A woman of the world, ZaZa was born in France, raised in Iran and educated in music and stage-design in Italy. She now resides in Los Angeles, California. ZaZa has been composing, writing and performing music since childhood. She speaks English, French, Italian and Persian fluently, and sings in all four languages. She has often been invited to sing at festivals and concerts with an international theme.
ZaZa's mother, Monir Vakili, was Iran's foremost opera singer. Her album of Persian folk songs, "Les Chants Et Danses De Perse", won the Academy Charles Cros Award, the highest music award in the World Music category in France. ZaZa calls her music "New World Pop" with an ethnic spin. New, for New Age; World, for world sound; and Pop, for the universal pop base in her songs. To this is added a Middle Eastern flavor.
"Primal Whispers," released in 1992 (Executive Produced by Grammy Award-winner Narada Michael Walden), has won great international acclaim. The song "Papa" has won ZaZa prestigious awards. "Mikham Bargardam Iroon" (Longing For Persia) has become an anthem for Persians all over the world.
"Nights One And A Thousand," released in 1997 (Executive Produced by Narada Michael Walden & Preston Glass), has received overwhelming praise, with critics calling it an exotic and mesmerizing journey. Evocative, mystical and deeply haunting, it tells the story of Scheherazade and her thousand and one nights in captivity. ZaZa has given this old traditional tale some surprising twists and turns, making this a unique album with songs that are linked by a romantic theme. Both traditional Persian musicians and noted jazz artists (e.g. Peter Apfelbaum) have lent their talents to this new collection of songs with stunning results.
ZaZa's most innovative project is her 1999 adaptation of the epic poem "Shahnameh" (Book of Kings), written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi in the 10th century. ZaZa worked the stories into songs in English with lush musical arrangements that are unique in style and character, yet evoke the Middle Eastern vibe. More than ever, ZaZa's work on this album has been compared to that of Loreena McKennitt.
A journey into the electrifying world of DJs and club scenes around the world gave birth to a thematic dance album titled "ZaZa Meets South Beach Boyz," released in 2001. An immediate success, it brought a new audience and fan base that gave ZaZa an edge and legitimacy in the current music scene.
A labor of love and a tribute to her mother, Monir Vakili, 2003's "Resurrection" is a masterpiece, restoring Vakili's original renditions of Persian folk songs with a stunning modern-day twist.
ZaZa has also collaborated with other artists on diverse projects, including an award-winning song titled "Catch A Falling Angel"; a song called "Time For Love & Hope", performed by children's choirs at many UN celebrations and festivals; scores and songs for WB Feature Film division, network TV and cable TV; among other featured tracks on major label albums.
Her love of production and artist development has kept her busy these recent years, resulting in the launching of two new artists, i.e. her son and daughter Arian and Alexandra; original musicals, screenplays, books and numerous other projects that are currently in the works.
ZaZa's most current project in development is a theatrical rendition and biography of her mother, Monir Vakili's life and career in the formative years of Iran (1950-70s).
© 1997 Copyright, Bibi Noor Productions / PHOTOGRAPHY: Tony Metaxas
|"ZaZas music is unique in its ability to incorporate Persian culture in producing a very contemporary sound. ZaZa has raised the standard for other musicians."
Ardeshir Farah of Strunz & Farah
"ZaZa is an internationally inspired artist whose music and performance has great emotional depth, ranging from ultra-dramatic songs to joyful songs of celebration."
S.J. Dakota, multi-award winning songwriter (Burt Bacharach, Al Jarreau, Lisa Fischer, Chanice, Tevin Campbell)
"I want the world to know that there is a brilliant artist, composer and singer in the world and her name is ZaZa. A few years ago (a decade) we were inspired to bring to life the story of Scheherazade. Out of this poignant story came the most soul stirring songs in particular Only You.
Her songs are treasures to our
world, mother earth and outerline extendencies of the universe.
I would like for all my dear ones to hear the music of ZaZa and
to be touched and moved as I have been touched and moved by the
sincere outpouring of her soul.
If you love the serenity of Enya you will adore the majesty of ZaZa.
Love and gratitude your soulful brother,
Narada Michael Walden
Multi Platinum Grammy & Emmy winning producer, musician & recording artist.