22-year-old Zikai is making waves with her new single Twenty Something. Sweden’s rising star has already had a prolific year which has included the release of her debut EP Make You Mine, featuring on Mullally’s recent single Fire, plus co-writing Hush for Yellow Claw and Weird Genius.
Realising that she needed more experiences to become an artist in her own right, Zikai stepped back from her first recording deal in her teens. She worked extensively as a co-writer before proving that the wait was worthwhile by impacting with her debut track Mountain Peak. She quickly became a hot tip, performing at Sweden’s Grammy and Oscar ceremonies before she had even released her first EP.
While the Make You Mine EP found Zikai exploring the stories of her life so far, Twenty Something (of which she co-wrote with with Anton Hård af Segerstad) switches the focus to early adulthood. Growing up doesn’t need to mean growing old, however, as she sings, “Last night I brought twenty-something drinks because the summer’s almost over.”
Zikai commented, “I came home from the club knowing that I would use the crazy things that happened that night for this song. I wanted to describe that feeling of waking up and not remembering much from the night before, except the mistakes and maybe some failed attempts to reach some kind of euphoria. It’s about being in your early twenties, and not knowing exactly what direction in life you should take or what type of people you should give your energy to. I know it may sound a bit dark but the happy chords and my high-pitched voice in the chorus is my way of saying it’s okay to feel lost because we all do sometimes.”
Here Zikai reveals to Andy Howells the music that has inspired her.
What was the first song that made an impact on you?
My mom told me that when I was five years old our family friend played “Tears in Heaven” on the guitar and I was in SHOCK and made him play it more than 35 times. And from what I can remember I kind of felt the same way when I heard Unthinkable (Alicia Keys, Drake) about 9 years later.
What was the first single you bought?
Probably something by Akon
What was the first album you owned?
A Girl Like Me – RIhanna
What’s your constant go to track?
Wading – Jhene Aiko
What’s your constant go to album?
Souled out – Jhene Aiko
Who’s your latest music discovery?
Miley Cyrus. Might sound weird since she’s been a popstar for a loooong time but I never really listened to her music until now. in love
What’s your own track that best defines you as an artist?