By Renee Santos
Echo Park, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/2/23 – Walking into the obscured dark venue felt very reminiscent of my 20s rebellion and the perfect place to host the viral, alt-pop rising star. As I meandered through the predominately female crowd to my post, siphoning through a cacophony of multi-colored hairdos and the social media check-ins of excited fans anticipating the arrival of Zolita, I heard omniscient carrying voices articulating the hopes of the acoustic version of her newest single “Crazy Ex.” I was listening. An acoustic rendition of any popularized recorded song was my kinda thing. Seeing an artist get to showcase the honesty of the origin of their vision by moving away from the produced version is what makes the Live performance a unique experience and I was ready to be surprised by an artist I hadn’t seen before.
Zolita, her all-female band, and two dancers dashed on stage and the crowd went crazy, what a breath of fresh air to see a young group of women taking the stage with such command and presence. Her dancers showcased the variety of the female form illustrating the evolution of body-positive female empowerment and beauty. Before she broke out into song, she already illustrated she was equally accessible and defiant.
Within a minute she had me and the male bouncer discretely bopping to her melodic pop-rock beats. She creatively juxtaposes angst and hope with catchy rhythms that could have any first-time listener reciting the chorus by mid-song. Although her songs are filled with lyrics expressing the revengeful side of a broken heart, I was impressed by her musicality and showmanship. She played the acoustic and electric guitar while simultaneously dancing to choreography and displaying theatrics by telling the narrative of her songs through her dancers.
Her interludes were sprinkled with an appreciation for her fans and the incorporation of stories with mature reflections beyond her years. In a testimonial about what inspired her to write her song Orchard Street, Zolita remarked, “I had these subconscious obsessions in my dreams over my ex and then I’d wake up feeling betrayed by my own brain.” She also shared the impetus behind writing her song Ashley, a song about the young love of two teenage girls, and the importance for queer teens to feel their experiences being represented. Zolita is on the vanguard of emergent new voices bringing together her musical predecessors like the rock styles of Paramore, the aesthetics of Tori Amos, and the mainstream accessibility of the provocation of Carrie Underwood’s hit Before He Cheats and merging them together to create a unique and necessary input into the world of music.