Hamburg born Zoe Wees is a rare artist in the sense she possesses a unique vocal & leaves you hanging on every word she says. On her debut single Control, which feels universal on the surface, but is actually a story of her struggles with rolandic childhood epilepsy – a condition she’s wrestled with through early childhood – with feelings of loss of control, helplessness and exclusion from others.
The song itself feels both reflective & urgent, but her performance is nothing short of powerful throughout. Wees explains –
“The sickness was stronger than me, and left scars that have become part of my life. Accepting them has taken so much time, but they make me what I am today: a fighter.”
Although the song chronicles a tough time for 18 year old Wees, there’s something uplifting to take from how she’s turned the past into something beautiful & ultimately positive
Hey Zoe, what have you been up to recently?
I’m currently using the time to write a lot of new songs. During the pandemic, I also took the chance to deal with myself a lot. Being alone helped me more and more finding myself and I wrote down most of these thoughts. So the time was quite a self-therapy for me. I also played a lot of guitar and piano. My last weeks were very much influenced by music.
Your song Control is a fantastic song about your childhood experience of epilepsy. How does it feel to have a song so close to you out in the world, streaming millions of plays a week?
It feels totally special and close. As if I was sharing the burden of my own past with others, making it more bearable for myself. With my music I can let my soul speak and people understand me. And it’s an incredible feeling to read all the feedback and interact with the fans about my song. I’m so thankful for that.
Can you imagine a moment in a movie the song would best fit?
I’ve never really thought about that. A friend once said to me that the song would be a great fit for Titanic. That would be far too cheesy for me. But maybe the song can fit into any movie with a deep and emotional story. There are always moments where the lyrics match with emotional scenes. A movie about myself would be the only 100% fit though.
Control is much feeling like a breakthrough moment. What’s the best reaction you’re had from fans?
I got a lot of messages from fans who have epilepsy themselves. Many of them sent me very long and intimate stories of their struggle with losing control. It touches me very deeply and shows me that the song is special for them. The best reactions are always the most honest and those that come from the bottom of their hearts. It sounds strange, but for me the saddest stories are the best reactions because they have an important meaning. This is my way to get in touch with my fans and to give them support with my music.
What artists inspire you to make music?
Jessie J is a great inspiration for me. Not only musically, but also how she shapes her life. She shows strength and self-confidence and she’s very self-determined. On the other hand, I’m very inspired by artists like Lewis Capaldi. The greatest strength of an artist is to convey his feelings through the voice. This is also my goal and that’s why I’m inspired by people who can express themselves through their art so well. I like it when people are telling stories that touch you and that are deep and honest.
When can we expect you to play in London next?
I want to travel again as soon as possible and see the whole world. I hope I can come to London right after the pandemic. I really want to play live, especially in a music city like London. See you soon!
Photo credit: Jim Granning