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The Fashion-Favorite Singer Who’s About to Blow Up

Meet Zsela.

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis
Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis

The fashion world loves Zsela. The 24-year-old singer has performed at two indie-brand runway shows in as many seasons — first for Vaquera, where she performed a cover of “Like a Prayer,” then at Collina Strada, where she delivered a heartfelt performance about our “dying planet.” But her appeal clearly goes beyond fashion — Zsela will tour with Cat Power and Angel Olsen this fall and just released a single, “Earlier Days.” Her haunting, moody voice stays with you, and has prompted Vogue to compare her to Joni Mitchell. Talent runs in the family: Her father is the musician known as Chocolate Genius and her sister is actress Tessa Thompson. We spoke with her about her first instrument, Jessica Rabbit, and karaoke songs.

What is your most-used emoji? The heart.

If you could spend three months anywhere, where would it be? Bed.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? Time travel.

What is the best album ever made? Chocolate Genius, Truth vs. Beauty.

What’s your go-to karaoke song? “Time After Time.”

Who is someone you think is cool? Justin Vivian Bond.

What is something your social-media followers don’t know about you? My first instrument was the flute.

What fictional character would you want to hang out with? It’s so random what pops into my head. Right now, all I can think about is Jessica Rabbit. But I’m like, What? Why? 

If you were a magazine, what magazine would you be? Life.

Jeans or sweats? Jeans.

What was the last website you looked at? Gmail or Pornhub.

If you could be outfitted by one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be? Hanes.

What do you eat for breakfast? I don’t eat breakfast that much.

If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be? Crab, pasta, and popcorn.

If you were a color, what color would you be? A mood ring.

Zsela wears a Balenciaga dress and boots.

The Fashion-Favorite Singer Who’s About to Blow Up