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ZARIF Overcomes Two-Time Breast Cancer Battle On New Single

22nd January 2021

London melodic alt-pop/rock newcomer Zarif is proud to reveal the video for her new single ‘Nothing But A Memory’, which is out now.

A searingly honest account of her battle with breast cancer which has seen her fight and beat the disease twice, the defiant video sees Zarif shaving her own head in a bid to take control of a poignant and pivotal moment for many patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The track is the latest to be taken from her debut EP Square One, set for release on 29th January 2021. Lead single ‘Click’ is also out now, and available to stream in full on all good digital service providers.

Commenting on the single Zarif says: “Dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment means your whole life stops—everything else takes a back seat while you enter battle mode. You are faced with the concept of your own mortality and identity, but there’s also the opportunity for perspective. As an artist, this meant clarity on who I am and what I want to create. Writing songs is so cathartic, and the whole EP is me trying to make sense of it all and move forwards.”

“‘Nothing But A Memory’ is one of those times when the video idea came before the song choice. We shot the video about a week before I was due to start chemotherapy. I wanted to somehow take control of the inevitable, and turn something destructive into something creative; something constructive. I decided to pay homage to the famous head shaving scene in Empire Records (one of my favourite ‘90s movies).”

“Nothing But A Memory seemed like the perfect backdrop to the video. Originally written about a relationship, the song is about change; how endings can make you feel like you’re stuck in one place while the world carries on around you, memories that were once your whole world fading away. But it’s also about the positives of change—reinvention, shedding the old and starting again.”

The single was produced by John Calvert (Mercury-nominated for Ghostpoet’s Shedding Skin album) with the video directed by writer/ director Joanna Coates, best known for her haunting debut feature, Hide and Seek, for which she won the The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at the 2014 Edinburgh International Film Festival, with cinematography by award-winning Iranian DoP Hamid Ahmadi

An independent Anglo-Iranian artist from London inspired by strong female icons like Karen O and PJ Harvey, Zarif’s forthcoming EP is 4 tracks of melodic alt-rock/pop which marries cutting riffs with lush harmonies in a nod to the ‘90s. Thematically, the EP explores the uncertainty of change, tracing the transience of relationships and experiences over the course of life.

If Zarif’s name is already familiar it’s because the release of her debut album, Box of Secrets, caused a stir amongst the UK music press, with The Guardian naming her “the next big thing in British soul”. Styled by her major label at the time as the next pop-soul sensation, Zarif toured extensively around Europe and was the opening act for Beyoncé on the I am… Sasha Fierce UK tour, with Billboard Magazine describing her as “Amy Winehouse with Madonna’s pop flair.”

She has performed with John Legend, toured as a backing vocalist with Tom Odell, and had her music featured on TV and feature films, including Marvel’s Agent Carter and the Emmy Award-winning Catastrophe.

This time around Zarif took back control of her career and recorded the new EP completely independently, “in many a messy bedroom in South London”, away from the constraints of the major label machine. The lack of glamour or budget has ensured complete creative freedom. 

The result is an experimental, raw and exciting sound, part lo-fi rock riffs and part alt-pop, produced by Mercury-nominated John Calvert (Ghostpoet, NAO) and mixed by John Catlin (Led Zeppelin, Foals).

Further details and music TBA over the coming months.

Zarif’s new EP Square One is released 29th January 2021

Square One tracklist:

1. Nothing But A Memory
2. Anonymous
3. Click
4. Back To Square One

Square One EP artwork:

Tagged: Zarif