Zou Zou Mansour
[2:53] “I’ve always had a really active imagination since I was really small, could always think about things and create things, and at the same time I think it isolated me as a kid… I was real sensitive, I think as I was growing up I realized that I was an artist and music spoke to me really young.”
[26:14] “It’s not like I’m either a great writer or a terrible writer – it’s a process and you have to work at it.”
[37:20] “That’s what I love about rock and roll… it’s nothing but mistakes, it’s imperfection and you’re allowed to be a mess and I feel that’s why rock and roll speaks to me so much.”
[54:55] “The feedback of our fans was vital to us knowing what to do next. And it wasn’t like we were asking them, they were just telling us what they wanted.”
Synopsis of the show:
ZouZou Mansour is the lead singer of the Philadelphia-based band Soraia, has released 6 albums, toured all over the United States and parts of Europe and has co-written songs with Jon Bon Jovi, Steven Van Zandt, and Billy Falcon.
Born to immigrant parents, ZouZou realized in high school that she wanted to be in a band, but didn’t think she could be a singer because of her expressive, edgy, gritty style of voice. Soraia’s style of music is rock/rock and roll, but the band draws inspiration from all over the music spectrum like grunge and 80’s pop.
ZouZou draws her inspiration for writing from lived experiences, including addiction, and will hear a snippet of something someone says and immediately think “that’s a song lyric”. Writing is a process for her, and she likes to work with a co-writer who will call her out on being repetitive, or just not good writing.
Soraia has been able to stay active and promote their recent album during COVID by recording cover songs without rehearsing – calling them “one and dones”, doing Facebook Live Q&As each week, and doing virtual shows and festivals. The next virtual show will be in January – where the band will debut their next single, Tight Lipped. The band is hoping to open again for Joan Jett and Killer Queen in Spring 2021.
They’re currently making music videos, writing songs, and rehearsing – you can follow the band online everywhere @soraiarocks.
A few things you will learn from the podcast:
- Soraia is ZouZou’s birth name and means the guiding star in Arabic, it’s the brightest star of the Pleiades constellation
- ZouZou feels that while in the throes of addiction, she isolated herself from everyone, but now that she’s made it out of that dark and lonely part of her life, she was given a second chance at life and is enjoying it to the best of her ability.
- Project HOME is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that helps break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, by working within the community. Their motto is “none of us are home until all of us are home”.