Zia Jade dropped her new single “High” yesterday, and it’s a track both in and out of its time.
Just a few weeks ago, PinkPantheress produced shockwaves on social media with her “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2”, her intoxicating collaboration with rapper-of-the-moment Ice Spice. What really attracted attention, though, wasn’t the au courant star performers but rather the nostalgic garage-inflected R&B sound of the track that warmly recaptured the sound of the early 00s.
A world away in Australia, Zia has captured this same enticing quality on her new single – after all, why should the UK have all the fun with garage music?
Over twinkling keys and mellow production, the Newcastle artist’s soulful and confident vocals dominates “High”. Add in a sterling verse from Brisbane rapper and producer Nerve, and the contradictory but complementary tones of their voices happily recall the classic combos of R&B of yesteryear.
“”High” represents a time in my life when I was in a toxic relationship and was too high on the idea of love to leave,” Zia explains. “(Nerve’s) enthusiasm towards “High” was heartwarming and working with Nerve has been an incredible experience.”
The rapper was equally enthused about the collaboration. “I think it’s a dope track, and it was a lot of fun working with the UK Garage sound.” It really gave me space to glide with it, and take my time alongside Zia’s airy vocals. I feel like this sound has rarely been tapped into in Australia, and I’m keen to see where it goes.”
“High” feels like the start of something big for Zia. Her first single for Island Records Australia, the track feels like the ideal introduction to this new chapter of her music career.
It follows Zia’s previous song, the bouncing “Busy”, which she considers to be the ideal companion piece to “High”. It’s early days, obviously, but this emerging voice in Australian R&B should have a big few years ahead of her.
Zia Jade’s “High” (ft. Nerve) is out now via Island Records Australia.