Getting To Know SA ZEINER

Having spent the last few years dazzling us with a rich and broad collection of vibrant and fulfilling alt-pop delights, Oslo-born but London-based singer and songwriter SA Zeiner has since showcased her wonderfully bright and uplifting new EP The Only Scars I’ve Got I Got In My Sleep.

Featuring the fresh and euphoric singles Could You Be Good To Me, Good For Your Ego and Forever, Here, the frontwoman has proven once again why so many have been flocking to hear her voice over the last few months.

So with her new release doing the rounds right now, we sat down with her to find out more about her chosen direction and what has influenced her over the years.

What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

I first fell in love with singing for sure and the Norwegian classical singer Sissel Kyrkjebø was my all-time favourite when I was really little. As another instrument I would probably say the harp. I was so mesmerized by it but unfortunately I have never played one!

What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?

Events in my life and the way I deal with emotions I think. I wouldn’t be doing music if I didn’t really need an outlet or a way to express myself. It’s less an inspiration and more a need though. The biggest inspiration has been the people around me. 

What kind of music did you love as a teenager?

I loved jazz! Frank Sinatra and Diana Krall were two of my favourites. I also listened a lot to Alicia Keys and Craig David. Not a lot of Britney or Spice Girls, which now seems a little weird haha.

Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?

I think it is Didn’t We by Frank Sinatra. It’s like a poem. But honestly I feel like it’s rather a collection of songs.

When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?

It sounds super cheesy but if I listen to music at all in the morning it would be the last mix I did of anything I was working on the night before. I love listening with fresh ears. If I know I have a studio heavy day in front of me I try not to listen too much to music as I find it clutters my ears. I like to feel like a fresh canvas in that sense when I create my own.

How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?

I would say maybe 2/3 of my songs are written in relation to someone in my life. Sometimes I can be a little unaware of where my lyrics are coming from but I would estimate that’s what it would be. 

What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?

Playing Oslo Pride last year. People were so lovely and I just want to do that everyday really!

Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?

I guess it sounds really vague but I would say it’s visual aesthetics. I paint, direct and edit music videos and create artwork for myself and others. If I can be creative that’s what I will be doing. Other than that I am obsessed with psychology.

If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?

If I hadn’t been accepted to a music college I would have gone on to study psychology. But I also would have loved to study film or design.

And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to stay productive through the coronavirus lockdown?

Think of this lock down as a blessing to be able to stay creative without as many distractions. At the moment there is no pressure to try and fit into society’s expectations and you are free to sit at home and create without judgement. This doesn’t mean you have to do something amazing with your time but for me it has just felt a bit like the pressure is taken off and that has meant I can spend that mental energy on being productive. 

Set yourself one goal a day and make sure you praise yourself when you reach it. Start off with something attainable like tidying your room and increase in terms of how challenging it is and maybe later your goal will be to finish a track in a day. Make sure you take breaks and observe what makes you fill up your energy and creativity and do enough of that to find a balance. I know I need enough time to ‘procrastinate’ in order to be creative but too many things on my to do list makes me unfocused so it’s always a fine balance.

SA Zeiner’s new EP The Only Scars I’ve Got I Got In My Sleep is available to stream and download now.

By FM