If you’ve ever spiraled through the heaviness and lightness of love, then you can get behind Billi Zizi’s new album Moon of Honey (2016). This tour-de-force carries all the agonies and ecstasies of all those late night spent alone in your room waiting for your lover to call. Her sound is heady mix of dirty-soul-indie-jazz-pop—and these tracks give off serious bedroom vibes.
Billi Zizi was born on April 4th 1989 in dusty Edmonton, Alberta to a fiddle player (Cam Neufeld) and an abstract painter (Marianne Watchel). Taught to live and breathe art from a young age, Zizi took notes from her father on music-making and learnt how to paint from her mother. After high school, Zizi went to Grant MacEwan University for music, graduating in 2009. Zizi has traveled the world—living, working, and traveling through West Africa, Asia, Europe. In 2010, she did a busking tour with her father that began in Turkey, moved through Eastern Europe, and ended in France where they attended Samois, a festival in celebration of Django Reinhardt.
In 2015, Zizi received a 10k20 Ralwco Recording Grant and, that same year, successfully released her first studio album Gun Metal Dress. In Penguin Eggs, Tom Murray enthusiastically describes it as “a fine first album, laying down ground work for what will no doubt be one of the country’s most inventive voices for years to come.” Her side projects include work on The Gadjo Collective, The Black Wonders, Gypsy Jive, and Jive is Dead. Zizi lists her musical influences as her dad, insomnia, and love. She still likes to paint and she creates her own album art. Notable festival appearances include Ness Creek Music Festival (Big River), Alianate Arts Festival (Iqaluit Nunavut), North Country Fair (Driftpile), Sasquatch Gathering (Rangeton Park), The WorksFestival (Edmonton), Heart of the City Music Festival (Edmonton), Road to Django (Grand Prairie), Artists on the Rail (VIA Rail), Wild Mountain Music Festival (Hinton), South Country Fair (Fort Macloud).
Zizi’s work has low-key obsessive quality. Her layered, cyclical sounds give the impression of someone whose thoughts are on repeat. Speaking about her process, Zizi remarks, “Looping is unwieldy…It can really go south on you. I’ve been lost in a terrifying loopland before.” Listening to Moon of Honey, there is nothing terrifying about this loopland—Zizi has brawled with her demons and created a lush country of sound out of them. Listen in and hear the sun filter in through the blinds.