"SWEPT AWAY IN MY OWN WORLD," A Conversation with Zora

Self care secrets please. Name them.

Self-care is my personal favorite thing to talk about! I think that we should always prioritize our mental and physical health, and that means not skipping that appointment to go get your nails done! For me, I’ve found that I like to do extra special somethings for myself when I need more self care. If I’ve been meaning to wash my hair, I’ll do that and listen to Sade in the background. I’ll treat myself to go get my nails done and see a movie! Sometimes I will literally just stop doing what I’m doing because I realize in that moment that I MUST do something positive for myself!

What things do you do to care for yourself at home while not touring, to ensure you fill your creative well?

Touring is so amazing and so much fun, however there is also a lull that can come with not being on the road and missing that adrenaline rush. Something that helps me remain creative when I’m not working on the road is to always make time for my social life, and remaining active. I usually give myself a week (or at least 24 hours) to fully reset and just sleep for a full day. After that however, I’ve gotta get up and stay active!

Being isolated when composing, writing a record, or just being on a computer in general is weird. What do you do to work through those mental challenges?

The biggest thing that I have to remember when I’m working on a new project is that I have friends! I have a circle of people who love me and want to hang out and do stuff! Sometimes I get so swept away in my own world when I’m writing that I feel like I’m just stuck in whatever little music world I’ve crafted up. It’s so important for me to talk to people daily, whether that be in person or on the phone, so I don’t start to go a bit stir crazy.

What does daily life look like for you currently? Do you have a day job - or some sort of side hustle to supplement money for being a musician? What do you do for work?

I do have a day job! I work full time 9 to 5 as a social worker for housing people who are experiencing homelessness. It can be a bit difficult to do both music and case management full time, but I am making it work.

What are your financial goals in playing music? Are they different from when you first started out?

My goal is to be able to live off of doing music full-time, and have enough money to live comfortably! When I was younger, I always said that I wanted to be a pop-star. I think that as I get older, I realize that I still want that for myself haha, however the finances and the budget behind are starting to look a lot more realistic and feasible.

Are there any misconceptions about music finances that you wish other people outside of the music industry understood? Or financial advice you would give to your younger self?

I think a lot of people think that artists are just given a sum of money to turn out fantastic and sickening ideas whenever. But that’s very much not the case, especially in today’s era! Musicians have to work a lot harder, especially if they are independent, to get their name out there and provide for themselves. When you see an artist that you know start to increase their output, know that there was a lot of work, time, and money that went into that.

What do you want the audience to take away from your live show?

I want my audience to feel happy and lighter when they leave my shows! I love when people come up to me after performances to tell me that they got chills or that my set made them smile. The reason I do what I do is to spread positivity, and hopefully impact past, current, and future generations with my music.

What inspires you to create?

My mom was my original inspiration to create hehe. She definitely pushed me like no other and made sure that I knew how to shove my foot in the door if they wouldn’t unlock it for me, if that makes sense. I do what I do for my baby Carly as well, my rock. And I dedicate my music to the fans always!!! The it-girls! The Zora Nation! You didn’t have to rock with me, but you did, and for that, I forever thank you. <3

Who are you listening to currently that inspires you?

I am absolutely obsessed with Amaarae’s new album “Fountain Baby”, such an innovative sound. I am forever in awe of Foushee’s incredible work. I also want to shout out my fellow Minnesota artists Kamilla Love and Dua Saleh as they really inspire me to keep going. And of course my hometown Los Angeles artists!! Tyler the Creator, Dijon, Myia Thornton, are some of my most recent favs.

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