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Hannah George | 12/03/2024

Kenzie Ziegler is no newbie when it comes to releasing music, already approaching her second release of the year with her latest single "Word Vomit", out March 15th; it's safe to say it does not disappoint. Kenzie continues to embrace vulnerable themes throughout many of her recent heart-wrenching ballads, including "Face to Face" and "Anatomy". I won't say too much too early, though, as we were lucky enough to sit down with Kenzie herself to discuss all things music, writing and the story behind her latest release.   


Kenzie joined me over Zoom from a very sunny LA, and we got straight to it. She candidly revealed that her first memories of creating music and singing stemmed from her love of High School musical. "Every time I tell someone this, they're always like, that is hilarious, but when I was younger, I loved High School Musical; I wanted to be Vanessa Hudgens so bad, and I would sing around the house all the time, I had vocal lessons because I wanted to be her so bad, and that's my first memory of music, I fell in love with it and would do vocal lessons every single day." 


That was at just six years old, and Kenzie has been creating music ever since. Her creative process has altered slightly from singing the High School Musical soundtrack; wanting to know more about how her process has evolved, Kenzie told me, "When I was younger, I would write by myself in my room on my ukelele, and as I grew older I started doing sessions with other people, and I've found my favourite group of writers that I write with, but my creative process is pretty simple, I usually come in with a concept, all of my songs are basically about my life so I come in with a concept, rant about it for hours and then we write from that, it comes so easy, but it's so important to have those friends that you can write with because I feel so comfortable writing with them especially talking about deep stuff." 


Hearing Kenzie talk about this therapeutic approach to writing, I was intrigued to know how she felt once these more intimate songs written with close friends were released into the world. Telling me, "I recently put out a song called "Anatomy" about my dad and how I grew up without him being present, and I only wrote the song because my therapist told me to write a letter to my dad, and I didn't want to do that so me and my closest two friends who I work with all the time, we wrote a song about my dad, and I showed it to my therapist. Everyone said you have to release this, this is going to help so many people, and that was a scary moment for me because not only have I been so vulnerable with the world, but I also have to share this with family members who I haven't even talked to about this certain situation. I had never even spoken to my dad about it, so it was a whole thing, but the second it came out, I realised how much it helped other people and also helped me when I saw the responses." 


Wanting to know more about her writing process, specifically about her upcoming release, "Word Vomit", Kenzie told me about the song's origins, opening up about the struggles of being in a public relationship. “I recently went through a breakup with someone I was with for three years super publicly, it was honestly the hardest breakup I've been through being with someone for so long and having everyone's eyes on you the whole time. I went through a lot of crazy things during that time. I didn't even say Word Vomit one time during the song, but everything is unfinished sentences, and I was spilling how I felt; it just became this song, and it is a very vulnerable track that I am nervous about putting out because I haven't properly talked about what happened. Still, once again, I want to help people with the same struggles I went through.”   

  Hearing Kenzie talk about the struggles of being in the public eye, especially from a young age, I wanted to know if growing up with social media, which can be a massive aid for creativity but can also be a significant hindrance. Kenzie told me how she chooses to navigate this. "I think our generation has it very hard with social media, comparing ourselves to people through the internet and with relationships as well, it is a very toxic environment, but I feel it does give me a tough skin when it comes to releasing a very vulnerable song because there's going to be people that love it and there's going to be people that hate it, but I love it and I'm excited for people to hear how I feel."    


It is clear to see how passionate Kenzie is about her upcoming releases. She tells me more about what we can expect from her new music: "My older music is a bit darker, and I'm constantly finding my sound. Of course, it changes all the time because I'm still growing up, but I still do many things depending on how I feel that day. I feel like a lot of my music, recently has been super raw and stripped down because that is my favourite music to listen to; I've been writing many sad songs ...I can't stop writing them because they are just the best." 


In agreement, being a massive sad girl music lover, I asked Kenzie what she was listening to and if she had any key inspirations from other artists.  


"Yebba is someone I really look up to, and she is really in her own lane and doesn't get as much recognition as she should; she's insane all around the board, and her music just itches my brain; I could go on and on, so many people inspire me and even dance in a way, I always bring that into my music, I think how would I feel dancing to this. Dance has helped me in a lot of ways." 


Following on from this, I asked Kenzie if dance is still something she would consider bringing into her music; she replied    


"I lost my love for dance very early on. Being in the competitive dance world is super toxic and being constantly compared to others, and I'm not competitive at all but I want to get back into it just to do it for fun."  


With all this talk about music and performing, I pried, asking Kenzie what is in store for the next year; she told me, "I already have my album finished, and it's set to release in July, and I'm still writing so much music I seriously think I could put a whole new album out again, but my biggest goal for the year is to tour and to perform and I do get stage fright so I need the practice, I need to go on tour and I love meeting everyone as well." 


Well, we certainly can't wait to hear the album later this year. In the meantime, you can stream "Word Vomit" on all major streaming platforms as of March 15th!   


Words Hannah George

Photography Kevin Amato

Styling Marc Eram

MUA Yasmin Istanbouli

Hair Stylist Rikki Gash

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