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An Interview with Zara Smile

I have been joined by Zara Smile who has answered some questions about their musical career so you can find out a bit more about their music!

Welcome to Totally Music would you like to introduce yourself?

Hey, i’m Zara Smile! i’m a folk pop artist based in Liverpool, writing about basically everything that happens in my life, from my identity to mental health and relationships to how i see the world!

What got you into music?

When i was around 6, i started asking for piano lessons because i wanted to be able to play Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, and it all snowballed from there! throw in about 5 years of musical theatre training and i started writing when i was about 9 and never stopped!

How would you describe the music you create?

I would describe my music as kinda alt-folk-pop, i find it hard to fit music into genres but it’s kinda folky but also has drums and i sometimes go a bit more rocky / punk inspired! i like to experiment with different things in each of my releases, and as i produce my own music it is easy to do that!

In May you released your EP ‘Smile’ would you like to tell us about it?

Smile was a collection of songs from the years 2019-2023, following my life throughout covid, and starting uni in 2021 and finding myself as a 17-20 year old! this includes things such as my gender identity and finding the label non-binary, finding my way in relationships and friendships, and reflecting on the use of social media in my life. it truly will always mean so much to me and i am so happy i got to release it as my debut, especially ‘happy’ and ‘misplaced’, which both mean so much to me!

What is your favourite song from the EP and why?

That is a very hard question! although i love them all equally (and for different reasons!), i have to say ‘happy’ or ‘misplaced’ are my personal faves! ‘happy’ was the first song i wrote where i was like oh wait maybe i can actually do this! and ‘misplaced’ was really important in me finding my gender identity and being comfortable within myself. although saying this, i love how the production on ‘twisted truths’ turned out, it was one of those where the song came out exactly as i had pictured it would!

How do you deal with creative blocks?

In all honesty, i only really write when it comes to me, sometimes it has been months and months and all of a sudden a song will come out! it is often not a conscious decision, i will just start thinking and the song will come alive by itself! when i can’t write i do get quite frustrated, but i always know if i’m patient the right words will come to me!

What has been your favourite performance and why?

100% my headline in may to celebrate my ep release! i organised the event myself, and got to see some of my favourite people in the world play + then got to play all my new songs to the most supportive + amazing crowd ever! it was a lovely night and definitely not one to forget!

What can fans expect from one of your gigs?

All sorts really! me and the band (we call ourselves the smiles hehe) like to switch it up all the time! so everything from acoustic songs about the current state of the world to gwen stefani and abba covers to little queer love songs! but no matter what, it’s always a good time! there is nothing i love more than playing with my band, they are some of my favourite people!

What is your dream venue to perform at and why?

Actually, i am sort of playing one of my dream venues! when i first came to visit Liverpool in preparation for applying to unis, i walked past ‘Jimmys’ on Bold Street, and as i walked past i noticed the sign on the building showing ‘playing tonight’ and i thought to myself, ‘i want to play there someday’, and now i am… on my 21st birthday! i can’t wait, October 14th… tickets are available now!

What’s next for you?

So after my headline at Jimmys, i am releasing my third single, ‘human’. this song was written when i was really at rock bottom you might say, i was going through it and it was a bit of a cry for help - ‘why do i not feel human?’ - so the song is for all the people who struggle with disassociation or mental health issues which make the hard things just a little bit harder, and it is to this day one of my favourite songs i have ever written! expect ‘human’ on all streaming platforms near you on october 20th!

If you would like to check out 'Zara Smile's' Music you can find their music here:

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