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Zola Jesus


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Merrill WI, United States (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). 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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  • 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
  • CookiePolice

    don't forget that Dangerous Days serves as the first song from the album and chosen as promo single probably is the catchiest from the album. the more pop-oriented and polished sound is not suprising though as Nika herself has shown by that Rihanna cover or her admiration for Britney Spears that she's not reluctant to go that way. also, I don't think the album will be full of songs like Dangerous Days. I'm excited anyways.

    25 Jun 9:55am Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    Yeah, I guess it lacks some character/personality, her others songs have always striked me with it overwhelming emotion, like a powerful force of nature... The new one sounds like a tamed tornado

    25 Jun 2:35am Reply
  • arsikiller

    Marcus i feel you. i was so excited after the teaser (well, i still have hope tundra will be great), and dangerous days is nowhere near what i expected. unfortunately. i don't know, to me it's just lacking character, and i wouldn't ever say that about any of her previous releases. it's that kind of disappointment i got after lykkes new lp. meh.

    24 Jun 10:32pm Reply
  • Pukkkk

    I always knew she was going towards popular music. A duet with lady gaygay would be nice... ;) Well, I think it's maybe time for me to leave... But: Let's wait till Tundra and see. ;)

    24 Jun 4:54pm Reply
  • GagaZaynLover

    I'm a new fan and she's releasing a new album yay

    24 Jun 2:56pm Reply
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