On The Rise: Zsela

Rough Trade Records

April 27th, 2024


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A contemporary visionary strengthened by artistic communion.

New York City native Zsela Thompson‘s debut album Big For You is set to release this summer, a culmination of self-meditation and collaboration with close friends (Marc Ribot, Nick Hakim, Casey MQ and Jasper Marsalis (Slauson Malone 1), it’s also her first recording for new label home Mexican Summer.

Listening to Zsela, you are immediately struck by her rich and distinctive voice that exhales with a syrupy smoothness, warmth and softness, cocooning the dynamic instrumentation that dazzles and dances around her. Produced in tandem with Daniel Aged (Frank Ocean, Kelela) and Gabe Wax (The War On Drugs, Soccer Mommy) Big For You is a textural wonderland, exploring tender, dramatic and lively sonics all with an equal level of emotional potency and considered storytelling. There are echoes of multiple influences heard across the album, but unmistakeable is the Prince-like art-rock and alt-R&B on tracks like Fire Escape and Easy Street.

“4 years in the making with very close friends I now call family. All 10 songs have lived many lives and it’s been a gift growing alongside them.”

Evidenced by the depth realised across her debut full-length, the stage is set for Zsela to embark on an even greater journey of self-expression, as she takes these songs into the wilds of the live space to further exercise creative liberty. Don’t miss out.

Zsela – Big For You

Rough Trade Exclusive signed watersprite vinyl shared with the artist (200 only).

We’re excited to announce Zsela as part of Rough Trade On The Rise, our dedicated curation putting a spotlight on the emerging music we are the most excited for you to hear, to follow and become a fan of. Read on to discover more about the artist in her own words and don’t miss debut album Big For You on Mexican Summer.

Photo by Kate Sterlin 
Photo by Kate Sterlin 

Zsela on Zsela

A self-penned bio


Five by Five

5 Qs, 5 As

Describe Zsela in 5 words.

I
Don’t
Have
A
License 

5 records you listened to prior to making your album?

Anadol – Görünmez Hava
Ween – Pure Guava
Kate Bush – The Red Shoes
Mary Margaret O’hara – Miss America
Curtis Mayfield- Sweet Exorcist

Top 5 career moments since forming?

Finishing Big For You 🙂
Singing at Carnegie Hall
Meeting Daniel Aged
My first ever tour (opening for Cat Power)
MSG with Blood Orange

You host a pre-release listening party for the album. Who are your 5 VIP guests (dead or alive)?

Prince
Mark Hollis
Justin Vivienne Bond
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Grace Jones

Top 5 essential tour snacks?

Water
Water
Water
Water
Tea



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