Listen: Robyn’s New Hypnotic Pop Protégé Zhala

From Abba to Max Martin, and not to mention Lykke Li, Icona Pop, Tove Lo, The Knife, Little Dragon and Niki & the Dove — there’s a pretty good chance that if you’re a music import from Sweden, you’re going to deliver melodious pop like no other and subsequently be on rotation at our house nonstop.
Now Sweden’s long-reigning pop queen, the near-perfect Robyn, has found her protégé in Zhala, an enigmatic young artist who combines Grimes’s trippy cosmic avant-garde sound with CocoRosie’s enchanting otherworldliness and adds just a glimpse of M.I.A.’s foreign guerrilla point of view.

Related: How Female Indie Artists Are Redefining Pop Stardom

Last year after releasing a mesmerizing EP, Zhala became the very first artist (aside from Robyn) to be signed to Konichiwa Records, the label Robyn launched initially as a way to retain creative control of her Body Talk albums.

Watch Sweden’s two fierce pop heirs perform “Prophet” from Zhala’s EP as an homage to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on a televised Swedish award show:

Zhala’s self-titled full-length debut album will be released on May 25.

Born in Stockholm, Zhala is of Kurdish descent, and Middle Eastern musical influences permeate her songs, seamlessly blending together with Swedish’s iconic electronic dance sound to create what Noisey described as a “hypnotic, cascading synth-driven slice of rave euphoria.”

Basically, I’m obsessed with every single song she’s released so far, but my favorite is “Aerobic Lambada.” Listen to her music below.

Zhala’s latest song off her upcoming LP, “Holy Bubbles,” premiered on Monday.

Oscar Raymundo
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