Next Wave #884: Zuzu

In Association With Tommy Hilfiger

When Zuzu talks to you it’s like she’s got all the time in the world; sentences spiral off into anecdotes, observations, and recommendations of the latest comic books and cartoon series to come her way. It’s information overload, but it’s alright – after all, she’s Zuzu.

A Liverpudlian wordsmith whose pop culture addiction is matched to a real empathetic streak, her initial releases are a flurry of barbed wire riffs and wry lyrical wit, all shrouded by those ever-present glasses. “I think my music is inspired by what I absorb – what I read, what I watch, and things that happen in my life generally,” she says. “A lot of the time I like to mix the two, talk about something that’s real in my life, a bit serious, but put a bit of a filter on it.”

In a way, her catalogue is like an ongoing comic book: each song is a different panel, with the listener able to build a story as they please. “I like to leave it open enough that people can interpret it via their own lives,” Zuzu explains. “When you read comic books a lot of it is in between the lines, and you’re imagining it as you go. I think in songs I definitely like to keep it open-ended. So people can interpret it whichever way they like.”

Name-checking everyone from Conor Oberst to Cardi B, Zuzu’s pop-centric indie rock is built in Birkenhead, with her tiny studio remaining a mainstay in her whirlwind rise. “I love travelling, I love getting around,” she shrugs. “But I love coming home, and it’s nice to have somewhere familiar, where you can go back into your cocoon, and just write, record, and be creative.”

Writing and recording continually, when Zuzu isn’t making music she’s penning poetry and sketching out comic book panels. The Powerpuff Girls, Regular Show, and Adventure Time are perpetually playing in the background as she chews on her pen, and if this music thing doesn’t work out she might just try animation.

“That’s the dream, just to get a job at Cartoon Network… doing music! Literally the dream,” she laughs, before shouting: “Gizza job!”

Where: Liverpool
What: Pop culture obsessed indie songwriting
Get 3 Songs: ‘Can’t Be Alone’, ‘Catch A Feeling’, ‘Dark Blue’

Fact: Zuzu worked as one of Santa’s elves at her local shopping centre last Christmas.

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Words: Robin Murray
Photography: Sophie Mayanne
Fashion: Zarina Shukri

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