FEATURE: ZELA – A Look Back on 2020 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Over the past twelve months, our magazine and website have been brimming with super-talented, creative souls. We’ve asked a few of them to tell us about their 2020 and offer a few tips about great stuff they’ve seen, watched and read.

Here, Max and Liv from dark electro-popsters ZELA tell us about their 2020…

Sum up 2020 in three words

Max: Orwellian. Tiger King. 
Liv: Really fuckin weird

What skills did you learn in lockdown?

Max: I learned how to drink red wine, which was something I hadn’t drank before lockdown. I also spent a lot of time at my drums, so I picked up new ideas there. 

Liv: I taught Max how to drink red wine. I also opened my mind in terms of writing from new perspectives. I got into yoga for like a week but I was a bit shit 

Favourite TV show of the year?

Max: I really liked Norsemen, the humour in it is so dry. It’s one of the only shows I’ve found myself actually laughing out loud to in a while. Or maybe that Unexplained Mysteries show on Netflix. That was pretty good but I would find myself at 3am afterwards, deep in a Reddit thread reading conspiracies and questioning everything. 

Liv: I don’t watch a great deal of TV shows but I got so into Ratched. I love the styling of it, the awkwardness and the colour palette and how it all just tied together so bizarrely.

Your favourite film?

Max: Tenet. I’m a huge Christopher Nolan fan; Inception and Interstellar are two of my all-time favourites. It was the only film I got to see at the cinema this year. 

Liv: Pulp Fiction, True Romance and Jaws. The novel Jaws is also great – it’s got some romantics that the film doesn’t fuck with. I realise none of these are new releases but I don’t care they’re my favourites.

Best book you read?

Max: Dreamcatcher by Stephen King. The whole aliens/UFOs thing really appeals to me, even though it terrifies me at the same time. The first half of the book was especially unnerving, when they’re stuck in the woods seeing these strange lights in the sky. 

Liv: Another Stephen King! The Stand. It’s so long but kept me on the edge the whole way; I fell in love with so many characters. This book has actually inspired some of our latest work that you’ll hear next year.

Venue you are looking forward to performing at next year?

Max: We were actually put forward by BBC Introducing to play Reading and Leeds festival this year, obviously that didn’t happen so I’m hoping that offer still stands for next year. I managed ten Leeds Festivals in a row before 2020. To play there as ZELA would be sick. 

What was your favourite gig/live stream event?

Max: We actually got to see The 1975 in February before lockdown which was SICK, I think that’s the only gig I’ve managed to get to this year. Live stream-wise though the Pvris stream was really good. They played their debut album in full.

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2021?

Max: Michael Gallagher, Deep.Sleep, Badmind are three of my favourites from our region.

Liv: Eyeconic, bigfatbig, Trunky Juno and Futurepeople. 

Predictions for 2021?

Liv: More lockdowns, more music, more adapting, and much much much more ZELA

Max: More red wine. Hopefully the return of live music properly. I want festivals. 

And finally, have you got anything in the pipeline for next year

Max: More music. Debut EP. Visuals. Debut gigs


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