Tell us about one of the earliest memories of your career.
One of my earliest career memories was at a writing camp in Australia called “50 Songs in Five Days.” I was there as an intern, and I remember some incredible artists and Grammy-winning producers/songwriters, including Rodney Jerkins, being part of it. During one session, I ended up writing and singing on a track by chance while delivering tea and coffee to the producers. It marked the beginning of my professional career and taught me the power of unexpected opportunities and collaboration.
How do you prepare yourself before you start a new music project?
Before starting a new music project, I go through a process driven by emotions. I often accumulate feelings, whether in the moment or over time, which ultimately fuels a burst of creative ideas. It might seem intense, but this emotional buildup is when I produce my best work. For me, it’s a somewhat spiritual experience, letting out those bottled-up emotions through my music.
If you had to define yourself to the world, what would the headline be?
Unwavering Self-Expression: Embracing Love, Defying Fear, and Never Giving Up on Being YOU.
If you could write your own story, what would your destiny be? What goals would you like to achieve?
If I could write my own story, it would be a wild ride, you know? It’d be all about the choices we make in life. Some of them, let’s be real, don’t seem like winners at the time, but then you realize they were like secret life lessons in disguise. Those curveballs end up teaching you stuff you couldn’t even imagine.
My story? It’d be all about balance, like the whole yin and yang deal. Showcasing how you can flip your life around if you just change your mindset and believe in yourself. Seriously, if you think you can do something, you’re halfway there already.
Living in the now, that’s a trick I’ve picked up. Not always a walk in the park, but it’s crucial to stay grounded. I’ve got some big goals that keep me fired up and, honestly, keep me in check. They’re like my personal compass.
The end game? Happiness. Not that I’m unhappy right now, but I’ve got this gut feeling that as long as I follow my heart and stay true to myself, my future’s going to be a jam-packed rollercoaster of happiness and fulfillment.
What does success mean to you?
To me, success isn’t just about achieving specific milestones or accumulating wealth. It’s about living a fulfilling life that aligns with my values and passions. It’s finding a sense of purpose and contentment in what I do, whether that’s in my career, relationships, or personal growth. Success means constantly striving to be the best version of myself, learning from failures, and making a positive impact on the world around me.
How has the perspective of your dreams and objectives changed over the years?
You know, when it comes to my dreams and goals, I’d say I’ve been consistent. They’ve pretty much stayed the same, with maybe a tweak or two here and there based on what’s happening in my life at the time. If anything, they’ve just gotten stronger with time. (Laughs) I can be a bit stubborn when it comes to going after what I want, but I guess that’s not a bad thing!
What has been the most important learning during your career?
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my career is that being kind and polite is important and you never really know what someone is going through on a personal level. However, staying true to yourself, unapologetically, despite others’ opinions, is equally crucial. It’s all about letting go of the noise and just being you.
Tell us about your new single “Like Me.”
When I was younger, I struggled with acne and acne scarring, which led me to compare myself constantly to the flawless images portrayed by the hottest models and influencers on social media. In today’s world, we are consumed by apps like Instagram, TikTok, and others, spending significant time on our screens, mesmerized by the seemingly “picture-perfect” lives of others. We get caught up in the number of likes, comments, and followers, losing sight of reality.
One day, I had an awakening. I realized that constantly seeking validation from others and striving for perfection is an endless and fruitless pursuit. I understood that I will never be perfect, but that’s okay because perfection isn’t real. I needed to love myself from within and accept my imperfections to find true happiness.
That realization inspired me to write a song that reflects this newfound self-love and acceptance. With the support of my good friends Kartik Kuna and Jordan Leonard, we crafted a positive and upbeat track. We had a blast experimenting with phone sounds in the song, symbolizing the digital world’s influence on our self-perceptions.
The message of the song is clear: ‘I don’t need anyone to like me, I need to like me’ what truly matters is that I like myself and embrace my uniqueness. This sentiment resonates with many others who have also felt the pressures of social media and the unrealistic standards it perpetuates. Through the song, we aim to spread positivity, self-empowerment, and the understanding that true happiness comes from within, not from the validation of others.
Tell us about the making of the music video?
We filmed in Sydney, Australia where there were a lot of smiles, dancing, and lots of denim. I chose to visually display denim with styling because I believe denim is such a universal fabric most people wear from all different backgrounds. And I liked the idea of putting different color denims together to spread a message of togetherness.
Listen to “Like Me” Here: https://ffm.to/zeliha_likeme
How will you celebrate the launch of the new song and video?
I’m thrilled about the launch on September 15th! We’re going all out with a viewing party in Sydney, complete with a live performance featuring my awesome dancers. It’s going to be a magical night for sure!
Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Absolutely! I’m thrilled to share that I’ve recently wrapped up a stripped-back studio version of one of my songs, featuring all live instruments and even a choir. It’s a fresh take on the track, removing the digital elements. This version will be dropping in just a few weeks, so keep an eye out for it. Additionally, I’ve got another single ready to roll, set for release next month. There are plenty of exciting things on the horizon!
How can people follow you?