Nika Roza Danilova (born April 11, 1989), better known by her stage name Zola Jesus, is an American singer-songwriter. She has released three EPs and three full-length albums that combine electronic, industrial, classical, goth, and experimental rock influences.

In 2009, while still studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Zola Jesus recorded (in her apartment) and released her debut full-length The Spoils. The sound was in a certain way dependent on her surroundings. “I usually record in the winter because I am holed up. It’s cold outside but warm inside with the heater and blankets. A lot of the songs are cold but in the coldness you find warmth. Winter has a lot to do with it.

Then followed Tsar Bomba EP (on Troubleman), New Amsterdam compilation on Sacred Bones and an untitled, limited-edition vinyl split with Burial Hex (Aurora Borealis). For touring she recruited Dead Luke (synths), bassist Lindsay Mikkola and drummer Max Elliott. Later the line-up changed to: Shane Verwey and Nick Turco (synth), Alex DeGroot (“who… does fancy controller things I can’t wrap my head around, as well as backup vocals” per Danilova) and Nick Johnson, a drummer with metal band Jex Thoth.

Zola Jesus has also played with Former Ghosts. “It was fun to participate in that project. Freddy is a really amazing person, I am very honoured to be able to collaborate with him and Jamie,” she commented. On Fever Ray’s 2010 European tour, she performed as a support act[13] and also toured with The xx. In the late 2009 collaboration between Zola Jesus and Rory Kane took shape (as Nika+Rory project), a demo being put out on MySpace which was described as having “more of a straight up pop feel”. “Rory really nails that trance-pop-r&b style, he loves making that stuff and I love singing on it,” Danilova remarked.

In 2010, Zola Jesus released the Stridulum EP, described as “a much grander effort” (next to her debut album) and her “most melodic work to date”. Inspired by Giulio Paradisi 1979 film of the same name, it marked “a huge leap forward in terms of fidelity and accessibility” “With Stridulum I’ve tried to find a better balance; meeting in the middle with melody and texture,” she explained. After the release Zola Jesus performed at the SXSW festival, for her second time.
Zola Jesus’s second full-length release was Stridulum II. Although regarded as her debut album in the UK, this album simply combines all six songs from the Stridulum EP (in different sequencing) with three of the four songs from the Valusia EP; the cover art is modified from the cover of Stridulum.

Zola Jesus’s third LP, her second album of new material was Conatus, released in late September 2011 via Sacred Bones. The album’s 11 tracks were produced by Brian Foote (aka Nudge: Jackie-O Motherfucker, Cloudland Canyon) and Danilova herself, including elements of cello, double bass, violin, and viola.

She provided guest vocals on the song “Intro” by M83 from their 2011 album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. She also sang on “New France” by Orbital, from their 2012 album Wonky.

Zola Jesus interview with Northern Transmissions

Zola Jesus

Zola Jesus aka Nika Roza Danilova has just release her new EP Nail this week. With this follow up from her last album Taiga,…

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Zola Jesus "Go (Blank Sea)" gets Remixed by Skin Town, Diplo, her new album 'Taiga' is now out on Mute

Zola Jesus Remixed by Skin Town, Diplo

Zola Jesus’ latest single “Go (Blank Sea)” receives a fantastic reworking from LA duo Skin Town, who lay down dark yet scintillating synths as a bed for Nika’s powerful vocals. Nick Turco of Skin Town explains his inspiration when doing this remix: “Years ago, I had the chance to produce with Nika in our project Nika + Rory. With this remix I tried to return to that hyper-melodic:

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Zola Jesus Drops Diplo Remix for “Go (Blank Sea)” Zola Jeus is On Tour Now

Zola Jesus Drops Diplo Remix

Zola Jesus releases a remix of new single “Go (Blank Sea)” courtesy of multi-talented DJ, producer, and songwriter Diplo. The single comes from her album TAIGA, out now on Mute. Listen to remix below.

Zola Jesus is in the midst of her record release tour which began in San Francisco on October 8th, hitting major cities in the US, UK and Europe. For the US and London shows, Nika will also be joined on stage by a live brass ensemble, under direction from talented brass arranger and tubist TubaJoe Exley. :Nika elaborates

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