Who is Lolo Zouaï?

The music industry has been interesting these past few years. A lot of cultures have entered the "mainstream" when it comes to music. We've seen it with the surging amount of songs that now include Spanish/Portuguese (ie. "Despacito", "Taki Taki" and "Sua Cara") but lately we've been seeing something in addition to that: the inclusion of the French/Arabic languages in music, and Lolo Zouaï is here to show us how it's done.

Listen, as a trilingual Arab myself, nothing makes me happier than seeing people embrace her as a budding R&B princess, what a year for representation, am I right? Now let me tell you a little bit about this trilingual queen who is going to be crushing it in 2019.

Lolo Zouaï (pronounced “zoo-eye”, don't you EVER get it twisted!) is a 22 year old singer-songwriter, and was born in Paris to a French Mother and Algerian Father. She relocated to San Francisco with her family at a young age and is now based in Brooklyn, New York. A LOT has happened in between both instances, and all of it led to her most successful single to date, "High Highs to Low Lows"

"Ooh you wanna help me, ooh you wanna fly me out to LA, dreams you wanna sell me, I took a bite that’s a gold plate"

At 19, a struggling musician at the time, Lolo was promised the world by an unnamed pop star, only to lose all hope and communication with that person a few weeks later, but rest assured because she took those lemons and made one hell of a bittersweet banger (as she describes her songs) that would later change her life and put her back on top. "High Highs to Low Lows" is an auto-biography that details this story. Lolo was definitely right when she concluded the song saying "Tu sais, la vie est pleine de hauts et de bas. Mais sans les bas, les hauts ne veulent rien dire" (You know, life is full of ups and downs, but without the downs, the highs mean nothing).

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2017 was a landmark year for Zouaï, she saw "High Highs to Low Lows" go viral, was awarded the Abe Olman Songwriters Hall of fame award, landed a songwriting cut on H.E.R's Vol.2, found frequent musical collaborator Stelios who is the mastermind behind her recent sounds, and landed on top of Spotify playlist "Fresh Finds".

This year, Zouaï released five songs (so far) that were all met with positive reviews from both fans and critics, embarked on a sold out west coast tour with fellow R&B princess Alina Baraz as well as a successful tour of her own across Europe and the US, concluding with a set at Rolling Loud. TBH I'd say she's had a good two years!

My personal favorite of hers is "Desert Rose," and let me tell you why:

"Inshallah, that’s what you say, you think I lost my faith, you won’t speak my name"

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The song is a very personal one indeed. In this song, Zouaï combines all three languages (English, French and Arabic) that are part of what forms her ethnicity, and there is a big reason for that. According to Lolo, the desert rose is a rose-like crystal that forms in the desert of Algeria, and is said to have healing properties that help you grow as a person. Growing up in America, Lolo's cultural and religious views often clashed with her family's views, so this song was written in an attempt to unify them and for them to understand her point of view in order to fully accept and love her for who she is. And I think that's beautiful because I feel like in the age of globalization, a lot of us kind of go through that in many different ways.

Her songwriting, honesty, authenticity and voice are what makes her special, she is carving her own lane in the music industry and is definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the very near future. With only eight songs in her catalogue, Lolo Zouaï has already made an impact and won over thousands of fans including myself, so keep an eye out for her in 2019, and don't say I didn't warn you!

Check our her latest single, "For The Crowd":

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Last updated: 17 Oct 2021, 19:50 Etc/UTC

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