Pop punk princess, Zoe Ko, releases her debut extended play “Baby Teeth” on Nov. 3. We got the chance to chat with her before her first show in Orange County, California, opening for California native bands Carpool Tunnel and Chase Petra. She speaks on how she develops the EP, her main collaborators and her first tour.
Where did you develop “Baby Teeth”?
Being from New York originally, Zoe shares that she was bicoastal the entire time she was developing the EP. She was traveling back and forth from New York City to Los Angeles to meet with producer Jonny Shorr.
“I was trying to kind of find the FINNEAS to my Billie Eilish connection. The first track we worked on was “Tangerine” and we clicked almost immediately,” Ko said.
The EP was written in New York, and all the music was made out here in LA. While she was home in New York, she would just be making promotional content for the music they were making together.
Who was your main collaborator for the EP?
Jonny Shorr holds production credits on the entirety of “Baby Teeth”. She shares that the first single of the EP was “Petri Dish” which was the second song they ever worked on together. Because they clicked immediately, they continued to develop the EP together and his management team has figuratively signed her, helping with her releases.
Where did you find your inspiration for your tracks? Sonically, visually and lyrically?
“When it came to writing lyrics, I didn’t really find inspiration from anywhere mainly because I was writing from the heart. I didn’t have to think much and the songs wrote themselves”, Ko said.
When it came to production and vocals on each track, she shares that she took inspiration from a lot of classic rock. She was inspired by records like “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, the clean vocals on Paramore songs, and of course, Joan Jett.
Visually, she regularly partners with Nikoli Partiyeli as her director for her music videos and visual content, while she creatively directs alongside him. “A lot of my music videos reference iconic movies like Mean Girls, Carrie, and Blondie with the heavy contrast”, Ko said.
What’s your history with music?
“I started writing when I was seven or nine years old. Music was everything to me,” Ko said. She shares that she was doing so much in the music industry that she knew that’s what she had to do. She was enrolled in music programs during her college years at New York University, and some at Brown University where she was also working a record label job.
You just recently wrapped your first tour ever, how did that go? Who’s your dream artist to tour with?
“It was really a seamless tour. I loved it. Everyone really started to feel like a family, and I'm excited to have them on tour with me full time one day," Ko said.
She also shares that her dream artist to tour with would be the Italian rock band, Måneskin and of course Gwen Stefani. She then goes to cover "Just a Girl" on stage with band mate Emi Grace.
Did you experience any learning curves or culture shocks when you jumped into touring?
"Honestly everything felt kind of the same, it was just when and where they were able to spend time writing music" Ko said. She adds that she knew exactly what she wanted her sound to be. Moving into touring, Ko tells us that living in New York she has always lived a nomadic lifestyle so entering the world of touring didn't really frighten her.
It seems safe to say that Zoe Ko was made for the rockstar life. Both on stage and off, her personality shines through her music and daring demeanor. Creating a world of pop punk feminine rage, Ko doesn't shy short of creating vivid metaphors that illustrate her image perfectly.
You can catch Zoe Ko's next performance in California at The Echo in Los Angeles on Dec. 2, opening for Carpool Tunnel and Chase Petra.