The Contemporary Arts Center hosts a performance tonight by enigmatic, critically acclaimed singer/songwriter/musician Zola Jesus. The stage name of Nika Roza Danilova, Jesus has become a prime force on musical tip sheets as an artist to watch. Her uniquely atmospheric, electronic-based compositions are adventurous and evocative dreamscapes that have deep, philosophical underpinnings and often a dark hue, something that has led to her being pegged as "Goth." Danilova told CityBeat's Leyla Shokoohe she believes that pigeonhole is just a gut response to any music dealing with "darkness"; she views her music's emotional tone as merely a reflection of the natural spectrum of her emotions, "not a choice of style." Still, it's hard to not hear the influence of acts like Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins in her work (as well as other pioneering synth-based Pop).
Danilova said she specifically requested to play the CAC on her current tour.
"I emailed my booking agent, and I was like, ‘I really want to play at the Contemporary Arts Center’ because I love architecture and it’s the only building in America designed by my favorite architect (Zaha Hadid),” Jesus told CityBeat. “I just have heard it’s great and I’m really excited. When I’m in a building that feels like (it) aligns with everything I feel inside, it just makes things so much more utopian in a way. I just think that architecture reflects the personality and character of the world.”
Those kind of philosophical insights run throughout the interview. Check it out here. Tonight's performance (with her backing band and visually stimulating stage design) starts at 8 p.m. with an opening set by Noise Pop duo Talk Normal. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase at the door for $15. Click here for details on the performance and check out the official Zola Jesus video for "Vessel" off of her latest album, Conatus.