Hailing from Newcastle, Australian singer-songwriter Zenya is quickly becoming one of the rising stars in pop music today. After sharing the stage with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Demi Lovato, she is now ready to catapult into the limelight with her first single “Freedom In A Kiss”. We chatted to Zenya over the phone from her base in Miami (USA) on the eve of her return to Newcastle to shoot a video for the single.
“I want to bring what I’ve learned in the American music industry back home and share it with everybody” she says of her return to Newcastle.
“So I’m coming back in February to do a video for the single. I want to capture all the sights and people of my home town.”
Zenya has come a long way from writing songs on her guitar in Newcastle. Her debut solo offering (Freedom In A Kiss) is the quintessential “love song meets the rave” and is poised to quickly become an anthem on the international pop and dance scene for 2015.
She’s now a bonafide international sensation, singing and dancing all over the globe as a supporting vocalist for Justin Timberlake on his “Legends Of The Summer” and “20/20 Experience World Tour”. It’s been a time of great success for the Novacastrian, but what has she missed about home?
“I’ve missed a lot of fashion. You don’t realise it until you leave but Australia is quite a hub of fashion. I try to keep up to date with Aussie fashion on the web. I also have a stash of Vegemite. I’m always telling my American friends that you don’t eat it like Natella, you’ve got to have it with butter and the veggie smooshed in. I also miss Allen’s lollies and Tim Tams, but they are sent to me from home on a regular basis. It’s got to the point I’m taking orders now.”
When she’s not on the road, Zenya is writing, performing or otherwise collaborating with artists like Boyz II Men, Machel Montano, Sly & Robbie, Shaggy, Kymani Marley and Talib Kweli. She has also shared the stage with Jay-Z, Demi Lovato, Queen Latifah, American Idol winner Joshua Ledet, Memphis soul legends, Sam Moore, William Bell, Mavis Staples, Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd, Cyndi Lauper and Booker T And The MG’s, at the White House for President Barack Obama.
“Its funny because Americans and Australians both speak english, but we’re not the same. It’s very different here, especially in New York. When I arrived I was a wide eyed Aussie in the thick of it. They move differently in New York, I can’t explain it. I had to learn quickly that everything is so fast pace here. I had to watch and learn before I jumped in” she says of her time in the big apple.
Before leaving Australia, Zenya sang everywhere from churches to bars. She was even named “Sydney’s Hottest Urban Artist” in 2006. Then, she picked up her island vibe while living in Bali Indonesia singing with a ten piece international band.
“My mum went to see this band when we were holidaying in Bali. She came back and told me how amazing they were. I got a chance to check them out a few days later. My sister and I got there early and got talking to the band. My sister told them I sung and they asked me to get up for a few numbers. After I sang they asked me if I wanted to join in the band. I was with them for about 7 months. It was a fully choreographed show and I got to do some recording and live it up for a while but at the end of the day it wasn’t going to get me to the level I though I wanted to be at.”
Zenya’s debut EO titled, Artuvnoize is set to be released in May with the first single Freedom In A Kiss available now through CD BABY http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/
You can find out more about Zenya by visiting her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/welcometozenya?fref=ts