Check out our interview with talented singer-songwriter Zenia who just released her new single “High.”
It’s a dark indie pop song about being completely unaware of our impact on others and constantly blaming external sources for our own mistakes. Zenia’s overall goal of this new direction is to write music that touches on deeper subjects with influences of artists such as Maty Noyes and Billie Eilish.
Follow Zenia @Zenia
Hi Zenia, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a singer-songwriter, from WA/LA. I’m mixed-race, Indian, Italian and Persian/Iranian. I studied music from Forrest Kinney, of the Franz Liszt lineage, and began composing when I was 10 years old. I have written over 200 songs to date. I play piano, guitar and ukulele. My goal with my music is to write deep and meaningful lyrics accompanied by melodies that dance in your mind to invoke feeling and inspiration. Music has such a profound way to influence our feelings, I wish to use that ability to help others observe different perspectives, heal others as well as myself through the growing process. I was raised by two incredible parents who inspire me and my art, Savitri and Aadil Palkhivala. They founded Purna Yoga, Heartfull Meditation and AliveandShine.com to help people live from their heart, character, morals, so that we can create a beautiful world of love, intuition, awarenesses and integrity.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Love. Loyalty. Character.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
Music is my heart! It’s the reason I breathe. There wasn’t really another option. So when I was 16 I produced my own album from scratch and released it all over the internet. Then I just kept making music, and didn’t stop. Performed around Seattle and then moved to LA to expand my music.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Deep. Memorable. Feeling.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
My parents influenced me, especially my mother sharing 50-70s music with me since I was a child! In some strange way, my grandmother also influenced me, my mothers mother. She died before I was born, with my grandfather, in a plane crash, my mother was 16. My grandmother always wanted to own a piano, she was a pianist and cellist but focused on her doctorate in health, and so my mother bought a piano in her honor. So, we had a piano in the living room, which nobody played… until I did! Which is how I began songwriting, and wrote my first piano and lyrical piece at 10.
Do you play any instrument?
I’ve played piano for over 17 years, and guitar for 14. I’ve also picked up the Ukulele. Truly, I wish I could learn every instrument.
Do you ever get nervous?
Ooof! Yes, of course. It’s less about feeling insecure, but more about hoping the intention for what I’ve created, or who I am, comes across the way I intended. What helps is my mother’s short unique meditation techniques, and breathing.
Tell us about your new single “High?”
I love this song, not only is the production amazing, the lyrics are really interesting… I know, I wrote them, but what’s neat is it’s in the perspective of what NOT to be. The intention behind the lyrics are not to be what the lyrics describe, it is rather the description of one’s experience of ignorance and to be aware of what living in numbness so one knows what NOT to be. Instead of being the problem, one must be the solution. We are so afraid of growth, change, and progress that we dig ourselves deeper into the problems and drift further from solutions. We must be the solution, free ourselves of the fog, and be willing to grow.
What’s the story behind this single?
High is a song in the perspective of ignorance, numbness, distraction and unawareness. It is told in the eyes of a mind that is consumed by a cloud, a false sense of safety, a mirage of comfort, an illusion of positivity. This fog envelops itself around the problems so that we are distracted, wander numbly, aimlessly, forgetting to expand our beliefs and mind, to dive into our heart in order to seek solutions, growth, true evolution, perspectives, and genuine happiness. Instead we fall deeper into the loop of manipulation in our addiction to illusion, distractions, ego, wrongdoings, impulse and repetition. Without understanding consequence and accountability, as well as discernment and conscience, we live completely unaware of our impact and blame external sources for our own mistakes, that is what this song speaks on. This song speaks from the mind of the manipulated so that we are aware of what is manipulating us.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
What’s rewarding is the ability to create feelings in sound from feelings within, the fun is in watching it become what you wanted it to be and sharing your vision with the world! The not very great part is the moments where you get stuck, or you strive so much for perfection that you end up not releasing music.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
Honestly, I don’t think I can live without… 1. my parents 2. music 3. yoga/meditation 4. piano 5. tea
What’s next for Zenia in 2021?
Releasing a bunch of new songs, posting new videos and acting. I’d love to travel and help with some activism organizations as well.
What is you favorite song? And why?
Agh! That’s difficult, but anything from Journey usually feels amazing.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Honestly, I grew up with really deep parents, and I didn’t really read a lot of books. I was constantly filled with incredible knowledge and wisdom every single day. I’d say learn from those who have integrity, character, and live from their heart. The source, who you learn from, is as important as the knowledge they share.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Having to let go of things that no longer served me or supported me in my growth.
Any loves other than music?
Traveling! I love exploring the world, and have been since I was a child.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
My grandmother. Unfortunately she passed when my mother was 16, in a plane crash, along with my grandfather. She was very musical and loved words, she was incredibly intelligent and helped minority youths to get an education. I’d love to learn from her.
Best advice ever given?
My mother’s advice, that money is gratitude notes. Money is the energy of gratitude, and that’s how it should be used. But, basically anything she says is the best advice.
How’s a typical day in your life?
Usually I’m composing songs, doing tech things, writing, playing piano/guitar, singing and dancing alone to loud music!
Name one your strengths?
I would say loyalty… but I have learned it has to be given to the right people. I’ve been manipulated through my loyal nature and I’m learning to discern who truly has morals and character.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Going outside, listening to some music, drawing, watching some comedy or a drama.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Don’t stop believing by Journey. That’s just THE song for belting….!!
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is living from your heart and expressing yourself from a loving place. Many people think happiness is doing whatever you want, but, the want has to come from a place of accountability and love. Some might feel happy hurting someone, but that is not happiness from the heart, that is temporary thrills and will only result in negative consequences.
Do you support any charities?
I do support the Heartfull World Foundation, as well as any organizations that help with wildlife conservation, reducing waste/plastic and helping those in need.
What is your favorite healthy food?
My parents are in the holistic health field, so I grew up with only healthy food! organic, and so forth! I’d say my favorite would be my mum’s zucchini dish, oh my word so gooooooood!
And your favorite cheat food?
Um, sour gummies or sour candies… and now I want some. haha.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Looking at their phone or being rude to the waiter. When it comes to a mate, they have to have a moral compass or they’re not for me.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’d have taken care of my family’s financial needs, be actively contributing financially to organizations that impact the earth and society in positive ways, as well as enjoying the company of a family of my own.
How would you describe your fashion style?
I’d say it’s feminine, happy and colorful! I love pastels and flowers. Cute, funky and unique.
What do you think of Social Media?
Truly, I think it has the potential to bring us all together to make a beautiful impact in the world. However, vanity and distraction has taken the lead. I believe now how we have used social media has done more harm than good. Fake positivity is spreading everywhere through false egocentric leaders. People have lost the concept of intention, character and personality, replacing it with attraction, appearance, options and empty words. The disrespect, judgment, and lack of communication/perspectives that exist as people hide behind keyboards or phones is just getting worse. We validate insecurities by trying to get the approval of others through putting ourselves on display and praising others for fake appearances and mindsets. We follow people based on barely anything about them, and need to be followed to feel important. The distractions that come with the endless options for temporary gratification and even flirtation or sexual conquest, has created a very disloyal culture. Overall social media has spread so much hyper-sexuality, disloyalty and even sexualizing people as well. Honestly, it’s becoming an addiction to distractions, conceitedness, and options. It has turned vanity and narcissism into a normal thing, while character, morals and depth has become unimportant. Attractiveness has become a talent now, and talent isn’t enough. There’s a lot of good things that have occurred through social media, like awareness about important environmental issues we’d have never known otherwise, but overall it has become a very dangerous place mentally for society. Even I post pretty pictures, but I make sure to include as much of my writing and who I am in every post, character is what impacts your life and gives it purpose. It’s okay to be pretty and dress up, but there’s a boundary between expression/empowerment and entrapment.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace” – William Gladstone
Movie: Back to the Future
Travel Destination: Hawaii
Sports Team: Seahawks