Rock'n'Roll at heart: Soraia
Get ready to fall big time for Soraia and their killer new album ‘Dig Your Roots’.
On first listen, it’s hard not to fall in love with the Rock’n’Roll at heart sound led by front woman ZouZou Mansour. She’s raw, wildly intelligent, and the owner of an unmistakable vocal range we would do literally anything to hear more of.
We recently hung out with the vocal powerhouse and Soraia’s kick-ass drummer Brianna at their record label in New York City to put together some key looks from their favorite Pretty Attitude pieces for their latest promo photoshoot.
Luckily for us we go the chance to ask ZouZou some questions about her inspirations behind the new album, how she got into singing and which artists she’d love to collaborate with one day.
1. Your new album ‘Dig Your Roots’ will be released on March 13. Tell us a little bit about the album and what inspired you to create it?
"Dig Your Roots" we had begun writing right after finishing the last record, "Dead Reckoning". There was no thematic ideas or anything for the album itself, but lyrically, I just started writing what I was going through or had gone through. I'm very big on reflecting on experiences in songs, and also on keeping an active voice, at times, as if the situation were happening in that moment; I think it makes it more exciting and brings it to new life and new perspective. Sometimes I take an older experience I had and work out how I would handle that situation today. Ideas for songs come up easily, and in some cases, a title line appears or is given to me. Either way, all of this is really about digging into your roots. Not just roots of experiences I've had, but into the roots of who I am. The dark and the light parts of myself. What I'm capable of and being honest in my writing about those things. Really, "Dig Your Roots" appeared easily as a title line after I looked at all the songs and what they had to say. I realize it was not only a personal coming to terms with certain things within myself, but the band, as well.
Also, I'm always motivated to write, to read, to listen to music. So is everyone in the band, I believe. So it naturally flows that that inspiration has to spill into writing for us.
2. When did you start and what did get you into making music?
I started singing in 2nd grade. I mean seriously in 2nd grade. No one in my family had sung before me. I didn't have a background of anyone or anything remotely musical, aside from everyone in my family being huge music fans.
'I just had this sudden desire to sing a song in front of the whole school. And I didn't think twice about it. I just did it.'
I realized by high school that I wanted to be in a band for the rest of my life. I really knew by then. So I started playing drums (I didn't think I was much of a singer, though that's what I really wanted to do) and got into bands by my sophomore year. There was a short hiatus, but I've been into it since then.
3. Soraia has been co-writing songs with musicians such as Jon Bon Jovi. Is there any band or artist that you would love to collaborate in the future?
Oh, yes, there's a ton of different artists. Honestly, if there was anyone I could have worked with, my first choice would be The Artist (formerly known as Prince). There's so much to learn from him. And there's nothing I didn't thoroughly fall in love with from his catalog, honestly. Everything he did was slightly different yet had a thread of similarity through it. Holistically, he is just my favorite artist of all time. I'd would also love to collaborate with Jack White--I don't think there's anyone he's worked with--either band-wise or production-wise--that I haven't absolutely loved. Dave Grohl, too. I'd love to write a song with Josh Homme, Alice Cooper -- there's just so many, really. And for various reasons. That's a good beginning, though.
4. Our Pretty Attitude styling session with you for your press photoshoot was crazy fun. Do you have any anecdotes?
Yes, there were a lot of fun moments throughout the day--and the Pretty Attitude clothes all made us (Brianna and myself) feel empowered and free. No clothing line has ever really done that--but the pieces we all worked on together really fit us: both physically and soulfully, too.
On the last change of the shoot day, I was wearing the Dark Romance Burgundy Velvet Dress and Brianna had on your Black Victorian Jacket with Lace Embellishments, and our photographer immediately screamed,"YES. LESTAT AS SH*T!" We spent that last shoot being very vampire-y. It was so much fun!
5. How would you describe your own personal style. What pieces are you currently wearing to death?
I love black. It's no secret. I love wearing the "Rock n' Roll Nights Black Mesh Bodysuit" and the black leather vegan fringe jacket you guys gave us for the photos.
On a casual day around home or with friends, I love wearing Pretty Attitude's black feather skull loose fit tank top paired with either my black tights or my black velvet bell bottoms. I found a cool print jacket in a thrift store I like to wear over it, too.
6. Pick three people you'd love to meet for coffee (dead or alive):
The Artist Formerly known as Prince, Jack White, Oprah Winfrey
7. If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I'd either be a pediatrician or an English Lit teacher - or both;)
8. A pretty attitude:
A pretty attitude means confidence and self-assuredness, mixed in with a hope-filled, passionate romantic persona. Add a little bit of bite and flirt in there, and you've nailed the attitude part.
9. What is next for Soraia?
Lots of touring new places, and writing for our next single. Touring to more cities and to larger audiences is what our plan is, both pre-album release and when the album officially releases. We'll be touring hard through fall of this year, spending some of the summer writing more music. And to finally record a Holiday Song in time for December 2020.