At the core of her music, Zanillya exudes empowering self-acceptance. From the powerful ‘You’re It’ to the simmering ‘In It 4 a Lifetime’, Zanillya’s tracks offer a rich, eclectic sound. With her debut EP in the works, we caught up with the Dutch singer, rapper and producer to find out a little more about her.

Last autumn her single ‘You’re It’, also featuring long term collaborator Humphrey Dennis, fronted Nike’s international campaign, further highlighting this inspirational and resilient essence that Zanillya channels through her songs. Musing on this she expresses, “We live in a beautiful time now, where everyone is starting to feel the freedom to embrace themselves, people are getting the space to be that, which they choose and that is encouraged rather than judged or shot down. I am happy with where we are but believe there is still a lot of work, acceptance and healing to be done. So, with this song I hope to add to the movement and empower girls, but anyone really, to just be who they are, unapologetically!”.

Creating a bold, playful fusion of effervescent dancehall beats, potent vocals, smooth R&B and more, Zanillya draws on a wealth of influences and is carving out her own distinct space with her sound. 

With her debut EP on the way, Zanillya is a name we’ll certainly be hearing plenty more from soon. In the meantime, get to know her In Short…

Three words to describe my music…

Honest, vibes, idiosyncratic.

Last photo on your phone…

Honestly, a picture of the whiteboard in my living room with written words of my life themes and triggers.

Favourite instagram account…

@gemmacorrell

The best venue I’ve played…

Paradiso in Amsterdam

Earliest song you remember…

‘Slaap kindje, slaap’. It’s a lullaby in Dutch my mom used to sing to me.

The worst job I’ve ever had…

I never really had a job I hated. I also never really worked a standard job 🙂

Favourite food on tour…

Avocado and banana – you can eat it with anything, anywhere and it’s always filling.

My Favourite word…

Thanks

Things that cheer me up…

Finishing a song, Spring, travelling, the beach, my boyfriend and his stupid snapchat video’s, my moms cooking, watching Netflix, homemade sweet potato fries, loud rain against my windowpane, helping someone.

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…

Somewhere on a beach or a mountain while the sun is setting.

I think you should listen to…

Angus and Julia Stone’s album “Down the Way’, particularly the song ‘And the Boys’, ‘Big Jet Plane’ and ‘The Devils Tears’. It helped me get through the grief of losing my dad.

If I could see anyone play live it would be…

Bob Marley and also Amy Winehouse. I was supposed to see Amy live at North Sea Jazz but she didn’t show and passed away shortly after. Plus Aaliyah for sure. They all were really special.