Melbourne based artist Zsuzi has released her latest single Kilimanjaro a positive self-affirming message with an upbeat party anthem to get everyone out of the COVID-19 blues. Usually writing music about struggles with mental health, this new release shows she can let her hair down and party too! Zsizi chatted to the Hi-Fi Way about her new music and what’s in store for the future.

Kilimanjaro is your most recent single. Can you tell us about it?
I usually sing songs supporting mental health and there’s always a serious side to my songwriting which is very important, but I wanted to present a different side to me. I wanted to show a fun side, letting my hair down and to dance. I wanted to share that with people to help liven up the mood.

Do you normally write songs that are more on the emotional side?
Most of my songs are in support of people suffering mental illness or domestic violence and it reflects from my own personal journey but also wanting to empower people. It’s a message of ‘you can be happy if you have suffered mental illness or tragic circumstances, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.’

They are the songs I normally write and I’m still writing them but with the song Kilimanjaro it still supports mental health, the message is you can still have fun and let go. It’s a more lighthearted song.

Writing those kinds of songs, is that due to your own firsthand journey of mental illness?
Yes definitely. I’m an anxiety sufferer and for the longest time I wasn’t aware of it. My anxiety came from trauma and now I have it under control. I like to show to others that people can have these anxieties and still move forward. You can’t let it define you!

Does music heal that for you?
Music is a healing power. Every time my producer and I write a song I feel it’s a healing power in that moment. Reflecting on it is soothing for the soul. I always believe music plays a big role in healing.

Your father was a musician. Was he a major influence on you pursuing music as a career?

All the relatives on my Dad’s side are musicians, but he was like the big entertainer. Back in his homeland he was in a duo and when we had friends and family over, he would entertain them by playing guitar. He taught himself how to play the keyboard and violin. He was so talented and because he was always entertaining from since I was a baby it has been ingrained in me. I believe he was a huge influence.

Was sort of music did you listen to?
There was so many artists I listened to! My Dad was heavily into Pink Floyd and my mum was into John Farnham, the Bee Gees and Dire Straits. Then there were the ones I loved, the big vocalists like Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Taylor Dayne. There were all kinds of music but definitely what influenced me the most was Pink Floyd. The lyrics were so deep, and the music always reminded me of my dad.

Are you working on more music?
I have a new RnB inspired song called Home out and I also work on new music with my friend Anthony. That song is called Helping Hand.

What are the future plans for you?
The COVID-19 situation was devastating, but it was a blessing for me. It gave me time to rehearse a lot and to do some planning with some collaborations with some big artists. Ultimately my goal is to get a song in the ARIA charts but more importantly I want my music to empower people with my music.

Interview by Anastasia Lambis

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