Up and Coming Artist Series: Zara Kelemen

As a part of our new articles series about talented student-artists in the district, I decided to interview Zara Kelemen. After personally knowing Zara Kelemen since my freshman year of high school, to see her grow into the artist she is today is absolutely incredible. Zara has always been musically talented from participating in choir at Central High School choir to learning to play the guitar and piano, but I  never quite understood how talented she is until now. Interviewing Zara about her music aspirations all while she continues on with senior year at Central has been very inspiring. Hopefully, her story will inspire other students in the district to seek a passion like hers.

When did you get started with music?

I’ve been singing since I was little but started performing in choirs in 3rd grade. I took piano lessons for about ten years and did a lot of school musicals in middle school. In high school, I started listening to more and more music and realized I wanted to create my own material that was different and didn’t really fit into one box. 

Do you play any instruments?

I play piano, guitar, and ukulele. 

Is being a musician and a student at the same time difficult?

I’ve found music to be really helpful when it comes to academic success. I’ve definitely prioritized school over the music, but being able to have an outlet to express myself creatively has been really important to me. I try to find ways to combine school and music which has proven to be useful. For instance, I love creative writing and use many poems and short stories I’ve written for different classes as lyrics or inspiration for songs. 

What type of music do you usually write/play?

I couldn’t really pick one genre- but that’s what’s really cool about music now. Most of what I listen to is rap, RnB, and alternative kinds of stuff, so that’s what I’m influenced by. Some of my music is quite acoustic and some of it is very production-based. I never want to be predictable when I create. 

Are you working on any music right now?

I’m currently working on an EP and have a song coming out in a few days. I really want to make music that can appeal to a wide range of people… that’s always been my goal. 

What is your favorite part about your music?

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It’s always been easy for me to find harmonies and create melodies. I love doing a lot of vocal layering and creating harmonies that make people feel a certain way. I think my favorite thing is hearing someone tell me about what my song means to them. When I play songs I’m working on to my friends, each person will have a different interpretation and idea of the song- that’s what is so special about music. Even though music is a very personal thing, I create for other people. It’s lovely to see how my music is received.

Stream Dirty Old Men tomorrow, December 18, 2020, on Spotify and Apple music.

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