Our latest collaboration is with artist Nika AKA ZOLA JESUS. I've been a fan of her music and esthetic and to be able to create art with someone you admire is a dream. I was surprised to connect with Nika and discover how approachable she is. I admire her commitment to her craft and fans. We worked with stylist Jenni Hensler ( Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe's go to girl) to create a look that was authentic to her. Rick Owens and Maison Margiela from Maxfields LA. The look was quiet and strong. Nika's makeup was clean. Focusing on her eyes. Javier's signature dewy skin was the editorial touch to create a dreamy texture. For her hair I prepped with MILK and hand dried it. I waved her hair with a flat iron using several techniques to produce a worn dark wave. I finished with a entire bottle of EVER to create a wet look texture for movement and a high gloss shine. Our photographer Nico Turner of Cat Power took us to the hills of hollywood up Beachwood Canyon. A fitting landscape for Nika. The day was quick and followed with some wonderful conversation and cocktails at Cafe Stella in Silverlake. Enjoy.
Photography Nico Turner
Hair Garrett Markenson
Wardrobe//Creative Direction Jenni Hensler
Make up Javier Mena
Assistant Joi Webb
Do you miss when your away from home? My husband, my cat, and my family. The quietness of the land and of course my bed. It’s hard to be on tour so much and miss out on the lives of everyone you love. Home is where I reset and become weightless.
First song you wrote? One of the first songs I wrote as Zola Jesus was called “Little Girl”. I’ve written many songs before that but they never had titles. It wasn’t until I learned how to record music that I started taking seriously the idea of writing down my music.
Your spirt animal? Grey wolf… I have a lot of respect for wolves and their independence. They’re also incredibly loyal to their pack.
Your favorite smell? Smoke! Burning wood. One of my favorite things about REVERIE is the smell. Never change it! Not sure why other hair cares lines choose to make there scents after fake fruit.
Are your thoughts on hair? I've always struggled with my hair. From platinum blonde to black. On styling I keep it natural. My go to is EVER + MILK on wet hair. For more texture and volume I'll add MARE. I love long hair. It suits me. I love to whip it around and shake it, and I love that I can cover myself and hide from the world if I need to.
Is your favorite part about touring? Getting to see the world and connect with the people who listen to my music. It’s one of the most direct experiences of being a musician. The culture and language inspire me and connecting with my fans. Learning of the impact of my music in peoples lives.
Do you feel like when your creating music? Masochistic, unfortunately. It’s usually a very introspective and difficult process, filled with self-criticism. But I’ve been trying to become more open… the most important thing about creating is shutting your brain off enough so it doesn’t get in the way of making something honest and pure.
Did you know you want to pursue music for your career? My whole life, strangely. Ever since I was young I was obsessed with music, constantly singing. I was told it wasn’t a practical career and was often dissuaded from pursuing music outside of just a hobby. But I didn’t listen, ha. Being a musician is the only job I haven’t been fired from.
They first time you heard your music playing in public? I remember walking into a bar in Chicago and they were projecting my music video for Clay Bodies on a wall. Very surreal experience.
They last time you felt discouraged? Ugh, every day. I have to actively fight against my own self-destructive thoughts. It’s hard. I tell myself to step back - nothing matters. I take what I do seriously but it's subjective.
Do you get your inspiration for your art direction? From all over. Mostly, it comes from how I digest the environment around me. Sometimes I’ll find some art, or a building, or a book, that feels like it was born inside my own mind. And other times I piece feelings and ideas together to create something that accurately makes sense of all the different parts of what inspires me.
Is your place to travel? I love Eastern Europe. It is a home away from home. I love the smell of the air, the birch trees, the food. When I’m traveling in places like Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, or Russia, I feel as if I’m in my own back yard. It’s a strange feeling.
Would you like to hear your music being played? Antartica
The last place you felt inspired? I was standing alongside a riverbed in a small village in Slovakia early in the morning, there was a man fishing near me. It was very peaceful, and I felt like I could be alive in any century. Timeless, and inspiring.