I was told for years that I always talked in my sleep, and most of the time the things I would say were the most bizarre things ever. I was always interested to hear what I said, so I downloaded an app that records what you say in your sleep. I had it for years, and caught a lot of funny moments.
But then one night I had a horrifying nightmare…
I never heard myself scream like I did in that recording, it was like I saw something that would effect my life in the worst way possible. I cried as I heard myself crying in fear, and I shut the recording off immediately.
I deleted that app after I captured that, and I haven’t downloaded since… And I probably won’t ever again.
Zilla with her Eyes Shut’s song Sleepwalker is about her own sleep talking and her own adventures with sleepwalking.
“Based around the artist’s own sleepwalking adventures and even featuring her own ‘sleeptalking’, the track takes on an almost dub vibe at times, laced with heavy beats, deft vocal work and a penchant for the strange. It does well to delve into the singer’s fears as she opens up about anything and everything these night terrors can bring out in her: ‘I’m scared of who I might become if I never wake.'” ~(Vinyl Chapters)
Zilla’s musical path begun by learning classical music with a piano teacher in Paris, France. She quickly discovered her true passion was to make music, “I’d always been into painting as a kid and writing poems but piano hit me really hard. That day I knew I had found my passion,” she tells me.
In the beginning, she was only learning and playing classical piano, wanting to learn as much melodies and compositions. “There’s something surreal about playing someone else’s piece to the point where it becomes part of you and the experience never leaves you, it’s like biting a piece of the composer’s memory and intentions and adding it to your psyche,” she says.
She naturally progressed into writing music, because that “is what songs do, they travel with you, get you through pain and joy and they compliment your psyche,” she says.
Her music is about what happens whenever she dreams, what she calls her “creative gifts” that come up when she’s asleep. These things that come about in her dreams more often than not could be related to whatever trauma she endured in her childhood.
The music she creates lacks a description, and defies any boundaries of a specific topic. “I’m inspired by so many things, moments of the day, sounds around me, people’s accents, there is flow everywhere. I like to call it surrealist pop because I layer unexpected vocals with unexpected sounds of unexpected objects,” she explains. She equally values a fan base that likes to be surprised, but is unclear if this has been achieved.
“Instead of denying my trauma, I tend to embrace it through music and even celebrate it. There’s no other way to get over it for me. I recorded myself sleeping talking and sleepwalking. We used objects that are related to the songs as instruments.”~Zilla with her Eyes Shut (4/20/2020)
I am absolutely inspired by Zilla’s music and songwriting, especially since I can relate to having such vivid dreams and nightmares myself. The fact that she finds her dreams to be a source of musical inspiration is very unique, and makes me want to explore this on my own.
Whisper Whisper was written “when I was about 10 I started hearing whispers when I played the piano, it was really scary until I turned the whisper into my imaginary friend that would help me go through sh*t,” she says. It’s really cool to see that Zilla could take a really scary scenerio and make it into a very unique song that looks on the bright side.
If you’re a fan of Billie Eilish and Bjork, then Zilla’s music is definitely a must listen to. Her style of music is definitely a mix of those two artists, but more.
There definitely is a storyline in each song, it’s just a matter of time until the whole story is told. But not everyone needs to know everything about everyone… But I hope this article can provide more clarity to her story.
“Although the inspiration is my trauma, it’s so important that it is not a self pitying song, the trauma made me strong because I accepted it and turned it into something else. It’s an explosion of innocence and control.”~Zilla
At the moment, Zilla is working on songs that take a brand new approach. She wants to maintain a sense of surprise for her listeners, but is not to compelled to release any more music at the moment.