Nadja Zela

Episode 8 • Season 2 - Musicians in Conversation

In this episode of Musicians in Conversation, Natalia speaks to Nadja Zela who is a singer, guitarist, lyricist and producer.  She is also a coach at the Helvetiarockt Songwriting Camp. 

We discuss finding your own voice, making the system better for women to continue music after having children and the importance of supporting and showing solidarity through opportunities and employment.

Nadja shares the song, ‘Big Black Holes’, from her latest album, Greetings to Andromeda–Requiem and also one of her favourite songs, ‘Still Alive’.

About Nadja Zela

Nadja Zela is a Zürich based rock musician. She is a singer, guitarist, lyricist, producer and runs the small indie label «Patient Records».

Zela is an indispensable voice of the independent rock scene in Switzerland and enjoyed a rather long and remarkable career with many years on the road. From her all-girl band Rosebud in the early 90s to her current solo project, she has remained true to herself as a frontwoman with an unbound spirit. She is a captivating vocalist, independent songwriter, and an electric guitarist with a distinctive angry while bewitching style.

Her music flirts with the warm sensuality of the blues, but she leads her brute folk into cinematic sound spheres that undermine any emerging nostalgia. Her voice shakes, then gives unexpectedly gentle comfort again. Zela‘s writing draws noticeably from personal experience, but she finds a true, lyrical expression of our existence‘s brokenness and fragility in times of decay.

Zela continues to work as a guitarist, singer and bassist in other projects, writes film music, works for theater productions and is involved as an artistic coach for young women in the music scene. She is a mother of two children and also works as a graphic designer.

Nadja Zela has been awarded various prizes for her own musical work, including the Werkjahr of the City of Zurich and the ERB Percent Prize «Space and Time».

Track 1: Big Black Holes I Written by Nadja Zela I Patient Records I 2020

Track 2: Still Alive I Written by Nadja Zela I Patient Records I 2016

Nadja Zela’s Influences

Audience Questions

If you have a question for the musicians in conversation, simply send a DM to Helvetiarockt on insta!

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