Alt-Pop Star EZLA Proves That Success Lies Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Singer/songwriter EZLA is quickly becoming a fixture in the Los Angeles alternative pop scene. The Texas native serves up vibrant vocals and gritty beats, using raw, emotive language that defines her musical style. Without any label backing, EZLA snagged “Best Pop Song” for her song “Outcasts” at the 2018 Independent Music Awards. Her songs are regularly featured on music streaming services as part of various independent artist playlists.
Ever since she began to explore the world of music at five years old, EZLA has harnessed the power of her voice and creativity to share her musical talent with the world. EZLA’s constant determination to venture outside of her comfort zone has propelled her success, and she hopes that her artistry and ambition will serve as an inspiration to those looking to find themselves through music. She spoke to Like A Boss Girls about what she is doing next and the story behind her music.
Name/Artist Name: EZLA
Currently based in: Los Angeles, CA
Originally from: Mansfield, TX
My ability to relate to people. I feel as though my ability to really get to know others allows me to find the right people to create and collaborate with. In my opinion, building a strong team and using that trust really helps you grow as a musician, or whatever your career may be.
Biggest pet peeve:
Flaky people. If you book an appointment/session with me, stick to it! Time is valuable.
Favorite 90s jam:
Literally any boy band anthem or grunge song would do. Also, anything from the Spice Girls.
What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of music?
Working out, spending time with friends/family, and currently decorating my studio apartment in LA. I’ve been trying to research creative ways to make a small space feel spacious. Thank God for YouTube and Pinterest!
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you love to splurge on?
I would buy out the whole top floor of a loft overlooking the New York skyline. It would be decked out in dope art and concrete flooring, and I would have parties with some of my favorite artists, giving them an awesome platform to perform!
What is a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
Stay uncomfortable. It sounds weird, but if we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, we keep on growing.
Kesha’s “We R Who We R” gets me every time.
If you could live anywhere else in the world right now, where would it be?
I’d live in New York — hands down. It’s a city that makes you feel high on life. You feel as if you can accomplish anything and everything just by being alive and being there. If it wasn’t so expensive, I would be there yesterday. But I’ve got a bucket list and New York is one of my top priorities.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Well, as a kid, I wanted not so much to be a musician, but an entertainer – whether it was acting, singing, and/or dancing. Music gave me a way to do it all, which solidified my passion. My earliest memory is selling out living room seats for free at every family gathering when I was five years old. I was a pretty big deal.
How would you describe the sound of EZLA?
I’d describe it as alternative pop, but it’s always changing. Every season of my life gives me a different sound and influence on my writing and music.
What are the main themes or topics in your songs?
In my songs, I speak on self-acceptance, love, anger, and pretty much any known human emotion. I sing about things that I feel right in the moment, or from five years ago.
As a whole, what is the message you hope to put forth with your music?
I hope to encourage others to swim against the current. [I know that] finding who you are is hard. I still don’t know who I am, but I’m slowly putting the pieces together. My songs are just the written journey of that process of finding myself, and hopefully I’m helping others do the same.
Which artists are the greatest musical inspiration for EZLA?
This list changes with the seasons of my life. Two years ago it was everything Kesha, Twenty One Pilots and Melanie Martinez. Currently, I’m really big on AJR, Bulow, Kyle, Billie Eilish and Kanye.
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with in the future?
FINNEAS, holla at me! I’m currently writing and making new music!
How do you feel your music evolved since you first started performing as EZRA?
Before, my music was heavily influenced by the artists and music I was listening to. Now, I’m really searching deeper to find my own voice.
Do you play any instruments, and if so, which ones?
Yes, I dabble with keys and I can play a chord or two on the guitar, but I focus on vocals and writing. The pen is my best instrument.
Who writes your songs?
Mainly myself, but I collaborate with others because it’s important for growth.
What do you do, or where do you go, when you need to find inspiration for your music?
I check streaming services like Spotify or SoundCloud, and I find inspiration in the city I live in.
Where do you see yourself 30 years from now?
I have no idea. As long as I’m alive and creating something worthwhile, that’s all I need.
What is a project you’re currently working on that you are most excited about?
I’ve been writing with some L.A. songwriters recently, which I’m super stoked about. I’m focused on finding the right music first, then I’ll release an EP.
What has been one of your favorite performances of all time?
I played a festival in Ohio with over 4,000 people. It was insane!
What stands out as one of your worst/most horrifying performances of all time?
At one of my shows in Austin, Texas, the sound guy didn’t know how to mix pop music. He cut our set short because he got frustrated. I was mortified!
What is one thing you have accomplished in your musical career as EZLA that you’re most proud of?
Playing SXSW 2018 and winning Best Pop Song this year at the Independent Music Awards. That’s two things. I’m a rebel.
Share a story of a time you screwed up in your musical career and how you recovered:
When am I not screwing up? Let’s get really real here. The very first time I put out music, I did just that. I put it out. I thought if I made a good product then everyone would come, as if someone would just find me and give me my “big break”. Reality check – no one’s coming. I learned the hard way that if you want to be somebody in this industry, you better work your ass off. There are no handouts. You reap what you sow.
What do you see as one of the greatest challenges facing your industry today?
I recently saw a post by AJR and it hit home. It was about being “original yet relatable.” That’s definitely a challenge for any artist.
Are there any resources you have discovered that have been an asset to EZLA that you’d like to share?
Absolutely! For me, my biggest asset has been the independent curators on Spotify. They are giving independent artists a chance!
If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you’d be doing?
I would be a journalist. I love interviewing people. Or an actress.
This interview is part of the Steereo Featured Artist Series. Steereo promotes new music from up-and-coming artists in ride share vehicles, reaching new listeners and fans as they travel.