An artist from around the Boston area, Dorchester, named Zyla Sol started her solo career in 2018. She explains where she got her name from, "I don't even remember exactly how I came across the name Zyla but I like that it means, 'a follower, reflective, shadow.' The Sol part.. meaning sun, balancing the shadow out," she continues, "together, it means that I thrive in the shadows and follow the sun. I think of the times that we are in, as very dark, apocalyptic feeling... I want to be able to still shine my light through it all. I really love sci-fi and think there is so much truth to be told through fiction. I have always been a night owl. I never thought I could work in academia, simply because I hated the thought of waking up early on a daily basis but miracles happen. I am thankful." Freedom, fulfillment and healing attracted her to the music industry.
Zyla goes on about how she has always been musically inclined but it took her awhile to take her music career seriously; getting into visual art as she got older and studying music academically gave her a push. "I majored in Afro-American Studies at Smith College with a focus in music and history. I worked as a creative consultant at the Hip-Hop Archive at Harvard University and became an English and History secondary teacher," she added. She mentioned that she loves finding ways to incorporate music into her classroom, "it became easier to do now that Hip-Hop has been recognized by elitist as a 'real' art form but I have still gotten resistance. I think I wanted an outlet outside of all of that because I still felt like something was missing. I realized that visual art was not giving me the same release that I needed. My body needed a release from the throat chakra so it was time to get back into an old hobby. I tried a band but that didn't work out...that led me to start my own thing."
When we asked what were Zyla's favorite pieces she has created so far, she responded, "Musically speaking, 'Before the Fall' from Yazyla Solstice and 'Lay Your Burden' from Cold Moon." Her favorite part about being a music artist is the creation process, she continues to tell us that she loves making things fit together like a puzzle. She explains how she loves fixating on a project and staying up late into the night to get it done or barely sleeping at all, "I thrive when I can create without being interrupted. The majority of each project was done in a pretty short time frame while I was either on spring or winter break." Sol opens up and shares that there have been times where she loved performing and then times when she hated it, "I think it really depends on my mood. Sometimes being around people gives me life and other times, it feels like it's just too much. I get a sensory overload and can't figure out how to tune the noise out. Creating while no ones watching is always fun."
Zyla's message to her audience and supporters: " I am a multi-dimensional artist and teacher. I love experimenting with different mediums and trying new things. I love being a teacher because I am always learning. I am just starting to sell my paintings so stay on the look out for those! Everything else about me is for them to find out through the art itself."