Lolo Zouaï is the fashion-forward talent steering avant R&B into the pop sphere.
A complete natural, her lust for pop excellence led to appearances on HER's (now Grammy-winning) album, as well as a full collaboration with Blood Orange.
Incredible electronic frameworks layered with her delectable delivery, Lolo's pop vision reaches its supreme example on new album 'High Highs to Low Lows'.
The title track is already her calling card, with Lolo Zouaï racking up more than 12 million global streams with a pristine slice of left field pop.
Recently launched as the face of Tommy Hilfiger, Lolo Zouaï released her new album only a few days ago but it's become a perennial Clash office soundtrack, she met with us to breakdown some key moments on this fantastic LP...
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This is the one that started it all. I came into the studio knowing what the title would be - a good title gets you pretty far. This song sums up where I was in life; I was discouraged but I was also eager to tell my story.
We spent two weeks writing it - we were addicted. When we finished it I couldn’t stop listening to it. I could feel that we had made something special and so I uploaded it to Tunecore not knowing what would happen. THE REST IS HISTORY.
When I was 19 I moved from San Francisco to Paris alone to see what my life would have been like if I grew up in France. I ended up leaving after eight months because I was lost and it didn’t feel like home to me. This song always brings me back to that time.
I was working as a hostess at a restaurant before my music started taking off. At work I‘d be day dreaming about one day owning a 64 Impala. I was making tips from coat check “What I make these tips for?” Knowing they’d never add up to enough.
Stelios and I started this song with the melody. We were kind of stuck on lyrics. We’re both addicted to drinking iced green tea at the studio and I looked down at my drink and it clicked - I was like damn, 'Caffeine' is good title.
This song is my most experimental song. It’s risky and I feel like you either hate it or love it. I was channeling my inner Shakira ('Beautiful Liar' vibes) or Britney ('Toxic'). Side note - I’ve been told that my Shakira impersonation is on point.
'Here To Stay'
When you deal with depression, it never goes away. It just hides somewhere or becomes easier to manage. I wrote this song in my room on a guitar, freestyling. I ended up nervously playing the voice note for Stelios and he loved it. It’s the last song we added to the album - the finishing touch. It might be my favourite on the album.
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'Look At Us'
We loved the switch-up at the end of 'Moi' so much that we ended up using it for this song. It’s a moment in the album where I pause and take a look at how far Stelios and I have come since we started. And it slaps. I feel like 21 Savage would kill this beat.
This is definitely one my favourite songs I’ve ever written. My dad is from Algeria and there’s a big cultural difference between us. My goal was to make a song my family would relate to sonically. I made sure to study traditional Arabic and Rai music before I wrote it. I remember Stelios and I were on two different planes in the air at the same time finalising the lyrics on google docs.
'Summers In Vegas'
I wrote this from the perspective of myself as a child. I used to fly to Las Vegas in the summers to stay with my dad. He owns a pizza place and I have lot of memories making dough and pizza boxes. I can put together a pizza box in the blink of an eye haha!
'Out The Bottle'
This record feels the most different from what I normally do. I free styled the hook and we ended up using that first take. There’s always that raw emotion in the first take.
I call back to 'HHLL': “you wanna fly me out to LA...” like shit, I just flew myself out! “I got a window and an aisle...” You can either see it as me being in first class OR luckily getting an empty row (which is usually the case).
'Blue' is the first song I put out after 'High Highs To Low Lows' and I was definitely in the “low lows” phase of this album. I had impulsively dyed my hair blue and didn’t like it very much. I woke up one morning after a late night and went to work at the restaurant. I wrote this song in the bathroom mirror.
This is my take on a classic French song from the 60’s. It’s the first song I wrote entirely in French. It sounds romantic but lyrically it’s the opposite. I like doing that.
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'High Highs to Low Lows' is out now.
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