"To define is to stagnate. So I probably would say I don’t define myself, says Zanillya. She may avoid defining herself, but her music does it for her. Zanillya is a rapper, singer-songwriter, producer based in Amsterdam. Beloved by tastemakers across the board from Sway Calloway, Toddla T, Jack Saunders, Jamz Supernova to Future Classic, Wonderland, Fred Perry, i-D and DUMMY as well as receiving radio support from the likes of BBC 1Xtra and BBC 6 Music.
As the arts begin to drive mental illness out of the shadows Caribbean - Macedonian, rapper/singer-songwriter/ producer Zanillya is determined to be at the vanguard of this change. As the daughter of late Disco legend Bobby Farrell (Boney M), the reality of the music industry was imprinted on her from an early age, she witnessed first-hand the beauty and excitement, but also the dark side of it all. Yet it is by creating music that she feels she can come to terms with her own lows.
Her debut EP 'Choose Life' is a heartfelt record about self-belief and healing, Channeling heavy energy into something beautiful, ‘Choose Life', is an exercise in cathartic writing, flowers blooming from a ground of pain. The project is a varied yet cohesive collection of tracks characterized by her signature blend of R&B, Dancehall, Afrobeats and Hip-Hop. Zanillya has co-produced the EP alongside long-time collaborator Humphrey Dennis.
The record delivers successive high points, from the addictive dancehall groove of ‘Sacrifices’, to the lyrical honesty of ‘Nothing To Lose’, which highlights the ongoing struggle of balancing career and family. The track was also featured in Grown-Ish season 4.
From capturing the attention of music listeners since 2018 with “For You” and “In It 4 a Lifetime”, to accumulating support from key tastemakers and a dedicated fan base alike, it’s just the start for this emerging artist, as the triple threat’s passion and creative abilities see her stand firm in her notable presence in the scene.
Zanillya needs to be true to herself. Releasing a slew of dancehall-tinged tropical pop burners, she's marked herself out as a vocalist to watch, with her hook-heavy R&B approach blessed with colossal potential. The result is curiously idiosyncratic, the sound of a newcomer taking club tropes and melding them to her own life, her own outlook.
Working tirelessly on her music over the last few years, Zanillya's music has been used by major brands like FIFA, UEFA, Nike, Colgate, Vodafone, Smilf, Showtime, MTV, River Island, Grown - Ish, Ray Ban and many more.