From the first, bluesy lines, you can tell this song is about to hit you in your feels. 18-year-old Zola captures the modern teenage social landscape perfectly, as it is rife with backstabbing “frenemies” and the like. (But we aren’t speaking from experience or anything like that.) Explains Zola:

“[‘Not Like Other Girls’ is about] finding the courage to stand up for one’s self in the face of a bullying or gaslighting ‘friend.’ The phrase is inherently misogynistic, labeling other girls as inferior. The irony is that this girl who thinks herself superior is actually the opposite.”

What a deeply layered and gorgeous song. But it is the rhythm and standout vocals that really tell the story here, and we are stoked to see what direction Zola takes us in 2021. Allow yourself to melt into the music below.

Meredith Schneider