It’s not every day you hear a cover so good you wonder why anyone would listen to the original.
Singer, songwriter and student Erez Zobary’s genre-defying, flawless renditions of songs like Adele’s ‘When We Were Young’, and Amy Winehouse’s ‘Valerie’ accomplish that feat. She also composes, performs and records her own music all the while being a third year ConEd and History student at Queen’s.
Zobary began her musical trajectory in her freshman year when her residence don suggested she audition for Down There — an annual student-run production that tackles controversial issues related to womanhood, inspired by The Vagina Monologues.
Zobary became the first one to bring music to the annual production of Down There, performing a self-composed song based on a student-written poem about maintaining your roots and looking within for strength.
Zobary followed her first year performance in Down There this past March when the production returned.
Never far from the spotlight, the singer also participated in Queen’s Got Talent with a close friend, an experience she described as “hilarious”. They won first place in the contest in 2014. Zobary plans to audition for Queen’s Players this year, as a way to stay involved in drama and music scene at school.
As with any medium in art, it’s important to be open to change. When Zobary was 16 years old, she got vocal nodules, which has greatly affected her music career. “I had to learn to embrace my husky voice,” Zobary said. “I wasn’t really able to sing the show tunes anymore.” As a result, she’s transitioned to more R&B style music.
Zobary’s songwriting process happens sporadically.“ It’s great to put a lot of time and work into writing, but I think it should come out fast”, she said. Songs often just come to her as she’s out in public, Zobary said, so she takes to her phone’s voice recorder and gets out as many lyrics as she can. She completes around 15 to 20 songs a year.
“All my music is about things that have happened and experiences,” Zobary said. The genre she works with is dependant on if she’s writing alone, and if she is, it tends to be her voice and a piano.
Zobary also receives calls from other artists and bands who are interested in featuring her on their track. She’s worked with The GMO’s – a blues and country band that’s a bit out of her preferred style. She isn’t in a place to turn down these kinds of requests, Zobary said, as these experiences serves as learning opportunities.
Zobary and a friend recorded a four song EP in their residence in first year, an act she hopes to follow in coming months. Zobary says she’s aiming to come out with a second four to eight song EP soon and hopefully record more in the future.
When asked about her aspirations for after graduation, she said she plans to be a starving artist.
“I’m not fully sold on being a teacher. Music is something that I love,” Zobary said. “I’m going to try this music thing for a few years…I would regret if I didn’t.”
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