Zolita thrives off centering her art around loving women. There’s something indescribably powerful about sapphic desire. “It feels incredible. It’s a dream to be able to create the sapphic stories that I would’ve loved to have seen growing up. It’s an honor for sure,” she says. Putting the beautiful complexity of sapphic desire on display through her music just made sense. “It’s compelling to me because it’s my life experience and it’s what I want to write about. But I think sapphic desire is compelling in general because it’s so sweet and nuanced a lot of the time. I think that in my music videos, the sapphic gaze and the female gaze in general is such an interesting thing to be able to depict and play off of. It’s mystical. It genuinely feels like a magical experience. The way that women love and how sex scenes between women are depicted, especially when they’re depicted by an actual sapphic woman, it’s so much more about the feeling of it rather than,‘These are two bodies smashing.’” She’s honored to be part of a queer vanguard driving a shift in the media landscape. “Obviously we could always use more representation, but it’s been a really incredible time for us. I feel so proud. I’m so excited that I got to tell the story I did through the trilogy and I hope one day to be able to do it across TV and film as well.”
The video for her latest single, “Ruin My Life,” just dropped. “Ruin My Life” is the second installment of her previously mentioned trilogy, as well as part of an intricate creative vision brought to life on her forthcoming EP. “I did the EP differently than I’ve done stuff in the past. I feel like in the past ,I’ve written songs after I came up with the video ideas. This time I really, really focused on the music. I had these six songs for the EP and they all were in such different worlds, both sonically and thematically. I was like, ‘Okay, how am I going to tie these all together visually?’ I came up with this idea of a road trip. Basically, my character in this new cinematic universe finds out she’s getting cheated on, breaks up with her in ‘20 Questions,’ which came out in September. Then she goes on this road trip and you’re not really sure where she’s going. She ends up in her hometown for her childhood best friend/first love’s wedding. In ‘Ruin My Life,’ you see the bachelorette party and you see there are still some sparks there and some unfinished business between them. The next video is going to be the wedding and after that video, we’re going to go back and we’re going to see the middle of the road trip.” The video also features actress, model, and TikTok star Madeline Ford. Their connection was an unexpected moment of mutual fangirling. “It really did feel like a crossover episode,” Zolita laughs. “Madeline is an actual angel. I swear to God she’s a magic person and so is May [who starred in the ‘Ruin My Life’ video as Zolita’s former flame]. I was scrolling on TikTok when a video of Madeline came up. I went and looked at her profile and I was like,’Oh no way, she already follows me and her content’s amazing!’ She’s such an incredible person. I reached out to her and asked, ‘Would you want to be in a video?’ She said yes and it was just such a fun experience.” Soon, a sapphic sisterhood was born. “All of us were two hours north of LA for the week shooting all the videos back to back. It really felt like we were at summer camp because we’d be done shooting and we’d be around a fire drinking wine, making s’mores and just talking about gay things.”
“Ruin My Life” follows Zolita’s character rekindling her first love. “I think first love stories have always just struck me. Your first queer love is so intense. If you’ve been living your life as a straight person, when you discover your queerness and you’re finally able to express that queerness and you really feel what love feels like for the first time after having been in relationships with people and dating boys and thinking, ‘Wait, this is all there is for me? This is not as exciting as I thought it would be.’ And then when you realize, ‘Oh, this is what falling in love feels like, you hold on so tight to that first love. It doesn’t always work out, but I think the romantic in me loves stories where the first loves find each other again. I’ve always been drawn to those kinds of stories. The trilogy was that too, that first love coming back around when it made sense for them. I love this idea of coming back into town and being like, ‘Oh wow, we still have this magic between us.’ Discovering your queerness is a profound awakening that leaves indelible memories. “There’s no feeling like the first feeling of realizing your queerness. There’s just no feeling that compares. Even thinking about my awakening, thinking about Brittana and Glee, I’ll look back at those videos of them and still have that same feeling of, ‘Oh my God, this is who I am. This is what I want my life to be like,’ and feeling represented or seen. It is such a special feeling. It only happens once, but you can think back on it fondly.”
Her upcoming EP, Falling Out / Falling In, comes from a revelatory place of personal joy. “When I was thinking about the EP thematically, I thought, ‘Well, I’m in a really happy in love era right now,’ so that’s a good feeling. It’s been exciting to realize that I don’t have to be miserable to write good songs. I can write stuff that is from a place of being in love and it’s not corny and it can still be exciting. So it’s been really nice to be in that era.” Being so content has caused her to reflect on the dissolution of her own first love. “Half of the songs on the EP are about falling in love and then the other half are about falling out of love because I had an experience where it was a first love that didn’t end up working out.That’s interesting because for so long your brain thinks, ‘This is who I’m going to end up with. This is my person,’ and have the whole plan set out. And then for that to then fall apart…I could write about that forever. The other half of the EP is about that experience. There’s the two sides of it thematically and then sonically, because I have fans that love me for the more pop punk stuff and then I have ones that love the more chill pop and there’s ones that love the more stripped down music. There is something for everybody on the EP, which I’m really excited about because it takes you on a full journey through all of those feelings. There’s a little bit of all of those sounds on there.”
She is eager to kick off her first headlining tour! “I’ve done Pride shows before and I’ve opened for someone before, but going on a headline tour obviously is so different because everybody in the room is there for you and they’ve been engaging with your music. I just am so excited to get to have actual face time with people that have been supporting me for so long and that have loved my work for so long. They’re all going to be such queer spaces and I already know the vibes and the energy in those rooms are going to be so incredible. I can’t wait to connect with everybody.” Also on the horizon is a much-anticipated track. “The next song and video are coming out in January. It’s the song that everybody’s been asking for, which is called ‘Ashley.’ I played it at LA Pride and at Dinah Shore. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written and it’s very stripped back. That’s the song that goes with the wedding and I’m super excited for people to see it.” If it were possible to marry Zolita’s discography, we would do so in a heartbeat!
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Zolita is Ruining Our Gay Little Lives – and We Love It. Photo Credit: Amber Asaly.