Interview: Zoe K

zoe k

Zoe K is a proudly independent artist and is renown for her non-traditional interpretation of soul, blues and jazz. She’s just released a sultry new single, ‘Put It Down’, featuring Mister Goldfinger, which is a track is from her upcoming album, ‘It’s Just What I Like’.  We caught up with the Melbourne-based soul artist to find out more!

The new single, Put It Down, was both written and produced by you. Tell us more about how the song came about.

Well, most people who come to my love shows would agree that I am a self confessed show pony. So it has themes of the ‘look at me’ perspective. But really I was on the tram in Melbourne and I saw this handsome stranger, I couldn’t get his attention because he was on his damn phone! As shallow as that seems as a subject for a song, it goes deeper as it reflects on opportunities and moments missed due to us being connected to our phones. So it can be related in any capacity.

As an artist who is all-round, why it’s important to be so versatile in the music industry today?

I think you have to be mentally versatile in the music industry because it is a hard industry. I am independant, I do every thing. I write, create, produce, organise line ups, book gigs, promote gigs, lock in rehearsals, art design and fund it all by doing gigs but also being a realist and working numerous jobs. I use interchangeable musicians so I don’t get the perks of having a ‘band fund’. But I work hard at it but it’s easy to get too carried away, and I think that it is important to be versatile to stop and listen, take on criticism as much as you would advice. Because that versatile could open up an opportunity.

You’ve been working on your album, It’s Just What I Like. Can you tell us anything about it? 

I started recording the album in Melbourne and was halfway through the process when I met Mike Bass who plays with Trombone Shorty. Mike is from a New Orleans, a city I love and wish to call home one day. I was telling him about how I am going back over there soon and he said that I should take my songs and finish recording them there. The album was recorded in over three different studios, it features 20 musicians from NSW, VIC, New Orleans and NYC. Each one of those musicians bought something special to each song. So I guess fans can expect a little bit soul, jazz and old school Rhythm and Blues delivered to you from the mouth of a self confessed show pony.

Your album launch starts soon. What are you most excited about?

I love performing, I love the pre ritual of performing which is  getting ready, having some Jameson’s, listening to some tunes. My favourite thing about live shows is having a platform to express things that have made me sad, happy and or mad. There is this one song that I wrote for the ladies in my life, it is called ‘Walls (For The Ladies)’ it was written after the frustrations of not having relatable songs that celebrate the woman’s role in the bedroom. There has been so many times I’ve had my friends continue to stay in toxic casual flings because the sex is so good. So this song reminds us females that, maybe, just maybe the sex is good because you bring your own sexual energy to the table, we need to stop listening to the narrative of a woman’s sexuality in songs which is primarily as ‘hoes’. But when I sing that song live I even improv a little bit, the last time I sang it I had all the women in the room singing ‘treat this p##sy right!’. I loved that moment. And after it I had so many women come up and say thank you and even men as well. I like to think that they left the show feeling empowered and I hope the men were listening too! That’s why I do music for.

What advice would you give other artists who are trying to make it?

Be a realist, if you want to get your music happening on a recording level and you don’t have someone who is going to bankroll your dreams, you better get prepared to work hard because it is a hard industry. Don’t be afraid to ask, the worst thing someone can say is no and if you are real about the industry you’ll quickly come to realise that when someone says’ no to something it can be for so many factors, so never take it personal. But at the end of the day, the best advice I would give is to be nice to people and respect their time.


SAT 15TH APRIL // Spotted Mallard // Melbourne

FRI 5TH MAY // Lazy Bones Lounge // Sydney

SAT 6TH MAY // Small Ballroom // Newcastle

Tickets available here.