We’re a prolific family band, making music in our own studio… and we love it !
We do everything together with my father, I write and sing, he plays, writes and produces, and we both hope you’ll like our music and share it with your friends.
If you like electro, rock, poetry, nature, love and dreams, our music is for you! we write on what matters to us : feminism, freedom and emotions.
Everything started with my dad asking me to sing on a song he wrote, as he often composes on his own. I had taken theater, dancing and singing lessons for years (opera, if you can believe it!), but I was still very shy about my voice… so it took a few days to record that song. But when we actually started, everything went so fast! we created and recorded a 16 tracks album in two months time, and released it later that year (2020), as indies.
Now time has passed, I’m gaining more and more confidence in my voice, in my message, in the power music gives us. We recorded our second album in summer 21, and we made so many tracks that we decided something crazy: this second album would be like a series, and we released one track every Friday for four months.
Now, our project takes a different form : One EP, every month, with four songs and a music video each time ! The first one, Déjà Vu, has Three different songs : Soleil Froid, Cottagecore and Looks, along with a remix of Looks, and Soleil Froid’s music video.
Interview by Divertir : (translated from French with Deepl)
Where does your passion for music come from?
DZ: Since I was a little girl, I sang everywhere I went, improvising, making tu-tete tremolos throughout the family home. When it came to singing existing and written songs, I realized (or rather my family who heard me singing all the time!) that I was often singing out of tune and out of rhythm… so I took singing lessons (lyrical, choral, individual…) in conservatories and private lessons from the age of 8.
In spite of this necessary education in music, the passion and the pleasure of singing never left me and it is quite naturally that we joined our love of music.
We are two halves in Dame Zina, father (Y, who composes, produces and writes) and daughter (Dame Zina, who also sings and writes).
Y : I started music at the age of 12, playing with synthesizers and I continued until I studied sound engineering at Louis Lumière. I had several bands where I played keyboards and composed, and did some film music. Then life took me to other careers but I always composed. I really came back to music for this common project with Dame Zina, and we have a great complicity to create!
Can you present us the EP Déjà vu and its universe ?
DZ: Our EP Déjà Vu gathers our three favorite singles (and apparently those of our audience too!) released in early 2022 during our weekly singles release program started in February.
They are 3 songs in English dealing with three main subjects of my writing, artistic inspiration itself, with Soleil Froid, my love of nature and enchantment, with Cottagecore, and the essential issue in my life that is feminism in Looks.
In Déjà Vu, there is also a club remix of Looks, never released before, and a video on YouTube Vevo for the song Soleil Froid!
How do you compose and what are your sources of inspiration?
Y: It always starts with a riff, often a bass line or a beat, or a piano or synth riff. I almost always start with the accompaniment and then lay down the melody. In fact, a lot of our songs started as drafts of film scores or instrumentals. I’ve always been a little afraid to write melodies! It all came together the day I wrote What If which was our very first song and the one that made us want to do the whole Emerald Eyes album, which we recorded in 2019. It’s been coming out ever since!
DZ: I write a lot about women, about my place as a woman but also my love for women, I think in today’s world, It’s important to hear our female voices and experiences.
Nature is also very important to me and my writing, we live in a perfect planet, it inspires me and makes me want to be a little spring fairy picking a flower!
What are your choices on the instrumental level?
Y : I do everything on the computer but paradoxically I like a rather raw and natural sound. We worked on the first album with some talented instrumentalists (cello, clarinet) but for the Meadowsweet project where we set ourselves to release a single per week, for the moment we stay on a completely computerized production. We have a rather simple studio, with the essential, at home. So, this type of production pushes us towards the electro rock… Musically, I’m looking for the emotion provoked by a sound, and its natural articulation, rather than trying to reproduce faithfully instruments, which always sounds a little bit wrong, even if the drums that I programmed on our more rock tracks like cottagecore are really bluffing. We work without any sample, I do all the music. I like the melodies a little tortured, either in the time signature or in the notes, and I believe that it is one of the characteristics of our music…
How was the recording in the studio ?
DZ : Those are my favorite moments ! I feel at home there, in confidence, just the two of us experimenting. We are used to work together, we have been recording together for 3 years and I am not afraid of anything!
Y : she sings super well and we do few takes, often only one take per verse or chorus, and few or no corrections, which gives a much more natural voice. The titles that we hear on the radio today are often hyper complex montages of dozens of takes, it’s hell. And I’m not talking about auto tune, I’m allergic to it! In practice I make the melody on the piano that she has in the headphones and in visual on the screen, we make some passages to fix and we record… sometimes it is directly the good catch, and sometimes we return to it a month or two later. Sometimes we pile up a few voices to give body and obviously rework the sound quite a bit, but we try to stay on top of it, keep it natural yet electro.
For soleil froid it’s a little bit particular, the song is one of the most complex we wrote and it was almost ready for the first album, but the mix that will be released on August 8th was touched up until July, so almost 3 years after we wrote it ! We tried several choruses, it was not obvious, there are a lot of synth parts and the mix was delicate… In general the others are released much faster, but to make a title from the beginning to the end it is never so simple as that… at the same time it sometimes happens to me to retouch the compo at the time of the mastering so that also leaves a great freedom in the vision of whole.
Tell us about the title Cottagecore…
DZ : It’s a very important title for me, Cottagecore, it’s the name of an aesthetic that brings together nature, pretty light dresses, big straw hats and sometimes even a little bit of enchantment… everything I like and dream of for my life !
Y: We really have two styles of songs, some more rock, some more electro. Cottagecore is one of our tracks that is quite rocky and I try to keep it as raw as possible!
What do you wish to transmit to the public with your EP ?
DZ : I have a great love for life. I trust the world, the universe, it brings me happiness, love, the inspiration to create as I like, the beauty of the world around me, the pride of being a woman today… this is the feeling I hope to transmit: an unwavering optimism!
What were your choices for the artwork of Déjà vu?
DZ: A little more than two years ago, just before the release of our first album Emerald Eyes, Yuji Watanabe, an incredible Japanese photographer (in all objectivity) contacted me and asked me if I already had some visuals for this first album, because he absolutely wanted to illustrate our music that he had just discovered and on which he had a huge crush.
We already had all our visuals ready for a while, made by a photographer that I greatly respect, Isabelle Banco, so I proposed to Yuji to illustrate our next project.
We understood very quickly what I wanted: abstract flowers, and he knew how to make sublime photos! Déjà Vu is the first EP we’re working on together, but the next three EPs, coming out every month after this one, will also be common… I can’t wait to show them!
What can we know about the video clip of the track Soleil Froid ?
DZ : we usually make our videos ourselves, but for this one, we opened our little world to Gaëlle Oro, a talented photographer and videographer, who also shares my life. She realized all the sublime images of the clip.
We wrote it as a short film, retracing the story of Felicity, a young lady from the early 20th century, waking up in Paris today.
Through her discovery of the modern world, I wanted to share my love for life, and bring a fresh look at the beauty of today’s world, despite the often alarmist news that tends to make us more pessimistic than anything else.
I am an eternal optimist, I have hope in life, and I hope that my character (that I play myself!) will convince all those who will watch Soleil Froid!
Why did you want to propose a club remix version of the song Looks ?
DZ : Looks is a song that we particularly like, and that we very quickly had the desire to create a new version, more dynamic, more dancing, more energetic. It was natural, as if this version already existed somewhere in the original!
Y: So remixes are something I really love. For Dame Zina we give all the stems of all the tracks on remix.damezina.com because I love it when someone takes our sounds and transforms them and something completely unexpected, changes the mood, and reinvents the track! I get this taste from the remixes of the 90’s bands that shaped my ear, especially indus like Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke or Ministry and DJs like Laurent Garnier. Anything that mixes genres, I love. I hope we’ll be able to release a remix album with stuff we never imagined on our sounds! Looks was already quite danceable but it’s always a challenge for me to make it simple and effective, so we started from scratch, sped it up a bit and put a house riff on it, and rebuilt it from there keeping the best! Here it’s globally the same structure but other remixes can completely change a track, we’ll see what the future holds…
Are there any gigs planned and what do you like about the scene?
DZ: Although we’ve already done a little bit of performing with our first album, no gigs are planned at this time. I have a lot of anxiety about crowds, and I like the studio. We are interested in developing live shows later, but for now we are focusing on what we love about music: creating together.
Y : yes I think we will do live shows one day but it’s quite different from our current dynamic. If we do, we’ll have to put together a live band and that will be great!
What would you like to say to finish ?
DZ: From August 8th, Déjà Vu will be on all platforms, and Soleil Froid on YouTube! All our previous releases (the first album and the Meadowsweet singles) are available everywhere.
After Déjà Vu, a new EP of 4 songs and a video clip will be released every month, with this time exclusively new songs. The next one is called Witch, and it will be my little feminist manifesto!
Y: We already have about 20 other songs in the works and several remixes, and we opened the remixes to everyone so we hope to be surprised!
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