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Zola Jesus


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Merrill, Wisconsin, USA (2008 – present)

Zola Jesus is the stage name of Russian-American Nika Roza Danilova (born 11 April 1989 in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Merrill, Wisconsin, USA). Her music style combines , , , , and influences.

Nika Roza Danilova was raised in Merrill, Wisconsin, on over 100 acres of forest. Danilova started singing early on, buying voice lesson tapes and opera sheet music at the age of 7; soon she began working with a vocal coach. It was not her parents’ idea: “I begged them to do it. For some reason, I really wanted to sing opera even though I wasn’t really exposed to it as a kid. I think my little baby toddler mind heard some opera song and then became fixated on how powerful it sounded,” she later remembered. Danilova started performing opera when she was 10 years old, but experienced serious psychological difficulties. “I would too often lose my voice before performances due to anxiety, and was so hard on myself. I would beat myself up about any imperfections or flaws in my voice. I was such a perfectionist, and my voice was still so young so it couldn’t do everything I wanted it to, and I resented myself for that. But since performing as Zola Jesus it’s been getting easier,” she later recalled.

In her teens, Danilova started to experiment in a more rock-orientated format. By naming her alter ego after Jesus Christ and the French writer Émile Zola she said she consciously wanted to alienate peers. “It worked perfectly – a lot of people wouldn’t even say Zola Jesus because they thought it was sacrilegious”, she said in an interview.


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  • tortureZ

    new single is total great :)

    6 Aug 10:41pm Reply
  • Wintermoor99

    just heard the new single... whhhhaaaaat happened?!

    3 Aug 8:28am Reply
  • dreamfortresx

    1 Aug 7:08pm Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    I'm judging it by what we have: the single and the description that she is giving, when the album come out i'll judge by the whole body of work... A person is entitled to an opinion even if it's a negative one

    30 Jul 4:39am Reply
  • clash_vinny

    ZzzZzZzz leave her alone, the record didn't even come out and you're already judging it

    29 Jul 10:08pm Reply
  • godesu


    27 Jul 3:25am Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    i mean, she doesn't need to do a conatus 2.0 nor a stridulum 2.0, i don't mean i don't want her to change but jesus there are plenty of genres out there, why the safe-pop one? I seriously want to like this album when it gets out because Zola it's an amazing and fuckin' good artist but the description that she is giving on it on the interviews makes me cringe

    25 Jul 9:59pm Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    Nope but I sure wasn't hoping for this safe, ultra-polished and boring synthpop style

    25 Jul 9:56pm Reply
  • colorful0

    you guys are hoping she will do another New Amsterdam?

    25 Jul 1:39pm Reply
  • colorful0

    vv she was talking about her vocal style, not her music

    25 Jul 1:31pm Reply
  • NiniusNunius

    v I'm still waiting for Taiga with positive attitude cause Dangerous Days is so good.

    24 Jul 6:17pm Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    In a new interview for rolling stone, she said that she was inspired by mariah carey and barbra streisand for the new álbum. God, she's slowing killing all the hope i had for this álbum.

    23 Jul 5:53pm Reply
  • sexinthesky2

    "Dangerous Days" is different to the previous Zola's stuff but I like it a lot anyway and I'm excited for "Taiga"! :)

    21 Jul 10:01pm Reply
  • NoktowizoR

    It took me to understand that Dangerous Days is a great song. I can't wait fot full album and tour!!!

    15 Jul 10:23pm Reply
  • solenanthus so beautiful

    15 Jul 4:58pm Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    Meh, she just admitted that she is trying to be a pop-diva on a interview for V Magazine

    3 Jul 4:57pm Reply
  • solenanthus

    It's "Taiga" not "Tundra" everybody

    3 Jul 3:00am Reply
  • Nekrovoor

    Even for a lead-single, it's unimpressive, that kind of song that would never draw my attention if it wasn't Zola Jesus. I really hope that it will sound better on the full-length context.

    30 Jun 10:59pm Reply
  • music-o-maniac

    Yeah, same here. Not impressed with the single, it's okay, but! the promo clip of TAIGA has some amazing music in there and I think "Dangerous Days" is the most "popish" song on the album, the rest probably will be better. All in all, even though I'm not impressed with this one, I still like it, though I hope she'll deliver something a little bit darker, at least a song or two.

    26 Jun 5:42pm Reply
  • Zeldeiro

    Kida sad that all the lo-fi bands are becoming clean and electro-pop. The same happened with Var and Lust for Youth, and the three artists are from the same lable: Sacred Bones Records. Well, not anymore, now that Zola Jesus is on Mute

    26 Jun 5:36am Reply
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