Shelter - Zialand
With a wonderful album third album, ‘Unbridled & Ablaze’ planned for release in the Spring our next LCM featured artist is Oslo based Zia Meyer better known as Zialand. After being introduced by David Dee Moore, we have been following Zia's musical journey closely. Zia is an artist that we encourage everyone to get known better. Our LCM #SongOfTheDay with its downtempo jazz feel is her reflective new single 'Shelter'. It is Zia's second single taken from the forthcoming album and it follows the lovely 'Landslide', which we featured last month. Describing the song, she says that “it is a love letter to my daughter. Within the song I am watching my daughter reach towards this electric thing called ‘life’, which means that my role is slowly dying. There is beauty and pain for us both….but mainly beauty.”
Zia spent her early years on the large Arctic island of Greenland before her family relocated to Oslo. She loved acts like Eurythmics and Whitney Houston as a child, but began taking a deeper interest in music in her mid-teens, absorbing jazz artists such as Charles Mingus and Billie Holiday, the queen of opera Maria Callas, as well as pop/rock royalty like Prince, Sade and Sly & The Family Stone.
Having joined a gospel choir at the age of 14, despite believing she couldn’t really sing, Zialand began taking piano lessons and spent time living in an abandoned brothel before moving to LA where she worked with famed jazz composer/musicians Marcus Miller and Chris Botti, plus bassist Kristian Dunn (of El Ten Eleven). She released a debut album in 2000 entitled ‘Same Girl Once’, songs from which gained airplay on key local station KCRW and were also placed in TV shows.
However, her burgeoning career as a piano based singer-songwriter stalled in 2002 when she left LA and ended up in Australia for the next decade. There may have been hard and heavy reasons for leaving the hotbed of LA and slipping into the shadows, but it also provided an opportunity to spend plenty of quality time in the studio to continue making music and learning the art of mixing. It became her anchor,“the only thing I could hold on to at times,” Zia reflects.
Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen and guitarist Erlend Saeverud contributed to the second Zialand album, ‘The Light Below’ (2014), giving the highly personal jazz tinged record an atmospheric, filmic backdrop. Recorded primarily in Australia but completed and released upon moving back to Oslo, it pointed the way forward.
Soon after returning to Norway, Zialand also met the British producer/musician John Fryer, best known for his work with acts such as Nine Inch Nails, This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode, but at that time making solo electronic industrial pop music as Black Needle Noise. She co-wrote and sang on two songs with him that would appear on albums issued in 2016 and 2017.
She then worked with composer/producer David Sardy, who invited her to sing on the soundtrack for the urban fantasy thriller movie ‘Bright’ (starring Will Smith and Noomi Rapace), which was released via Netflix just before Xmas 2017.