Hangout Snapshot: Get a Closer Look at Zella Day

05/16/2015 12:26 pm ET | Updated May 16, 2016

This spot the next several days will feature up-and-coming artists who were performing at the 2015 Hangout festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama, from May 15-17. 

It kicks off with Zella Day, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Pinetop, Arizona, who now resides in Los Angeles. Her debut album, Kicker, will be released June 2 on Pinetop Records/ Hollywood Records. 

Zella Day selfieJust a short walk from the beach, Day stopped by to chat and provide some up close-and-personal information (and even took a selfie, left) in this quick-hitting Q&A before her set on the Palladia Stage on May 15:

Claim to fame: What got you here?
ZD: My record that I'm releasing June 2. I released an EP last year in October. And it's just been a slow build. So my music got's me here. 

Beach essential: Shades, swimsuit or volleyball?
ZD: Swimsuit, because I need a tan more than anybody here probably. (laughs) My whole body's covered up for a reason. 

Secret you're finally well-adjusted enough to share?
ZD: I have a whole record full of them. They're going to be coming out on June 2. All of the dirty laundry aired. 

Where do you go from here (literally or figuratively)?
ZD: Well, I go home tomorrow. And I'm a week at home. I just got done with a month and a half of touring. And I've got more festivals and then some headlining shows. I'm just kind of adjusting myself to the new pace of life for me. 

Shore thing in Gulf Shores (what's on top of your to-do list)?
ZD: Well, I'm going to spending my time at the festival, obviously, so I'm going to be seeing Foo Fighters later. Probably get me a swimsuit and go see the Foo Fighters. 

Zella Day 1

You're on the clock to make an Unabashedly Shameless Plug for 10 seconds: Go!
ZD: So I've got my new record coming out June 2. It's called Kicker. I'm playing a headlining show at the Troubadour in L.A. for the record release on June 3. So if you can make it, make it out there. And besides that, just listen to my music. I'm releasing a lot of it, and music videos. I'm working really hard right now. So, hopefully, it's gonna connect. 

What's the inside story behind your name?
ZD: Zella is from the 1840s. My parents got married in Jerome, Arizona. And when they were getting married, they were looking for baby names. And there was a book of the town's history in Jerome, and they were scouting locations for the wedding. And they just walked into a museum and they were looking through this book. And one of the main coal miner's wives was named Zella -- 1842. There's actually a song on the record called "Jerome." That's about the ghostly woman behind my name. 

What's your biggest fear about the water?
ZD: Being held under. I don't like feeling like I can't make it to the top. 

Flip-flops, sneakers or Crocs?
ZD: (laughs) Well, Crocs are best of both worlds. So Crocs for sure. 

Surf, paddleboard, para-sail, deep-sea fishing or snorkeling?
ZD: It would have to be between snorkeling and surfing. Because I really like both. I live in L.A. and I lived in Long Beach before. I'm from Arizona but I grew up snowboarding. So when I moved to California, surfing was just kind of a natural transition. So I've been out in the water a bit. But then I also love snorkeling. I've been to Indonesia, snorkeled in Indo. They're both really fun. 

Your greatest athletic feat?
ZD: I went to Spain and played in the Donosti Cup for soccer. I was 14 and I was really serious about soccer. And we actually won second place. So I went to Europe, played soccer on the Arizona state team. And I broke my ankle shortly after that, so that kind of ended my soccer career. 

What do you have that Skrillex and Diplo don't?
ZD: (laughs) A guitar? 

If you could go to dinner and a movie with another Hangout performer this weekend, who would it be, what would you see and why?
ZD: Well, I'm sharing a trailer with Jenny Lewis. And so I feel like she'd be kind of fun to eat shrimp cocktail with and maybe go see a film. I don't know what film we would go see. I don't even know what's out in theaters right now. I've been on the road too much. I've been really into Pulp Fiction and Natural Born Killers. So maybe we would eat shrimp cocktail and watch Natural Born Killers on the beach. Me and Jenny Lewis. 

Along with Zella Day, Day 1 of Hangout featured a number of terrific performances dominated by women with a fashion flair. Here's a look at some of the best: 

Halsey glasses


Five Knives Nathan Barlowe, Anna M'Queen

Five Knives

Houndmouth Matt Myers plays

Houndmouth frontman Matt Myers

Jenny Lewis smile

Jenny Lewis

Macy Gray look

Macy Gray (with Galactic)

Concert photos by Michael Bialas. See more from the Hangout Festival.