Zella Day

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Zella Day
Zella Day 11 21 2017 -21 (26817203779) (cropped).jpg
Day performing in 2017
Background information
Birth nameZella Day Kerr
BornMarch 13, 1995 (age 23)
Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona, U.S.
GenresIndie pop
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active2009–present
Associated acts

Zella Day Kerr (born March 13, 1995), known simply as Zella Day, is an American singer, songwriter, and musician from Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona.

Day began recording music in her early teens, independently releasing her debut album, Powered by Love, in 2009. Following its success, Day worked as a songwriter for BMG Publishing Group and eventually landed a Hollywood Records artist deal. In 2015, Day released her major label debut, Kicker, which was preceded by singles "Hypnotic" and "East of Eden". Day followed the release with promotional appearances for publications including Vogue, Playboy, and The Huffington Post, and on televised programs including Late Night with Seth Meyers and Conan. In 2016, Day performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Raised in Arizona, Day was immersed in the cafe and art space her parents helped to create in their small mountain town of Pinetop-Lakeside. She was first encouraged by her mother to learn guitar as practical means for achieving a sustainable career as a musician. Her first songs, written soon after picking up the guitar at age 9, took influence from the classic singer/songwriter records of her parents and the mystique of the rugged desert landscape around her.[1]

2009–2012: Powered by Love and Cynics vs. Dreamers[edit]

The self-released album was recorded and paid for by a family friend impressed by the 23 year-old Day's songwriting and self-determination. The designers of the album artwork contributed their services for free, simply wanting to be a part of the project. The initial success of Power of Love, despite Day's young age, brought the attention of BMG Publishing, who connected her with John Paul White of the Civil Wars and a 24 year-old Meghan Trainor for writing sessions.[2]

In 2012, Day's "Simple Song" was featured in the film Tooth Fairy 2.[3]

Day self-released the Cynics vs. Dreamers EP on May 22, 2012. It captured a mesmerizing, dreamy soundscape rooted in her singer/songwriter upbringing with help from her newfound production team of Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry of Wax LTD.[4]

That year she also released a cover of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army", which reached number one on Hype Machine's charts and drew attention to her increasing momentum.[5] In 2013 Day was featured on Sultan & Ned Shepard's "All These Roads" alongside Sam Martin. The single, which debuted in early October 2014 on Pete Tong's BBC Radio 1 broadcast, was celebrated by Billboard for its "ebbs and flows with harmonies and rhythmic shifts."[6]

2013–present: Kicker and major label debut[edit]

In April 2014, "Sweet Ophelia" was the first single released from the Zella Day EP, with the b-side "1965". Each track earned a top 10 position on Hype Machine's chart.[7]

The "Sweet Ophelia" music video, directed by Gianennio Salucci, was released on April 7, a day ahead of the 7" release by tastemaker B3Sci Records in coordination with Day's Pinetop Records, an imprint of Hollywood Records.[8]

The full Zella Day EP was released on September 23, 2014. It was celebrated as an "intangible tapestry of sound and raw emotion, blanketing the pop, alternative, and folk genres" by Atwood magazine. Zella Day peaked at #16 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and garnered critical acclaim from The FADER, The Guardian (New Band of the Week), Pigeons and Planes, NYLON, The Line of Best Fit, Noisey (VICE), Interview Magazine, and Paste Magazine.[9] The final track on the EP, "Hypnotic", was picked as an iTunes Single of the Week and would go on to be featured as the second single from the album.[10]

In December 2014, Day was featured as a guest vocalist on the acoustic version of Borns' "Electric Love" off his debut Candy EP.[11]

Day performing in Austin in 2015

On February 27, 2015 Day announced Kicker by premiering the track listing and cover art alongside the music video for "Hypnotic".[12] The video was directed by Gianennio Salucci and now boasts over 8 million views on Vevo. "Hypnotic" was featured as the lead single, reaching #1 on the Alt Nation Alt 18 Countdown at the start of 2015. In May 2015, Day debuted the single "High", and performed it live the following month on Conan as her television debut.[13]

Kicker was released on June 2, 2015 via Pinetop Records and Hollywood Records. The album title references the old Arizona mining town where Day's parents married while exploring toxic relationships, breakups, broken homes, love and lust. Speaking about the album, she explained, "The music's spiritual resonance is clearly influenced by the Northern Arizona mountains that sheltered my creative energy from any outside implications of city mentality."[citation needed]

Kicker was hailed as Day's most intimate yet gorgeously expansive album yet and charted at number 65 on the US Billboard 200 and number 7 on the US Top Alternative.[14] Interview Magazine praised Day's uniquely "own charmed style", and BlackBook Magazine declared, "it's safe to say this girl's on her way to being a household name."[citation needed]

On December 17, 2015 Day performed on Last Call with Carson Daly.[15] On January 4, 2016 she performed "Hypnotic" on Late Night with Seth Meyers.[16]

The 20-year-old's third national TV appearance was followed by a number of high-profile festival performances at Billboard Hot 100 Fest, Music Midtown, and the iHeart Radio Music Festival. Her debut at Coachella in 2016 caught the attention of Los Angeles Magazine, which described the performance as "hypnotic"; Billboard, which hailed her set as "stellar"; and Consequence of Sound, which exclaimed, "it's entirely possible that Zella Day looks back on Coachella 2016 as the moment that launched her career in the earnest... Day is an undeniably powerful vocalist."[17]

On May 4, 2016 Zella Day was featured again as a musical guest on Last Call with Carson Daly, debuting her newest single, "Mustang Kids", live.[18] As the latest single ahead of a headlining tour in June, "Mustang Kids" was officially released on June 9, 2016 featuring a guest verse from Florida-bred rapper Baby E. and a music video directed by Tim Mattia.[citation needed]

Following the North American headlining tour in June 2016, Day embarked on a supporting run with L.A. neo-soul outfit Fitz and The Tantrums throughout July and then another supporting slot with Michael Franti and Spearhead in August.[citation needed]

In October 2016, Day released the single "Man on the Moon" and announced a 7" release via B3Sci. November 2016 saw the digital premier of "Hunnie Pie" as a b-side to the "Man on the Moon" 7".[19]

On November 29, 2018, Day uploaded a letter to her social media accounts explaining she had been released from her label and production deal.[20] On December 14, she uploaded a video announcement alongside a new song titled "I Don't Know How To End" to her website.[21]


  • Powered by Love (2009)
  • Kicker (2015)



Year Film Role Notes
2009 Her Special Day Composer Song; "Light's Illusion"
2014–2015 DayxDay Herself Main role; 6 episodes


  1. ^ Thomas-Hansard, Artemis (2015-06-02). "Indie-Pop Songstress Zella Day Comes From a Long Line of Hardcore Bitches". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  2. ^ Accomazzo, David (2016-07-19). "When Will Pinetop Native Zella Day Get The Break She Needs to Become a Star?". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  3. ^ "Tooth Fairy 2 (2012) Direct to Video - Soundtrack.Net". www.soundtrack.net. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  4. ^ "Zella Day: The Best of What's Next". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  5. ^ "Zella Day". 1883 Magazine. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  6. ^ "CODE First Play: Sultan & Ned Shepard featuring Zella Day and Sam Martin: 'All These Roads'". Billboard.com. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Zella Day Releases Video Sweet Ophelia". Drunken Werewolf. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  8. ^ "Zella Day - Sweet Ophelia - blahblahblahscience". blahblahblahscience. 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  9. ^ "Zella Day: Chart history". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  10. ^ "Join in on the Obsession with Zella Day's "Hypnotic" - Atwood Magazine". 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  11. ^ "Video: BØRNS feat. Zella Day – "Electric Love" (Acoustic)". Pursuit Of Dopeness. 2014-12-12. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  12. ^ "Zella Day Reveals 'Kicker' Album Details". Buzznet. 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  13. ^ "Zella Day - High [Live on Conan]". Dailymotion. 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  14. ^ "Zella Day - Chart history". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  15. ^ "Last Call With Carson Daly - Luke Bracey/Zella Day/Torres". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  16. ^ "Zella Day 'Hypnotic' Live with Seth Meyers". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  17. ^ "Coachella 2016 Festival Review: From Worst to Best". Consequence of Sound. 2016-04-18. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  18. ^ Day, Zella (2016-05-04). "Had so much fun performing Mustang Kids on Last Call with Carson Daly. Download the song here". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  19. ^ "Zella Day - Man On The Moon/Hunnie Pie". blahblahblahscience.com. 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  20. ^ "Answers". Twitter. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  21. ^ Day, Zella (14 December 2018). "Happy 12 days of Christmas everyone! Watch the interview to find out more and then head over to http://Zelladay.com  for the full experience.pic.twitter.com/4G1bxnPVXx". @Zelladay. Retrieved 17 December 2018.

External links[edit]