Zaritza: "A Passionate Soul"

Zaritza's self entitled, full length album recently released, dips into the soul of a passionate and talented artist and her spirited journey. Her blend of electro-rock, and electro pop screams love, identity, alienation, dreams, and disappointments influenced by her struggles as a Russian immigrant leaving her mother country in the midst of the fall of the Soviet Union to pursue her musical freedom.


As a trained, classical pianist, music was always her world, and from the sound of her sonic visions, and majestic lyrics, it was the right world for her to choose. As a small child she performed classical piano, winning awards in competitions, and a stipend from the government. When she reached her teens Zaritza began to write pop music, and by the time she reached the university in Russia she was performing and recording her own original music.


In pursuit of a greater creative freedom, Zaritza came to the US and has been writing music and performing ever since. She wishes to connect with people and share her music. We shared questions and answers together celebrating her unique musical story....



What motivated you to become involved in the music business?


I became involved in the music business because I couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life other than music.  I remember from as far back as age three being moved by music -- literally and figuratively: whenever a song was played on the record player or the radio, I would spontaneously spring-up and start dancing, twirling around the living room, completely lost in the melodies and rhythms ... I didn't know what it was or why it affected it me so much, but I could feel the music in my bones, and I knew I had to be around it and live in it.


I also was drawn to performing from an early age. I loved dressing-up, making-up dance routines and putting on "shows" for my family and friends, and when my parents enrolled me in both ballet and classical piano lessons (yes, they are Russian!), I thrived on performing in the recitals  -- I was hooked.


Is there a moment in your life that you suddenly decided to follow the path in life that you are currently following?


I knew from early on that I was meant to express myself through music and dance; it wasn't even like I had a choice -- no other activity or interest ever really crossed my mind.  When I first heard Rachmaninoff, I was totally mesmerized by the mystery, the darkness, the drama, the majesty of his music, such as his Piano Concerto No. 2; it transported me to another realm of emotion and imagination. That moment inspired me to focus on classical piano; I began studying and practicing more intensely, and, while still a young girl, I was entered into -- and won -- numerous performance competitions.  At that point, I thought I might have a career as a concert pianist. 


But then another big moment occurred, which shifted the course of my musical pursuits: one day I was with my father and he put on Queen's records... I was blown away by the drama and virtuoso musicality of the classical elements in combination with the hedonistic irreverence and raw kick-ass power of the rock 'n roll elements.  Hearing Queen shook my classical foundation to its core and made me want to get into rock 'n roll -- with classical elements -- and start writing my own songs.


Will you be going out on the road to different states or countries to play your music?


I am scheduled for a few shows in New York City and the tri-state area this Winter, and I also am planning on a small Northeast tour this coming Spring. In addition, I hope to do some dates -- though not extensive touring yet -- on the U.S. West Coast, the U.K. and Europe -- including my native country, Russia -- later this coming year.


What influences did you grow up listening to?


The artists who were -- and still remain -- a major influence and inspiration for me, whether as musicians, composers and/or performers, include Rachmaninoff, Queen, Garbage, Radiohead, Massive Attack, Jeff Buckley, Oasis, Imogen Heap, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Sting, Michael Jackson, Prince and Lana Del Ray, among many others.


Does your background influence your music?


Growing up in Russia amid the fall of the Soviet Union placed me at a cultural crossroads for music: on the one hand, there was the Russian musical heritage that flowed through my veins, from years of intensive classical piano training (covering all the greats: Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and, of course, Rachmaninoff) and even the folk music I grew up with; on the other hand, there then became an influx of Western music -- rock and pop -- that was such a curiosity and so exciting.  Experiencing so many different musical styles that occurred as a result of the change in the society in which I grew up definitely influenced my musical direction.



Do you perform live and if so what's your favorite thing about doing a live show?


There is NOTHING like a live performance, it's so different from all other aspects of music! It’s raw, impulsive, emotional, bonding, real and exciting!  Every time I get on stage reaffirms the significance of music in my life; it is the ultimate way for me to express myself, through music, through performing, connecting and sharing an experience with the audience.



What's new for you in 2018 and beyond?


Beyond the performance plans I mentioned earlier, I am planning on producing a couple of music videos in different locations, which has been a dream of mine for awhile now.  I also look forward to finding opportunities to collaborate with some other musicians, especially out of my genre and comfort zone!  Collaborating with others has truly motivated me to push my own creative boundaries and grow as a writer, musician and performer.



 If you could say anything to your fans, what would it be?


Coming to this country to pursue my dream of a career in music has been an amazing experience, full of the many adversities all aspiring artists face, plus all the cultural and other challenges immigrants must contend with; at the same time, I have been lucky to have met and been embraced by so many people, who have inspired and encouraged my progress on all fronts.  In the many years that I have been based here, I have become a U.S. citizen, worked with many great musicians and producers, performed in a lot of different venues, and this year released my first English-language recordings ... so many positive developments have happened -- and are happening -- and I have my fans to thank above all for their support!


Written by Eileen Shapiro

I work with Jimmy Star and am a NY Times best selling author and rock star journalist....currently write for Get Out Mag, PureM, Classic Pop, Huffington Post, and several others....I write pop culture interviews with well established talent and up and coming great talent...look forward to working with you....



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