Zowie: Love Demolition
We all know the song Broken Machine. Not only that it’s been on top of the waves last year, but it has also been a hit on the television and online. The dark haired whimsical girl that we loved is not just ‘the Broken Machine girl’. Zowie is fast reaching stardom as she has been on tour with international stars and managed to launch her first album ‘Love Demolition’. Some say that Zowie and other Kiwi singer Kimbra (famous for ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ hit) are long lost twins. Well, they are both great singers with chart-topping songs – and in a split second you will get them mixed up cos of their short black tresses. Not to mention that they both amazing Kiwi performers, so how can you tell? Easy. Zowie loves to mix up punk and cute stuff.
NZ Style Collective was invited to her sound test before her big album launch celebration, and we have managed to have a quick chat with her before she runs to her FOUR TV hosting stint (busy girl, indeed). Our quick chat was filled with a lot of laughs. She is such a lovely person that I tend to get distracted with the interview and get sidetracked with random topics. We talked about how she likes shopping on Etsy, her Hello Kitty necklace that seemed like an unusual accessory to an all black punk inspired outfit, and how much she loves traveling especially in Asia.
And before the meeting, I had a mental note ‘to never ask for her favourite song out of her own creation’. But when curiosity strikes…
I know it’s hard to ask an artist to choose from their own work, but do you have a favourite? If so, what makes it stand out from the rest?
Zowie: It’s hard! It’s like picking from your children. I love them all, but I really enjoy recording ‘Nothing Else’ which is like a dirty hiphop industrial one. I think it has a lot to do with the way that we recorded it, as well. Like recording it in Sweden, and that the sounds are not typical sounds you get from the computer. And that we were up 5 in the morning slamming car doors and recording sound. So yeah, it was a really fun process. I really love that song. So dirty… not like dirty sexual dirty. *laughs* The lyrics seem like sexual dirty, but they are not. They are actually about the people coming to our show.
In such a small time frame, you have managed to do really well from your first and not to mention hit single ‘Broken Machine’ in 2010, to touring with international artists in 2011, so what do you have in store for us this year?
Zowie: Hopefully, just more touring. I’m dying to tour every day until I pass out. *laughs* I want to go around the world. There are so many places, like Japan, that I want to go to. There’s something about Asia that I love. So yeah, I hope more touring for 2012.
I’ve been told that your stage persona ‘Zowie’ is a combination of Ziggy and David Bowie. What’s the story behind that?
Zowie: Zowie is another character. She is still Zoe Fleury but a little removed. I was once called Bionic Pixie, as well. The story behind Bionic Pixie is that she came back from the year 3000, and she is here to save the music scene. So I was thinking that Zowie is an extension of Bionic Pixie. And with Ziggy and David Bowie, it was a good accident. Although I love them, especially David Bowie.
Tell us more about your music videos. We can see the unique style of Zowie in each of them. Do you conceptualise it, as well?
Zowie: With videos, it’s kind of a mixture. I’m constantly thinking about the whole thing, like my outfit, make up and sound, and how it will work well with my performance. Sometimes I design the outfits myself, or I get someone to do it. It’s more like a mixture of things that when it comes to my style, I like mixing cute stuff with dark stuff. *laughs*
Touring with international artists like Katy Perry sounds like an amazing 2011. How was it being on the road with her?
Zowie: That was amazing! It was fun because at first we were asked to do one show in Vector Arena and there were a lot of people who want to open for her. But the management immediately asked us to do the Australasian tour, a total of 11 shows! And another cool thing about it is that she had around 70 people working for her, and we got to know them. We kinda feel like family… having dinner and hanging out together. It was so much fun!
At the Love Demolition album launch slash celebration, the NZ Style Collective team and some of our dear readers were lucky enough to be invited to her big night. The venue, 4:20 in Auckland, is packed with Zowie fans eager to see her perform live on stage. To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to listen to her entire album before going to the show, so most of the songs I have heard live for the first time. It was great! Zowie was great on stage – if not, better than listening to records. Her band too was superb. Zowie’s music and performance are a great marriage of her voice, live instruments and sounds that give it the ‘Bionic Pixie’ touch that she mentioned in our chat. First time I saw her on stage was her performance at Auckland Uni Orientation Night. I remember I enjoyed that night, and I definitely enjoyed her show for the second time. Well, I am not the only one who enjoyed the night, the audience loved her too. And I guess an hour on stage is not enough. I will definitely go to her upcoming shows. That said, Zowie is added to my favourite list - my iTunes play count can attest to that. *laughs*
If you haven’t purchased her new album yet, what are you waiting for? You can purchase it on iTunes now. And my favourite track? Hmm hard one… Checking on my iTunes counter, Zip it Up tops most plays. Enjoy Love Demolition!
Opening act, Spring Break, is crazy awesome! Love the duo. I still have ‘No Tengo Dinero’ stuck on my head. Click here to watch their music video. You’ve been warned. hehe