The rise of soul singer Zoe K

Rising Melbourne-based soul singer Zoe K is an independent artist renown for her non-traditional interpretation of soul, blues and jazz. 

Her deliciously smooth sultry new single ‘Put It Down’ features Mister Goldfinger. Mister Goldfinger aka Ray Angry. Angry has worked with the best in jazz, R&B, and hip-hop and regularly plays on Jimmy Fallon with The Roots. 

We chat to Zoe K ahead of her album launch about working with Mister Goldfinger, what we can expect from her album, and how she worked multiple jobs to record her album in New Orleans. 

You just dropped a new track, is this an intro of what is to come?

The whole album is diverse in the mix of jazz, soul and blues. With the album being recorded in both Melbourne, Newcastle and then New Orleans, it features a lot of musicians who can bring their own personalities to the album. I chose 'Put It Down' because as the first track to the album it sets a good narrative to the rest of the album, which is mainly me singing about myself haha!

How did you and Mister Goldfinger and you link up? What was he like to work with?

I met Mister Goldfinger aka Ray Angry at the Tuesday night jazz jam at Zinc Bar in New York. When I first met him, I didn't realise how much music credentials he has behind him. I guess that is one of the great qualities he has, he is very humble. After I recorded and got my first mix back I showed him and he said that he wanted to add something to the song, so I acted all coy and said "Yeah that would be dope" but inside I was trying to keep it all together because it was a pretty big compliment that he even dug my song.  

Who is your favourite female vocalists?

Oh this is hard. I love all the greats such as Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, Ella, Billie, Chaka Khan, Bessie Smith, Bonnie Raitt, Ruth Brown, Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway, Emily King,  Melody Gardot and Eva Cassidy. I could literally keep on going. 

Who influences you?

First and foremost, my mum. She is beacon for everything that I'm ever unsure of doing. I am very lucky to have her. As much as I am to have a posse of strong, creative and talented female energy in my friendship circle. We always bring each other up. In terms of music, I would have to say the music community that I have experienced in Newcastle, Melbourne and New Orleans. Going to shows and hearing other musicians who are also grinding away to get their music out there.  

What was your favourite thing about New Orleans? 

There are too many! Obviously the music is a big factor, but I love the culture of New Orleans. Culture in the way of the food, music, expression and most importantly, the people who make New Orleans. 

Why did you decide to record your album there? 

I had visited New Orleans as part of this 'music nerd' trip I created. I basically wanted to visit all of the music cities where my favourite music artists came from. New Orleans being the birth place of jazz, I found it appropriate to end my trio there. It was New Orleans that I fell the most in love with. It wasn't until I was back in Australia that I met Mike Bass, who plays bass with Trombone Shorty that I told him how much I loved it there and that I was saving to come back. It was Mike who suggested that I should finish recording my album there, and as an independent artist it meant that I worked 3 jobs and made it happen. I put together my own band, I used the internet as a source of finding the right drummer which is where I saw Terrence Houston who is an absolute machine. It all came together, but like anything, it took a lot of hard work.

What can we expect from your new album?

Well, at one moment you can be expect me to be singing about my hard ships in the love life department and then the next I'll be singing a song I wrote for the ladies. I was actually nervous about this song, the song is called 'Walls (For The Ladies)' and it was written after the frustrations of a females role in the bedroom. It just seemed that any time I heard women singing about sex it was usually in rap music or there had to be a comedic value in it. My friends always are staying with losers because they say that the ‘sex is too good’ so I started asking them ‘Well did you think it was good because you might have contributed to it?’ With all do respect, sometimes we give men too much credit in the bedroom and this song was written for the ladies to own it. So I guess a mix of 'oh woe is me' combined with 'oh no you didn’t.' 

What stimulates your soul?

Adventure, Music, People and my mothers cooking. 


SAT 15TH APRIL // Spotted Mallard // Melbourne

FRI 5TH MAY // Lazy Bones Lounge // Sydney 

SAT 6TH MAY // Small Ballroom // Newcastle 


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