After establishing herself on the French music scene with her first album The Symphony of Lightning, the 24-year-old singer, originally from Saint-Nazaire, received five nominations for the Victoires de la Musique. A look back at his rise.
She is the big favorite of the 39th Victoires de la Musique. At only 24 years old, singer Zaho de Sagazan won five nominations this year in prestigious categories such as “best album”, “female revelation” or “song of the year ” and thus ahead of big names in song such as Etienne Daho, Véronique Sanson or Aya Nakamura.
Buoyed by the success of her first album The Symphony of Lightning, the artist from Saint-Nazaire experienced a meteoric rise in 2023. She filled numerous venues across France, was awarded a gold disc in December and was also rewarded internationally in receiving two prestigious awards at the Music Moves Europe Awards in the Netherlands in January. Result of the hard work of this author, composer and performer for over 10 years.
“Why not me?”
It was through dance that Zaho de Sagazan entered the artistic world. At college, the future singer took seven hours of classical and contemporary dance classes per week. But, six years later, in 9th grade, she decided to stop everything out of weariness. “It bored me, I no longer had much interest in going there,” confides the artist to BFMTV.com.
While at the same time, her four sisters leave the family home, young Zaho de Sagazan finds herself alone and “discovers boredom”. “Everything becomes a little emptier and on top of that I’m entering my adolescence and I don’t feel good,” she remembers.
During this period, the teenager came across the music of the British artist, Tom Odell, a discovery that would upset her. “At the time I didn’t manage my emotions well and I saw this boy who seemed as sensitive as me but who managed his emotions better because he put them on his piano,” explains Zaho de Sagazan.
“I just cry all day, I scream, and my sensitivity translates into anger, but he does it on a piano and it seems to do him a lot of good. So I say to myself ‘why not me?’ I started playing the piano and it was love at first sight.”
“Doing anything else would not have made sense”
Driven by this new passion which allows her to put her sensitivity to good use, Zaho de Sagazan decided in 2015 to share her musical covers on Instagram. Although at the time the student in business management and administration did not envisage making a career out of it, the idea ended up gradually emerging in her mind.
“I was obsessed with music, I did that all day, I only thought about it, I skipped classes to do it… There’s a moment when you realize that it makes you so happy “doing anything else wouldn’t have made sense,” notes Zaho de Sagazan.
Followed at the time by “around twenty subscribers, her best friends”, the singer was nevertheless spotted thanks to her videos on Instagram. First by the Nantes group Mansfield Tya who asked him to play in the opening part of his concert at the Trianon in Paris in 2021, then a few days later, by the singer Hervé for his show at the Olympia.
“And little by little thanks to that, we started to do small concerts and festivals, and above all we signed with a tour operator, who does his job very well,” laughs the artist.
In a little over a year and a half, the native of Saint-Nazaire went from Point Ephémère, a small Parisian venue, to Zenith in the capital, scheduled for mid-March and already sold out. She was also due to perform the first part of Stromae’s concerts at Paris La Défense Arena in June 2023, before they were canceled due to the artist’s health.
“I was very far from imagining that I could have five nominations”
Then Zaho de Sagazan came up with the idea of making an album. But we will have to wait until 2023 before his first album The Symphony of Lightning, does not see the light of day. “The only way to do something good was to take the time to do it,” notes the artist.
“I’ve been waiting to make this first album for years and I didn’t want to rush it at all. I wanted to do something beautiful that reflects me,” assures the singer.
“During a first album you have to take the time to discover yourself, so we made 50,000 versions of each song and I continued to work until I ended up being happy,” adds Zaho from Sagazan.
And the public paid it back to the singer since this album with pop and electro sounds and poignant lyrics is now a gold record. Unanimously praised by critics, it allowed Zaho de Sagazan to garner five nominations for the Victoires de la Musique 2024.
“I was hallucinating when I saw that, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I dreamed of a nomination, like many other artists, but I was very far from imagining that I could have five , she concludes a few hours before the ceremony. “I think I’m just realizing it.”