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Tag Archives: ZouZou Mansour

Tonight!! Be in Soraia’s music video at Bowery Electric in NYC!

9 Jun
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Soraia will be shooting their new music video at their Bowery Electric show tonight in NYC!

Tonight! Wicked Cool Records presents The Woggles at Bowery Electric with Palmyra Delran, Soraia and Tuff Sunshine. We are so stoked for this show because Soraia announced they will be shooting their new music video for “Quicksand” the new single off of their upcoming album Dead Reckoning which lead singer ZouZou Mansour told us about exclusively on our podcast! Listen again below. Tickets are $15 at the door and online here. Start your weekend right with this epic rock show! Doors are at 7PM, get there on time and get your screen time in the new Soraia music video.

 

 

 

xx Cher

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LeBrock of Rock Interviews: Soraia!

2 Jun
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Cher Dunn interviews rock goddess ZouZou Mansour of Soraia about their upcoming album due out this Fall! Be the first to hear the title of the new album by listening to the podcast below!

For this Mylifeinsound Radio podcast with the LeBrock of Rock Cher Dunn, we sat down with rock goddess ZouZou Mansour to talk about her band Soraia and their upcoming record due out this Fall on Wicked Cool Records! Be the first to hear the name of their new album and what makes this band not like everybody else.

Be a part of Soraia’s new music video by rocking out at their show with The Woggles next Friday in NYC! Tickets are available now here!

Music mentioned in this podcast for further learning/listening:
The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
The Beatles – White Album
Queen- Mustapha
Queen- Liar
Soraia – Less Than Zero
The Clash
The Pixies
Blondie
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2017
Pearl Jam
Eddie Vedder
The Who
Keith Moon
Jimi Hendrix
Chuck Berry
Patti Smith
Lou Reed
Jeff Buckley- Mojo Pin Live At Sin-e, Lilac Wine
Nina Simone -Lilac Wine
Elvis
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her, Shame
Nirvana
Dave Matthews Band
Peter Gabriel
The White Stripes
4 Non Blondes – What’s Up
Linda Perry
Little Steven Van Zandt
Iggy Pop

 

xx Cher

A Wicked Cool Tour comes to a close: Soraia Tour Diary Final Entry

12 Apr

What a wild ride of rock we’ve had with ZouZou’s tour diary! What an absolute treat it’s been to get insight from the road via the badass front-woman of Soraia, and one of our favorite bands. All good things must come to an end, like this tour with Kurt Baker Combo, but here’s to more adventures on the road and more music from Soraia. Read ZouZou’s final tour entry below, we look forward to more, especially when the band goes to Spain to tour with Kurt Baker Combo again!

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Well,  we’ve come to an end to our three week run in the northeast and midwest USA with our label and tour mates, Kurt Baker Combo. It’s so sad at the end of tour, because you feel like you’re just getting in the swing of the movement, and it’s – all of a sudden – time to go home. And although there’s a comfort to going home, it’s not the same joy I get from being on the road. Which brings me to my point. And there’s always one – usually fifty that boil down to one. But alas—

It takes an interesting creature to be on the road. A gypsy. But a gypsy doesn’t mean you don’t have or want a home, it just means – for me – I love to wander, see new things, have new adventures, be surprised, and be in the moment. One of the greatest gifts of being on tour is being in the moment. You have to be. I’m never looking forward or looking back, I’m just here. Now. And I think that’s the most magical thing you can do in this skin. I don’t believe I’ve done that a lot since I was busy building experiences as a wee tiny thing. I’ve always added experiences to whatever I felt, but I don’t do that here. If I were to look back on the worst parts and the best parts of these past few weeks, I think that would ruin it all a bit.

What tour does for me is it makes me want to tour more. See more, Be more places. Perform to more people. Meet more people. Sleep less. Eat less. Play more.

But my body, this time around, let me know none of that was something I could do this tour. So even the sickness in the beginning was a great lesson in seeing and doing things differently.

My primary purpose out here is to sing. To be accountable to this group of people who took the time to make music alongside me, and to put passion into every ounce. The rest of the day has to be about putting that first. Whether the note or vocal be pitch perfect or shit–passion is the key to it all. There’s a saying that “People don’t remember what you did, they remember how you made them feel”. I never forgot that once it was told to me. I try to use my voice to be as free and as honest as I can be – where in other areas of my life, I may not do as well in that. But vocally—always striving for that.

Which brings me to another point: you can’t do it alone. My bandmates really took care of me. They understood when I was sick, and didn’t get annoyed or judge me for it. I can’t help but feel valued and important and a part of something much bigger. They didn’t add to my stress, but helped me come to decisions if my voice wasn’t there and helped give me a dose of reality when I wanted to believe my voice was fine. I rested because they told me to. I tried to recoup the best I could. Not just for me and the music and the commitments, but for them, too. And that–whatever that definitiion is–it is an absolutely beautiful thing.And this was the first time touring with another band—it was AWESOME.

We’ll all see each other again this fall when Soraia’s record comes out on Wicked Cool Records, and we hit Spain with our wonderful friends in Kurt Baker Combo. Until then, we’ll see you on the road all over the place again this summer. Check http://www.soraia.com/tour for all new dates being added.
It’s been an amazing ride….thank you for following along with me.
xx ZouZou

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Soraia Tour Diary: Days 4 & 5

29 Mar

For the next couple weeks one of our favorite bands Soraia is touring the East Coast and Rock and Roll Queen / band leader ZouZou is giving us ultimate access to her tour diary. Read her entries below, and stay tuned for everything Soraia and what it’s like to be a badass rock singer (with an upper-respitory infection) as the tour progresses.

Soraia by Mark Weiss

Tour Diary Day 4 & 5
Reinvigorated from the night before’s amazing show, yet still super sick, I did all I could with my voice to make sure that night’s show would be even better than the night before.
We all felt so good going in, and I just wanted to make sure my voice was where it needed to be. It definitely suffered a hit after night #2, being’s I was not recovered from my sinus infection physically yet, and knowing I had pushed it a little hard the night before.
Still, another killer night for us on tour. It’s rare you get a few nights in a row so good like that–and my voice was stellar. Still, being sick takes its toll….
After the show, I knew my voice wasn’t doing too good. Tired, still sick, and emotional from all these things since the beginning of tour a few days earlier, I knew to get back and rest right away so the rest of the dates are ok. So I did. Still….
Next morning I woke up sicker, and with barely a voice. I worked most of the day to get it back so I could perform that night. I didn’t know if it would work. I tried everything: warming up, speaking exercises, verbal rest, pineapple, hot tea, etc By about 5 pm, it was barely back, and the show was at 9. I was worried.
Still, I didn’t want to cancel the show, and I didn’t really think I had to. After all, it was the first time I’d been sick on tour in a long time, and it sure was the first time my voice was that beat up. How bad would it be? Probably fine. I’d get through.
Right as soon as I hit the first note of “Love Like Voodoo”, I knew. I was not going to get through the set without losing my voice.
So I did what I could, made all the changes I knew how to make vocally while singing, but by song 7, it was done. I didn’t want to damage or lose my voice for the rest of this tour, so I ended the set and ran to the car to warm down. What a let down. I felt terrible. I cried while I was doing my speaking exercises, just so worried about my voice, and feeling like I let people down. I was disappointed, but moreso, I was scared, and I felt alone. What a terrible feeling. I couldn’t talk to anyone, resting the voice when it’s that wounded is vital for it to heal. Especially in time for our show in Cincinnati, which is tomorrow night……
xx ZouZou
final tour poster

Soraia Tour Diary: Day 3

29 Mar

 

For the next couple weeks one of our favorite bands Soraia is touring the East Coast and Rock and Roll Queen / band leader ZouZou is giving us ultimate access to her tour diary. Check it out below and stay tuned for everything Soraia and what it’s like to be a badass rock singer (with an upper-respitory infection) as the tour progresses.

Soraia by Mark Weiss
I have to start my first entry by saying that I haven’t been this sick leaving for any Soraia tour EVER. So I started out Thursday morning feeling run over by a cement truck: with an upper respiratory infection from Hell. As a singer: a little terrifying. Slightly. I knew I had a voice, I just didn’t know how it’d work. So there we begin our trek to our first show of tour in Dover, NH.
We got to the club and met up with Kurt Baker Combo, who came from Spain to do their US tour with us around their release. Great guys all around, and no problems there. Easy enough. Pretty quickly, the club filled up, which is always super inspiring.
When it was our turn to play, I was anxious about my voice–but MAAAAAAN. I couldn’t wait any longer. It’s my favorite part of all parts of music. ABSOLUTELY.
The show was KILLER. A few songs in and I knew I had the voice wailing like I know I can! FREEDOM. What a great show, and what a great way to start out tour.
The next night was a big show for us, because we knew a ton of people were coming, including a good friend who found our music through Little Steven’s ‘Underground Garage‘ (who – by the way – also is hosting our tour along with Wicked Cool Records), David Fricke. David is a senior writer at Rolling Stone Magazine, as well as the host of his own show on SIriusXM’s The Spectrum, called ‘The Writer’s Block‘. Definitely check it out. So good.
Anyway, we knew he was coming,  having wanted to see the band for a while now, and we knew our label and distributors would be there, along with what was sure to be a packed house. Newly on tour, this was an important night for us: we could feel it.
And it was. We played to a packed house.
We hit the stage and F-I-R-E. SWEET FIRE. I felt like a thoroughbred horse breaking stride right out of the gate. YES I DID.  Halfway through our set, I remember growling “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” to a group of guys in the front row, who screamed it right back at me. The exchange was intense. They maybe had no idea, but they were giving way more back to me than I was giving them. Fucking beautiful. One of the most invigorating nights of the past year. The crowd’s energy was THERE. The night was incredible.
Picture one of those nights straight out of 70’s CBGBs, or at least what I feel it would’ve felt like. All my heroes in one room – even if they weren’t physically there –  a massive thrust of virgin energy. It was that good. I was awake and new. Nothing can stop me.
And so, off to Philly for Tour Stop #3….
xx ZouZou
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Less Than Zero: An Interview with ZouZou Mansour from Soraia Part II + Show At Milkboy Tomorrow!!!

1 Oct

Soraia TBird and ZZ (Beth)

Back in January, I heard a song on Little Steven’s Underground Garage that rocked so hard I stayed in the car until it was over even though I arrived at my destination. I took a picture of the band’s name to remember to look it up later, somewhat ashamed. How have I never heard of this badass babe from the 70s named Soraia covering The Kinks song “(I’m Not) Like Everybody Else”? To my surprise, when I googled the musician, it turned out to be a band, and a current one, from my hometown of Philadelphia. I immediately found out who was singing and reached out to ZouZou Mansour the powerful, earth-goddess vocal machine who sounds like she’s from another time. We soon met at a coffee shop for an interview. I wanted to know everything about her life and her band, and I was pleasantly surprised at how raw, honest, and open she was. ZouZou’s story not only moved me, but it ignited the fire and passion I have for music talking to such a strong, influential woman in the industry.

In honor of Soraia’s album release show and music video shoot at Milkboy in Philly this Friday, I am releasing our interview in three parts over the course of this week. Read part two below and buy your tickets to this Friday’s show and music video shoot now here! Tickets are only $10 and with The Good Excuses and The Droogettes opening, you do not want to miss this epic night of pure rock’n’roll. Didn’t read Part I yet? Click here.

Soraia Instagram

“I went to jail once. I was arrested on my 21st birthday. I remember that the woman that was checking my hair was checking my hair for drugs. She said, “Honey look I”m really going to have to mess up your hair, mess up your clothes, I am really sorry,”. She was apologizing to me and I’ll never forget that because I got this sense that I didn’t belong in the life I was living. I didn’t think I was better than or worse than, I knew I didn’t belong there. That wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing with my life, and I had that feeling the whole time. I didn’t understand with all the suicide attempts…I’d be like why don’t you just take me? Just take me. I think there was a point where I was living with a dealer and his girlfriend. She’s dead now, most of the people I used with are dead. Where I was shooting and I had one day away from them but they’re so paranoid that they thought I went to the cops or something and they started beating me up and I knew I was going to get killed and I jumped out of a window and ran.”

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“I didn’t want to, I wanted to stay there and keep using and keep- you know, I lived to use. I didn’t live for any other reason, but something in me pulled me out of it that was bigger than me and got me out the window and I didn’t stop running. That moment I knew that there was something. I had to stop at some point but I couldn’t imagine not doing it. I continued for a while after that but it was never the same. Finally, I did go to rehab. I did relapse after that and then I got sober. I’m clean and sober a while now but it took a few tries for me. But that moment when my body did what my mind didn’t want to do I knew there was something- that all those thoughts of I don;t belong here I shouldn’t be doing this, there’s something more for me kind of came to fruition slowly but there wasn’t one epiphany, there was just a bunch of small ones. My drinking and drugging career didn’t last long, it didn’t last long at all. It didn’t have to. But it was enough. As soon as I got sober I went back to school and it took two and a half years to finish college because I was an overachiever in everything…I was an addict in everything. I went right to teaching and I taught for a few years. In the second year I knew I wanted to be a singer because I started singing. I knew I wanted to do that full time. A friend of mine said to me you can be an old teacher but you can’t be an old rocknroller, so if you want it go after it. Which is not true, but I needed to hear it at the time. So I quit my job and put a band together and eighteen drummers later,” she laughs manically, “I’m still in the same band. With everyone different except one guy. Basically the songwriters stayed, I stayed. It’s built around that energy. People come and go but it’s a good group that I have now.”

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“The last record Soraia Lives was a reaction to the record before, called In the Valley of Love and Guns. That record took about three years to make. Not because anyone in the band wanted it to take that long. But at that point we were getting the help of really big people like Jon Bon Jovi helped us. This guy Billy Falcon, I co-wrote with them great songs, great songs. We were in the studio all the time, but I was just looking at something today we had like 20 or 30 vocal takes on each track, it was crazy. More than that, but it was a really long process. At the end of it there were a lot of promises. Just not from anybody in particular but a lot of promise for that record. The promise that we thought it was going to have didn’t come through. So we kind of sarcastically called the next record Soraia Lives because we should have been dead a long time ago,” She laughs. “Same thing in my life. We thought b-movie kind of thing because we loved that stuff. We did a live show in November of 2013 in New York City at The Bitter End. Little Steven Van Zandt and his wife came to our show because they loved “Voodoo” off the last record.”



“They loved the show and Steven said, “Let me work with the band on your live show”. So we went into his studio just for three sessions and changed some things we didn’t like about the songs, added some parts, took some songs out, and ended with a live set of really great songs that were really Soraia. They weren’t trying to sound like anything but us. It fit our live show, everything we did. So we decided last summer to record them, with the new songs we were coming up with. We started following what we decided to do without this thought of writing a song for an audience, we just did what came to us. Very poetic kind of stuff and some stuff very song oriented and we went in and we already had the songs down. So we went into the studio and recorded them. Didn’t take long, maybe two or three days to do ten songs. We recorded in Philly, we consciously decided to go to a studio that was- we just wanted to get the songs banged out. We didn’t need a big drum room, we didn’t care what kind of mics it had it was like the first time we just didn’t care.”

Soraia Dobbs 8-001
“We just went in, we were like, ‘We are just going to record us as we are’, overdubs minimal, mostly just us. One vocal take, one everything. We didn’t know what would come of it and I didn’t have any pressure on us to be anything in particular. I just wanted to have fun. It was really important to us to have fun this time and we did. Out of it I knew there were two songs that really floated to the top one was the cover of The Kinks “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” because it’s such a statement of who we are. The second song was “What Imagination?” both of those songs I wanted to spend more time with in the final mix and mastering and we did. The one song, “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” is the one that got picked by Little Steven [Van Zandt] as the “Coolest Song In The World” and I knew it! I knew as soon as I heard it I got goosebumps listening to my own band, and just being like ‘That’s us!’ finally we captured us. Raw, non-apologetic, not perfect, not polished, but just who we are. And if people can’t hear the magic in that, shame on them. But also shame on us if we don’t put it out or we’re scared to. Because the record before that was so well done and so polished that I was afraid to put out something that was too raw. But I really loved this record. Everything that it says is really us. People responded so much to that song, and so much to that version of it that was just us being us, [and it] is so joyful. I am so grateful for that because that’s who we really are. And they loved us for who we really are more so than they loved this polished, pretty made up version of who we are- which is also is who we are. But this time we took off all the makeup and were just like, ‘here’s what I look like, do you still love me?’ and we got a good response!”

Stay tuned for part three of my interview with Soraia tomorrow and listen to a two new tracks from their upcoming record Less Than Zero “Beggar” and “Paper Man” below.

Come out to Milkboy this Friday for Soraia’s Less Than Zero record release show with The Good Excuses and The Droogettes opening at 8:30 PM. Tickets are $10 and you can get them here.



xx Cher

For more new music follow mylifeinsound on Facebook and Twitter!

Less Than Zero: An Interview with ZouZou Mansour from Soraia + Album Release Show this Friday at Milkboy!!!!

30 Sep

Soraia Instagram

Back in January, I heard a song on Little Steven’s Underground Garage that rocked so hard I stayed in the car until it was over even though I arrived at my destination. I took a picture of the band’s name to remember to look it up later, somewhat ashamed. How have I never heard of this badass babe from the 70s named Soraia covering The Kinks song “(I’m Not) Like Everybody Else”? To my surprise, when I googled the musician, it turned out to be a band, and a current one, from my hometown of Philadelphia. I immediately found out who was singing and reached out to ZouZou Mansour the powerful, earth-goddess vocal machine who sounds like she’s from another time. We soon met at a coffee shop for an interview. I wanted to know everything about her life and her band, and I was pleasantly surprised at how raw, honest, and open she was. ZouZou’s story not only moved me, but it ignited the fire and passion I have for music talking to such a strong, influential woman in the industry.

In honor of Soraia’s album release show and music video shoot at Milkboy in Philly this Friday, I am releasing our interview in three parts over the course of this week. Read part one below and buy your tickets to this Friday’s show and music video shoot now here! Tickets are only $10 and with The Good Excuses and The Droogettes opening, you do not want to miss this epic night of pure rock’n’roll.

Soraia TBird and ZZ (Beth)

“I grew up in an upper middle class family. My father was Egyptian and my mother was Belgian, so they were both from other countries. I remember very early having the idea that I couldn’t tell people about my family life because it was very secretive. There was a lot of domestic abuse, a lot of yelling, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of adjusting to people’s moods from an early age and sensing people’s moods. Which I think helps me- it’s a gift and a curse. You know, because in relationships- not so good, in music- great. It’s a good way to work with an audience and change their mood. But several suicide attempts as a young person, just feeling hopeless, and never really telling anyone about them. But I remember when I found music: it saved my life. It absolutely saved my life so many times. No matter what happened or what was going on at home, this all happened through high school into when my mother died. I was seventeen. Music was my way of detaching from the pain of watching people I love self destruct. I always had this feeling that I could control them in some way and fix them. Music was the one thing that I did for myself that I found joy and solace in and always gave me a sense of hope. So music to me is something I not only honor, but I always hear Joan Jett say, ‘it’s like a religion’. For not many people it is, but for me it’s absolutely a religion. It’s the one thing that made me feel safe, made me feel joy, made me feel every mood that I would squelch in every other way. You know, songs have done that for me.”

soraia-offstage

“I’ve always been attracted to female artists more so, even though I listened to a lot of male artists I was always a fan of songs more than bands. Though in high school I was very attracted to a certain type of band. I loved raw bands. I loved melody. It’s like what I liked hearing was the opposite of what I liked seeing musically. I loved melody. I loved melody (she emphasizes). I loved stories. I loved all genres. I just loved songs. There wasn’t many artists I didn’t like growing up. I did listen to popular radio I would say until…I remember Nirvana being so big at one point and all those bands of that ’92, ’93, ’94 period being such a big influence on me. Because it was so different than what had come before it and I remember just thinking, ‘I found something that spoke to me’. There were so many great female fronted acts like The Breeders at the time, the song “Cannonball” I’ll never forget that song. Just great music in the early to mid 90s and that’s kind of been my biggest influence on my writing and on me getting in touch with a lot of things that are darker inside and accepting those parts. I don’t have to be happy all the time. Its okay. But I never really thought of music as a career except I always was a drummer. In high school I started an all girl band and it was ‘we were going to be famous, we were going to be huge’ we just learned cover songs constantly. I played drums because I wanted to be a singer, but I had this belief which I thought you were either born to sing or you weren’t. My voice was so masculine was so low, that in my high school it was considered not a very good voice. I don’t know if that message was said to me or if I just thought that because all the girls who got the parts had those ‘high voices’, she sings out before joking, “I can’t even reach that note. So I thought well I’m never going to be a singer but I still want to be in music so I’ll play drums, I loved playing drums. That’s how I started out and it was until a birthday I had I remember I was playing drums for a band and that’s when I started singing because their singer didn’t show up. So I just jumped.”

Soraia

“Growing up music always gave me comfort, but there was a period where I got really lost after my mother died. At 17, I made a conscience decision the day of her funeral that I was going to stop doing the right thing and doing anything good and if there was a god in the world it wanted nothing to do with me. So I was going to do everything to destroy my own life. It was a very conscience decision on my part to pick up drugs and alcohol. When I picked up I picked up hardcore. I didn’t pick up and dabble. I wasn’t there to experiment. I was there to get lost. Because I felt so much. Most artists feel very deeply and most humans do but especially artists. I think they tend to feel weird about their [sensitivity], because it’s not the common sensitivity. It’s hard to deal with life on life’s terms often, but at that point I didn’t want to feel anything because everything I felt was pain. So drugs and alcohol helped me to squelch that. But it also led me down a lot of bad roads. That part of wanting to die and everything, I felt bad and it kept following me around. The people I got involved with and the things that happened to me have made me into the singer I am today. It’s a blessing, first of all that I survived it, and second of all, I have a message, and it’s a strong one. I think it comes through when people hear my voice, they hear it and they’re either attracted to it or repelled by it,” she laughs. “Hopefully attracted to it and it’s just a deeper [meaning] when you go through stuff. That’s why I that lotus. It grows through mud and becomes beautiful. I feel like you can take anything that happened and make it into beauty.”

Stay tuned for part two of my interview with Soraia tomorrow and listen to a new track from their upcoming record Less Than Zero “Radio Sister” below.

Come out to Milkboy this Friday for Soraia’s Less Than Zero record release show with The Good Excuses and The Droogettes opening at 8:30 PM. Tickets are $10 and you can get them here.

xx Cher

For more new music follow mylifeinsound on Facebook and Twitter!

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