Zanillya: 16 Quick Q’s for Your New Musical Crush!

Looking for a new musical crush? We got you covered! Meet the genre-bending artist Zanillya!

Zanillya by Philine van den Hul
Zanillya by Philine van den Hul

Your new favorite song or lifelong musical crush is always right around the corner, and it’s our job to keep bringing you amazing new tunes and artists with that very goal in mind. That’s why we got in touch with the one and only Zanillya!

It’s almost impossible describing music naming just one genre these days. The modern landscape of music is almost defined by it’s non-defining genres. Amsterdam-based singer, songwriter, rapper and producer Zanillya is one of the artists who’s exerimenting with different styles when she blends everything from R&B and Hip Hop to Dancehall and Afrobeats into an unique sound presented on her 2021 debut EP Choose Life.

When listening to her music it gets clear that Zanillya is out to make a positive impact on the world. She doesn’t shy away from addressing issues of mental health, addiction and the lows of life but uses the freedom of openness to overcome adversity through music.

As daughter of the iconic Disco dancer and musician Bobby Farrell of Boney M. and the Macedonian fashion designer Jasmina Shaban, creativity and music was ever-present in the home she grew up in and despite her father’s success also unveiling the darker sides of the industry, music became her personal and creative outlet.

We’ve reached out to Zanillya to give you a chance to get to know her even more and we hope that you’ll enjoy the discovering of Zanillya and her art as much as we do.

Before you continue, make sure you check out the incredible video for “Alive”. Filmed on the island of Aruba where her father was born and grew up, the video is Zanillya’s exploring of her own heritage and a love letter to Aruba and it’s people.

Hi, I’m Zanillya and I’ve been making music since… I can remember. Music was super important in my household growing up, but also at my grandmother’s and aunties house. We would celebrate with music, clean the house to music, cry to music, fight to music 😛 I got on stage by the age of 3 and started writing at the age of 8. I wrote my first rap song when I was 14 with my best friend in highschool and I started recording music when I was 16.
I started making music because… expressing myself is the most important thing in my life. I just have to get my feelings out. I was very naturally drawn to creating from young, but my parents definitely have a huge role in my love for music and expressing myself. Being that my dad was an artist, my mom a very expressive woman and fashion designer but also a huge music lover, they instilled a love for a variety of genres in me.
If I were to describe my music, I’d say it sounds kind of like… a mix of moody, vulnerable, ethereal slow whining, packed with a punch of aliveness and empowerment. Go and listen and let me know If you agree lol.
I feel the most inspired when… I experience something, anything that touches me. It could be pain, sadness, rejection, anger or just happiness from listening to music or living life.

Zanillya by Philine van den Hul

“I still have to fight but I hope to one day say that I am proud of overcoming my depression, anxiety and sadness. I’m definitely proud of myself for NOT giving up and sharing it all with the world through my music.” – Zanillya

I’m really proud of… myself for overcoming addiction and fighting against my depression and demons every day. I still have to fight but I hope to one day say that I am proud of overcoming my depression, anxiety and sadness. I’m definitely proud of myself for NOT giving up and sharing it all with the world through my music.
The first time I heard “The devils tears” by Angus and Julia Stone, I felt… I could let the grief for my father’s passing finally in. Their album Down the Way helped me accept and deal with the grief of losing my father.
I’ll never forget… the year 2010, when my best friend called me in the middle of the night and told me my dad had passed away alone in his hotel room, but that I went on and found the strength to go on and win the biggest music prize in Holland only 12 months after. What we humans are capable of when we tap into our inner strength, really amazes me.
When I hear the word ARUBA it makes me… feel at home.
I feel the most empowered when… I’m slaying my to-do list.
My latest release is… my debut EP Choose Life and it’s… raw, honest, dark but also full of light. Go check it out please.

When people listen to my music, I hope they… feel what needs to be felt.
It’s important to empower women because… we are the beginning, and we need one another to find ourselves.

My biggest role models are… Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Oprah, Riri, Adwoa Aboah but also Kanye West. He is incredible at what he does and always inspires me with what he creates.
Looking back at this time of my life 10 years from now, I’ll remember it being… a very crucial time in who I’m becoming.
If I met my 14-year-old self I’d tell her… to follow herself, listen to her intuition and work on herself, her craft and passion, that’s all that will matter.
I want you to know that… it’s ok not to know how to be yourself or live your dream life. We all try, we all fall, we all cry, but what makes life so beautiful is that we can get up and do everything different tomorrow.

Since you’re here, we assume you like music. So do we! And that is why we’ve created a playlist that is updated every Friday with the best new music we’ve come around during the week. Find it on Spotify here and check out our other music related content here to never miss a beat.


Your Cart is Empty