I’m Zikai and I essentially only had one goal when I started creating don’t look at the moon… and that was to trust in myself and in my own musical instincts and to stay honest in the process.
I haven’t been releasing music in almost two years and during these two years while writing this EP I’ve had a strong urge to get back to that same feeling I had when writing songs as a teen – a time where I didn’t let outside influences affect me all that much and when all I knew was the way I felt.
I actually entered the writing process one year ago, completely sure I was gonna write my first album with 10 tracks. I even named some of the songs before I had written them and I thought I knew exactly what sound landscape I wanted to be in.
But as I left a studio session back in April (2022) on a bright spring evening in Los Angeles, I knew that Agrin Rahmani, Nirob Islam, Trey Campbell and myself had made something special as I couldn’t stop humming on the hook from “Super 8”, which later became the first single off of my EP.
“Super 8” sounded like something I hadn’t done before and having a 40 sec long intro on the first single of the EP wasn’t a part of my perfectly put together plan. But it felt right and after the making of “Super 8” the pieces started to come together.
I don’t know if it sounds pretentious but I see all the songs in colors and both “Super 8” and “Come Get Me Out” shines in pink to me. Both of them have that groovy bass (shoutout to The Wavys and Agrin) and the sound feels glittery and big.
“Super 8” feels romantic and that’s also what I wanted to capture in the artwork that I made with my good friends Elle Johnson and Robin Smedman. Even though the song might feel romantic, I’m really setting boundaries in my relationship to love.
Wanting to be loved is an ongoing theme in basically all of my music and that’s simply because I’ve had a complicated relationship to romantic love over the years. While the more confident version of me sings “Super 8” I would say the more insecure version of me pours their heart out in “Come Get Me Out” where I talk about wanting someone else to get me out of the I’m-having-a-shitty-day-and-shitty-life headspace.
I know it’s normal to distract yourself when you feel bad and maybe even blame your behavior on this and that (including the moon and the stars) and in my case that’s all I used to do back in the day. That’s why the line “don’t look at the moon” from “Come Get Me Out” became so special to me. Even if I’m singing about my old ways it’s still symbolic to me.
To me “Summer 16” and “Rush Hour” feels like the color blue because of the sad undertones. “Summer 16” is actually the only song I didn’t write for this EP but I’ve been in love with it ever since I made it with Simon Jonasson and Gustav Landell and it felt like the perfect fit.
Reminiscing about the past and what could’ve been is what I wanted to communicate with “Summer 16”. It’s about a time in my life where nothing really mattered and me and my friends felt like we were gonna live forever.
At first when I started writing melodies to the song that later became “Rush Hour” I saw it as an uptempo low key party tune about not giving a damn but the more I wrote the more I knew it was gonna be my why-am-I-at-this-afterparty sad song.
I don’t always make great decisions past 2 am and I do question myself in “Rush Hour” asking myself if it’s really all fun and games. I think part of why “Rush Hour” happened is cause of that one promise I had last year about being honest and write about whatever I was feeling at the moment even if it felt hard to put those thoughts out in the universe.
“Holiday” is giving yellow. It’s about the love I’ve found in my current relationship. Being sure in myself and in love is hard but I’ve found it. The EP ends with that vibe of empowerment and the feeling of “I’ve Got This” and that’s how I’m always aiming to feel at the end of the day.
Even if the project became something other than I initially had decided on, I did go out of my comfort zone and made even better songs than I had done before. Nothing in life rarely becomes exactly how you plan it out to be and thank god for that. I’m so excited to keep growing and eventually tour with my new music. I hope more people can connect with my music because that’s honestly one of the best feelings in the world.
Listen to my new EP Don’t Look At The Moon… below and stream it everywhere else here.