Zenizen was created by Opal Hoyt who was born in Alaska and raised between Vermont, Jamaica, Washington DC and Brooklyn. She found herself infatuated with writing songs and creating musical landscapes with an emphasis on all things soulful. Minnie Riperton, Mariah Carey, London Nu-jazz is where she came from and ended up. Since heading to Australia for the second time to write/record the band's debut EP, she has been back in New York simultaneously playing shows and working on the band's 'vaguely seasonal' full-length. The 'Australia' EP is currently available on transparent blue vinyl via Don Giovanni Records and all major streaming platforms.
ZENIZEN'S OPAL HOYT GOES ACROSS THE POND
You might remember Opal Hoyt from our recap of her MoMA debut last month(how could you forget?). The lead singer of Zenizen is making moves, and we’ve been following along as best we can ever since. After her MoMA performance, Hoyt hopped on a plane to the UK, where she ventured around London before jetting off to both Paris and Iceland, running into all sorts of friends and collaborators along the way (and even one hairless cat owned by her tattoo artist, Don).
Zenizen's Opal Hoyt Found Her Voice Somewhere Between Alaska and Melbourne
The Brooklyn-based artist, whose new EP is a neo-soul marvel, explains her inspiration and the difficulties that come being branded "unique."
South By Southwest has announced a second batch of artists for the 32nd annual music/tech/film festival, with many familiar faces like Andrew W.K., Gordi and Quiet Slang, aka, Beach Slang's James Alex, all heading to Texas.
This youthful revelry inspired the EP’s standout track, “Follow the Leader.” The song unfurls slowly and joyously, Hoyt’s voice lingering and echoing as she sings from the perspective of a group of friends waiting “with baited breath” for a leader to guide their mischief. The jittering drums and rippling synth, paired with her warm account of “this dear, sweet army,” create intimacy and affection. Hoyt’s song is deliberate and poetic, perfectly constructing a place where playful gossip, bubbling beers, and togetherness reign supreme.
Victoria Ruiz (Downtown Boys) spoke to Opal Hoyt, the creator of Zenizen, the day after the New York record release party for Australia, a seven-track recording released in October as an advent to a larger full-length album forthcoming on Don Giovanni. Zenizen brings a positive and powerful energy to DIY music as, at every level of being right now, stakes are feeling very high and emotions are running very deep. The band’s music speaks beautifully to wanting to create something from destruction. As Zenizen gets ready to work on its full-length debut, Opal and I discussed how the group started, where it’s at, and where it’s going.
Stream the singer's debut.
It is our pleasure to showcase a new track from the group in the form of “Follow the Leader”. It is our pleasure to showcase a new track from the group in the form of “Follow the Leader”. According to Opal Hoyt, “Follow the Leader” was the first song she wrote after deciding to create this EP, which was written and recorded during a month long stay in Australia.