feel stronger and more in power. It was a reminder to myself to remember who the fuck I am, sometimes I start to forget how good of a woman I am to my man so it was like, nah…you don’t want to be MY ex.
Kendra: Being that you’re in LA, you have some advantages in the music game. Do you think there are any disadvantages though about the West Coast when you’re an artist?
Zaida: LA is definitely THE place to be no doubt for anyone pursuing music. In my opinion, the biggest con (which is actually a huge factor) is the fact that EVERYBODYYYY wants to pursue music in some way shape or form. Not only does it make it harder to get noticed, but it’s harder to weed out the people who are truly serious and passionate about music versus people who are just hopping on the wave. I also think the music industry, in general, has become a popularity contest, more and more people are just getting popular based off of Instagram followers instead of great music.
Kendra: “No Ex” is out now, but what else is on the table? More music? Touring?
Zaida: I have a lot in the works. I’ve been performing and having a lot of shows this year. I’ll be releasing more singles with Grey Goon (producer of “No Ex”) and dropping some visuals. I’m also working on my next project “No Service” which is going to really show my growth as a songwriter and artist. For now, I have my new single available on all platforms, and people can tap into my latest EP pen.paper.poetry!