By: Kai Yeo
Powerful vocal range, unguarded vulnerability, and great songwriting skills. All of that combined is Zoe Wees, 19-year-old German singer-songwriter who is creating a global imprint with her unbelievable vocal range and soulful rhythms.
If you’re new here: Zoe Wees made her stellar debut with her single “Control” in March 2020, a song she opens up about her child epilepsy, a traumatic, isolating condition that can cause severe seizures. “Before I wrote ‘Control’ I looked back to the past every evening. Like I was just sitting in my room and was just there and was just sad and looked at the wall… After I wrote ‘Control’ it was another feeling. Like the situation wasn’t even that bad no more.” The emotional ballad became a worldwide hit and entered the top 20 at Pop radio in the U.S.
A year after her debut single, Wees continued to magnify her presence in the mainstream atmosphere with her emotional release “Girls Like Us” – an empowering anthem of solidarity shared among girls fighting against the stereotypes and expectations of society. Not just about struggling with looks, it is also a song that talks about emotions and pressures of social media. Now at 13 million streams on YouTube, it is praised as “a vulnerable pop anthem that pushed for togetherness” as Wees encourages her listeners to find confidence within themselves.
Now, with her debut EP “Golden Wings” out, Wees continues to relay her personal narratives in her music to create an inspiring and safe space for her fanbase – her wings. Last week, I got the chance to speak with Zoe about the five-track EP and potential live shows, as well as her struggles and autobiographical songwriting.
In your interview, you stated that this EP is your “strength and wings.” Can you share any special moments in the process of making this EP that reflects your strength and wings particularly?
“I feel like the last song for the EP that I wrote, I think it was ‘Girls Like Us.’ The one special moment I realized was that for the first time in a session, I thought about – not just about me – also the other people. About my wings and my community, which I didn’t really have before. I was always thinking about writing my own stuff down and thinking of myself for now, because it was what I was going through. But in the end, I know my music helps a lot of people. So [the one special moment] is taking extra care to also write about what people and my listeners can relate to, especially because I know what they’re going through.
Just in your lyrics and voice, the execution of your message “just want to make people feel less lonely, make them feel stronger” is shown so clearly. How do you feel about your fans’ reactions to your EP?
“I’m so happy. Cause you know actually; one thing is we wrote together. And they’re here from the beginning, and we’re gonna grow together when I go on tour and when I’m in their city. They’re gonna come visit me and I’m gonna see them. This is what makes me happy because anytime I go back to a city, I’m gonna see them again and again and again, so we grow together, which is so nice.”
Known for your “raspy low to unbelievably powerful and sky-high” singing style, is there a personal favorite style when making this EP or did you just go with the flow?
“I actually just go with the flow. Really, I just go with the flow. Whatever comes out of my mouth.”
You wrote your first song on anxiety and epilepsy; can you tell us why this was important for you to show your authentic and true self?
“Because I never write about happy things. You know, I hate writing about happy things, cause it makes me sad. That’s funny, I know. But I really like… never thought this was something I was ever gonna release. But I was just in the studio, and it was the first session, and I was so nervous. And then I thought about because I struggled so much with my epilepsy, and I still do even though it wasn’t as intense at that time, I really wanted to write a song about it. For me, it was the most natural way to be honest to my wings and everyone around me. And a way for me to be real. And that’s just me.”
Thank you for showing us such personal aspects of your life and empowering us (especially women) to be comfortable in our own bodies. Can you tell us what inspires you to write music?”
“Jessie J and Billie Eilish… and especially just what I’m going through.”
Follow Zoe Wees musical journey
P.S.: If you can’t tell from her answers… Zoe was every bit as wonderful and charismatic with her words as she is with her musical talent. Zoe, I can’t wait to see what’s next for you and to listen to more of what you create! Your music is so inspiring and when we finally meet in real life (hopefully at one of your tour stops), please remember we promised to trade my skin for your brows. Cheering for you always, stay beautiful x