French-Algerian, Paris born, San Francisco raised, Brooklyn based singer Lolo Zouaï only just released her debut full-length, High Highs to Low Lows, but if you were lucky enough to get into her at any point in the past couple of years since first making her debut in the modern alt r&b and pop sphere, you’ve surely seen this worldly and unique talent organically come into her own as one of the most exciting new singers in pop. Returning to her one-time home of Nashville in celebration of her debut, Zouaï is set to headline The High Watt tonight, April 29, surely one of the most intimate spots you’ll ever get a chance to see her play in Music City, along with Chicago genre-bending hip hop and r&b up and comer Jean Deaux and local electro-r&b favorite Kiya Lacey. This bill is absolutely stacked with thoroughly modern, eclectic talent, and is easily one of the coolest, most essential shows of the spring! Get tickets right here, then read on for more about the show!
Though she only just released her debut full-length, High Highs to Low Lows, buzzy, worldly young singer Lolo Zouaï has spent the past couple of years honing her sound and cultivating an impressive, organic fanbase, swiftly positioning her as one of the most essential new singers in pop. Born in Paris to French and Algerian parents, Zouaï’s family emigrated to San Francisco when she was a child, and most of her upbringing took place in the Bay Area, where Lolo fell in love with music at a young age, raised on French classics and Arab melodies, as well as contemporary pop and r&b, and the hip hop culture of her surroundings. It was only around 2012 that the now-23-year-old, then a teen, began teaching herself to produce using the GarageBand app on her phone, soon saving up to buy a laptop and mic, where she further honed her writing and production chops and began to develop her own unique, eclectic, multilingual, and contemporary sound. Moving around a bit (Zouaï spent time in Vegas, a stint back in Paris, and even a semester of college in Nashville), before uprooting to New York with her mother, where she’s since found her artistic community, Lolo got linked up with buzzy producer Stelios Phili a couple years ago, and began to self-release tracks in 2017, gaining buzz that year for her eventual LP title track “High Highs to Low Lows,” as well as last year’s “Blue” and more recent Blood Orange teamup “Jade,” all of which helped the singer rack up 10s of millions of streams. Her homegrown success has propelled Zouaï to modeling opportunities, worldwide tour dates (including a run with Alina Baraz), and even linked her to a Grammy win (she contributed writing to H.E.R.’s breakout debut), also earning Lolo a major label deal with RCA ahead of her LP (but not before she finished it on her own terms with Phili, making for a very distinctive and particularly focused first effort). All that is to say, with her worldly appeal, distinctive artistic vision, and personal spin on a contemporary pop and r&b sound, Lolo Zouaï feels desisted to be one of pop’s next big breakout stars, and this is a very special chance to catch her in an intimate venue while she’s still on the rise!
Hailing from Chicago, another exciting, young, up and coming talent to watch, Jean Deaux fuses elements of r&b, hip hop, electronic, and pop music to craft her own throughly modern but wholly unique sound. 23 years old, like Lolo, Deaux also only started releasing music online a few years ago, and dropped her impressive first official EP, Krash, just last fall, but already, the singer, who’s collaborated with the likes of Mick Jenkins, Mykki Blanco, and Smino, has established herself as a genre-bending, multimedia powerhouse, notably also working in film and crafting her own distinctive visual flair and style. Though watching her find her artistic identity has been a rewarding journey in of itself, there’s never been a better time to get into Jean Deaux than now, when she’s really found her driving style and distinctive approach, at what feels like the beginning of what’s likely to be a breakout couple of years.
Getting things started, Kiya Lacey is a name that should be familiar to local music fans and regular readers alike. Like Zouaï and Deaux, the Nashville raised (though now Atlanta based) Lacey challenges genre convention with her stylish and contemporary sound, fusing r&b, electro pop, and trip hop with avant-garde vocal stylings. Since debuting in 2015 with her impressive first EP, Fail In Love, and further experimenting with followup Earth Wind & Fire the following year, Kiya has been praised by underground and tastemaking press, appearing at festivals and sharing the stage with artists like Brandy, Doja Cat, Bilal, and Big Freedia. Easily one of the most interesting and eclectic performers to emerge from Music City in recent memory, Lacey is perfectly matched for this lineup, and one seriously essential reason to show up early!
Lolo Zouaï, Jean Deaux, and Kiya Lacey will perform tonight, April 29 at The High Watt. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $15.