A Star on the Rise: Zara DuCrôs Debuts with “Ball Game”

Allow me to present to you Zara DuCrôs – New Zealand-raised singer and actress, now based in New York, who has already created quite a stir with her debut release, ‘Ball Game.

What’s dope is that Zara knowingly assumed her mom’s maiden name to be unique in an environment that is saturated with vanilla names. Her work is inspired by real life experiences or people she holds dear, the setting of New York offers her the coolest environment to be creative in.

Music has always been a part of Zara’s culture as soon as it opened its doors to the public. She had this ill Ukrainian piano teacher named Nataliya in her childhood that played a huge role in her sound and love for music. It is possible to see/hear those formative years in her songs.

Talking about that beat, ‘Ball Game’ is a loaded up pop-rock kind of deal, but you ain’t seen nothing yet from Zara. Inspired by such artists as Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and The 1975, her development of a new style allows for acoustic and soft vibes to fuse with the harder elements in the most intriguing manner. It means that there are no limitations, there are no guidelines that one has to adhere to when creating artwork.

Listen to Ball Game

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What is your stage name?
Zara DuCrôs

Is there a story behind your stage name?
Well, ‘DuCrôs’ is my mother’s maiden name, and it’s actually one of my middle names. My real last name is ‘Smith’, but I decided against using it given there are already so many prominent ‘Smith’s’ on the entertainment scene. ‘DuCrôs’ also just sounds cooler to be honest, and it’s French!

Where do you find inspiration?
I draw inspiration from a lot of areas in my life, though I primarily find it in the relationships I have or have had with people around me. I enjoy writing about specific periods of my life; thus far it’s usually the most turbulent, change-inducing, or hopeful eras that produce the best music. It helps to live in NYC as well – there’s inspiration everywhere here.

What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I would say that music was one of the pillars foundational to my life from a very early point. I’ve been singing as long as I can remember, and picked up the piano at age 7. Music, in various forms, whether it was playing Tchaikovsky or singing pop songs in the car with my mum, was the most important outlet for me. It’s always been the way I am best able to express myself.

Are you from a musical or artistic family?
I can’t really say that I am – I’m the only one of my family who has decided on a career in the arts. However, my brother (one of the most talented people I know) is a really talented lyricist. He used to write a lot.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
This question is hard! I don’t know if there is any one person that inspired me, because I always felt like it was something I wanted to do. Although, one of my best friends (who has a band himself) convinced me while we were still in high school to start doing more with my music, because I was always too scared to. Maybe I could put it down to him!

How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
Singing is something I don’t think I ever learned properly, but I was definitely a part of school choirs growing up. I figured out how to write songs gradually as I entered the teenage years – I taught myself, really just drawing upon my favourite artists as a reference/rubric for what sounded right.

When it comes to playing piano, I grew up with a lovely Ukrainian piano teacher called Nataliya. She was so passionate that it definitely rubbed off on me. I gained classical training with her for a little over ten years – I still think about her a lot and miss those days.

What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
The first concert I ever saw was Justin Bieber’s ‘Purpose’ tour – I was about 13 years old and probably just fan-girled the whole night.

How could you describe your music?
I would describe my music as a blend of pop and punk influences, with lyricism that explores the turbulence of girlhood. This new single has a pop-rock vibe to it, though a lot of my other work I plan to release is more of an acoustic sound – soft pop stretching from a piano ballad to a more folky/indie pop track. I think that my sound will be ever changing!

Describe your creative process.
It definitely differs, though usually I will sit down at the piano when I’m feeling inspired and bang out a song in anywhere between 30 minutes to a couple of days. Sometimes that’s frequent, and sometimes I have huge dry spells. I have a journal that I’m constantly jotting down ideas into – lyrics, concepts, experiences, etc. so when the idea for a verse or a catchy hook strikes, I have the concept ready to go. Or vice versa!

What is your main inspiration?
A lot of things; mostly my relationships with people who are important or have been important to me.

What musician do you admire most and why?
I struggle to narrow that down to one. Lyricism is super important to me – I love clever lyrics. For that reason, I love artists like Lizzy McAlpine, Sophie Holohan, Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift. I also love creative production and am really impressed by artists like The 1975, Del Water Gap and Harry Styles who I feel take risks all the time and make interesting choices when it comes to producing a track.

Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
My career is really only just beginning, so I don’t know that I could speak to the evolution of my style. I definitely think that it will in the future; after just my first release I can feel myself wanting to experiment more with my sound.

Who do you see as your main competitor?
I honestly have no idea. The other girlies in pop? I definitely have a lot more to produce before I’m competing at the top!

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I definitely have a lot more to produce before I’m competing at the top!

What are your interests outside of music?
I’m also an actress! I’m frequently taking technique classes and recording self-tapes. I also love team sports, going for nice walks etc. Recently I’ve had a weird obsession with the weather as well that I can’t really justify.

If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
If not acting, maybe journalism. That interested me for the writing elements – I also think I would have enjoyed being a live-cross reporter on the news.

What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
I think getting over what people might think about what I put out – it took me a while to take the first step, but at the end of the day I’m really proud of what I made, and I like my music! So it’s alright if no one else does.

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
I’m not entirely sure. Though if I speak for right now (as in June 2024), I would love to see more fun, dance-able pop music make an appearance. I feel as though as a culture we peaked with summer music in 2016 and it hasn’t been the same since. Less moody ballads (though I do love those) and more upbeat bangers!

Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
The line in the chorus “we’re playing different ball games” seemed to encompass the song best out of them all – so calling the song ‘Ball Game’ felt like the best choice.

What are your plans for the coming months?
I have plans to get the ball rolling on an EP soon; there are a lot of tracks that I am excited to share, so I would love to put out a larger body of work moving forward.

Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
Not as of yet, though I’ve been meeting a lot of new artists in recent months who are super talented, so who knows! A collab could be on the horizon.

What message would you like to give to your fans?
I’m not sure that I have any fans just yet! But if there are any out there, I would want to say that my goal is always to make music that helps you feel seen. I know how much music has helped me deal with the rockiness of relationships and change throughout the years – if my music can help anyone in the same way it helps me, that would mean the world.

Mister Styx
Mister Styxhttps://musicarenagh.com
My name is Mister Styx and I'm a music blogger and an HVAC Engineer. I'm passionate about all kinds of music, from rock to hip-hop, Jazz, and Reggae as a matter of fact I am always eager to hear new sounds as music has no barrier, and I'm always looking for new sounds to explore. Hop on lets go fetch for some new sounds!

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