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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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  • skinnydrifter


    30 Jan 10:52pm Reply
  • gah1amaral

    The video for Hunger is amazing

    29 Jan 2:22am Reply
  • in-reverie

    Fuck my ass

    27 Jan 7:56am Reply
  • Nekrovoor

    I think she forgot that the fashion now is not to be mainstream

    25 Jan 1:11am Reply
  • gah1amaral

    I think Mute isn't giving her the support that she deserves.

    21 Jan 2:45am Reply
  • gah1amaral

    Flop? She would never be mainstream anyway....

    21 Jan 2:43am Reply
  • Nekrovoor

    I think atmospheric suits it better, but who cares? Taiga is a flop, unfortunately. There's some great dance-pop in there.

    18 Jan 3:31pm Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    \\/ what's remotely "ambient" in Taiga?

    16 Jan 7:21pm Reply
  • EDsebert

    Madonna brings the electronic music to mainstream with Ray of light, now Zola Jesus will bring to mainstream the Ambient music with Taiga [2] I hope so!

    15 Jan 4:24pm Reply
  • gah1amaral

    Madonna brings the electronic music to mainstream with Ray of light, now Zola Jesus will bring to mainstream the Ambient music with Taiga

    13 Jan 7:33pm Reply
  • aneasthesia

    Taiga is a flawless album, plus it made me relisten to Conatus...and now I can aprreciate its greatness.

    10 Jan 5:31pm Reply
  • EDsebert

    Btw, my favorites tracks are Dangerous Days and Long Way Down, 'til now...

    8 Jan 3:08am Reply
  • EDsebert

    Starting to listen Zola Jesus with Taiga, the production is amazing and her voice are flawless, I'm in love. From what I saw in the comments below, maybe is not her best work, so I can't wait to listen to the previously albums.

    8 Jan 3:06am Reply
  • kalaine

    Marry me you hauntingly beautiful Aries soul you.

    4 Jan 3:58am Reply
  • gui-lastfm2

    não entendo pq dangerous days é tao mais ouvida! tantas musicas do taiga sao mais bonitas que ela :/

    4 Jan 3:32am Reply
  • solenanthus

    I finally like Dangerous Days, live is much better than album version

    30 Dec 2014 Reply
  • JaylirS

    So glad she put the lyrics of all her songs on the new site... Never mind if I've spent years trying to figure out what she says in Ixode uselessly since there is no lyrics

    27 Dec 2014 Reply
  • music-o-maniac

    v oh no, no. I like them both, but surely Zola doesn't sound nor is similar to Sia.

    21 Dec 2014 Reply
  • FCA19795

    Just starting to listened to her music. She sounds very similar to Sia. Which is not a bad thing at all.

    19 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Empathy82

    Trust Me

    12 Dec 2014 Reply
  • All 1854 shouts

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