Zolita has been hustling for almost a decade. Yet 2023 is the year the 29-year-old starlet truly went mainstream. Bebe Rexha tapped Zolita to open for her on the Best Fucking Night of My Life tour. Music festivals, such as Governors Ball and Boston Calling, also followed suit.
Recently, everyone from Billboard to MTV has praised the multitalented star, who writes, produces, and even directs all of her own work. The openly lesbian performer, who is just as sexy as she is talented, opened up to Out In Jersey on the wild ride her career has taken.
Congratulations on opening for Bebe Rexha on the North American leg of the Best Fucking Night of My Life tour. What has the experience been like?
Zolita: It has been so incredible, and Bebe is sincerely the kindest person ever. Bebe is an amazing performer, but moreover, so kind to her team and everyone on the road with her. It is amazing to watch and learn from her every night.
Were you a fan of hers before touring?
Z: Yes, a huge fan since the “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You” days. Like you, I used to work for a magazine, and I interviewed her in 2016. It felt full circle to open for her on this tour.
What magazine did you write for?
Z: I worked for Galore.
Since touring together, do you have time to socialize in between shows?
Z: There is not a lot of hang time because we are in a van and she is in a bus. We sleep in hotels whereas her team all sleeps on the bus. We mainly interact before and after shows.
You recently finished headlining your own tour before joining Bebe Rexha. Then you performed at The Governors Ball and even Boston Calling. You have been all over. What is it like to truly be everywhere today?
Z: It is surreal and has been such a joy to perform so many shows consecutively because I was able to get into a strong flow, engage with the crowd more, and grow as a performer. Getting to witness fans sing back the songs I have written, especially queer fans who have found solace in coming out through my music, has touched me. I never think about the influence my music will have when I write my songs, so to witness the reaction is empowering.
You donated $1 from every ticket sold to The Trevor Project. Props! You are also openly lesbian and integrate a lot of personal stories within your work. How does that feel?
Z: The core mission in my art has always been to highlight underrepresented queer stories and authentic queer love. Thus, it felt like a no-brainer to have a charitable component on the tour as well. Plus, I have always loved the work The Trevor Project has done.
You recently released your new EP, Falling Out / Falling In, and new single, “Grave.” What inspires you the most when it comes to songwriting?
Z: This is so classic, but romantic relationships in my life. Also, getting to explore elements of myself I do not enact in my real life. For example, “Crazy Ex” is a really theatrical song and music video albeit I never played out the character fully in my real life.
Do you feel like tragedy and heartbreak inspire your music more than positive moments?
Z: I feel, up until this EP, I was of the mindset I had to be going through something hard in order to write something good. However, this EP was the first time I have written music about happiness, falling in love, and music I once thought would be corny. It felt so honest, and I felt so inspired by the feeling.
Is it hard to navigate relationships while being on the road?
Z: I have not had enough experience with that yet because I have been lucky. I have been able to see my girlfriend several times throughout the tour. I have been fortunate because there has not been too much time apart. So far, so good.
Have you ever wanted to venture into acting?
Z: Yeah! I already act in all of my own music videos. I would definitely be open to acting. I am not sure if I can do the grind of self-tapes though. I have many actress friends and auditioning is a lot of work. Granted, I can liken it to songwriting, where I write so many songs that will never see the light of day. That is similar to auditioning often yet not getting a part. The one drawback is the lack of control with acting. You can give the best performance ever, yet the editing room can change it all. There is so much less control in being an actress. In acting, you are at the mercy of everyone else.
You are highly creative. You write, you produce, and even direct your own music videos, which are very cinematic. What is it like to be so hands-on with your career and have so much creative control, especially given most artists do not have the same level of creative freedom?
Z: It is the best thing ever. I am a control freak, first and foremost. At the end of the day, if I am not satisfied with the product, I can’t blame anyone but myself. I am the only person who can clearly bring out everything in my head and make it reality exactly how I envisioned. This is why creative control is so important to me. It is honestly the best thing about doing what I do, and it played a major factor in choosing the team I have.
You have amassed over 300 million global streams, as well as praised in Billboard, MTV, Paper, Nylon, etc. What is next for you?
Z: Following the tour, I am going to be writing and completing the next EP, which will have an accompanying video series. It will feel like a mini-movie series. I am very excited!