Zima kamimoto talks about innate leverage

Singer-songwriter Zima Kamimoto is gearing up for an exciting new chapter in her musical career with the upcoming release of her second album “Horror Protagonist — Act I: Innate Leverage”, released May 11, 2024.  Having garnered acclaim for her debut record, Zima is set to enchant listeners once again with her new sound and captivating lyrics. In this exclusive interview, we have the privilege of delving into the details behind Zima’s latest musical endeavor, uncovering the inspirations and experiences that have shaped her new album.

What inspired the direction of your second album compared to your first?

The Snow Queen is an album that has years of planning behind it. Everything about it was stressful because every single detail was very clear and specific in my mind and it had to be done that way, I wasn’t allowing myself to divert from that. Innate Leverage is an album that I conceived out of the blue a month ago, after waking up and being tired of feeling like the victim all the time. I knew that I wanted the overall theme of this album to be about confidence and empowerment, but that was it. I knew it was fair to allow myself more freedom this time around.

How is Innate Leverage’s sound different from The Snow Queen’s sound?

Well, Innate Leverage isn’t hyperpop. It was inspired by K-Pop, by all those big anthems I love that talk about empowerment and belief in oneself. K-Pop’s inspiration is present everywhere on this album. I did keep some hyperpop elements vocally, though.

The time gap between The Snow Queen and Innate Leverage is less than four months. Is there a reason for that?

I’ve decided that I want to release a lot of music in a short period of time because I’m not bothering a large amount of people with that. I’m not being overexposed in the media, so I’m just excited to be able to do this. The whole thing with Innate Leverage was very natural, though. I wasn’t writing just to write an album, I was writing to let out my feelings and writing about this whole self-love epiphany I had, and have, going on. I wrote and recorded this album in less than a month and there was nothing stopping me from releasing it whenever I wanted.

The album’s cover art depicts you dressed as a princess in Paris and the album, titled “Innate Leverage”, is part of a saga called “Horror Protagonist”, so it’s all kind of contradictory. Could you explain to us the meaning behind this?

Obviously, the album’s theme is self-confidence. But I was someone who was kind of constantly looked down upon growing up. I’ve struggled with mental illness my entire life and there have been points in time where I’ve had people pray for me, and not even in a good way. Most of the times it was coming from a “holier-than-thou” place. The day  after I wrote A Win For Me, I spoke to someone who had done all this in the past and they were just in a really dark place. I just found it amusing how things change, how they were in my old position now and I had just written a song about how I’m okay with a guy seeing other girls because I’m confident that will make him like me more, because he’ll realize he won’t find someone like me. That inspired me to write the song Horror Protagonist and gave me an idea for this album to be part of a saga.

I understand you can’t give too much away, but please tell us a brief description of what this saga is going to be about.

Exploring your emotions without compromising your self-esteem.

Amazing. Can you share any memorable moments or experiences during the creation of this album?

Creating this album has been one of my life’s greatest experiences. It wasn’t only me making an album, it was me writing from this new mindset, this new self-concept, this new reality, and becoming even more present in it the more I wrote.

How meaningful is vishnya’s collaboration on this album to you?

I’m really grateful she accepted to do guest vocals for A Girl Like Me. Her voice repeating my lyrics, what I think of myself, represents other people adapting this mindset of self-love as well. Another girl thinking that there will never be a girl like her is the whole point of the album, the very exact belief I want this album to make everyone believe.

Are there any particular tracks on this album that hold special significance to you?

Every single song on this album is very, very special to me. I love them all and I really mean it. However, my favorite songs are Zimakarma and A Win For Me.

The city of Paris plays a big role in the theme of this album. How did the city inspire you when writing this album?

The album takes place in Paris, but it also matches perfectly with the pink, princessy royal vibe. I also wanted to capture that inspiration in the aesthetics of this album. I have always felt this city is very me.

Are there any specific messages or emotions you hope listeners take away from this album?

I’ve said this so many times already in less than twenty four hours after the album’s release, but I truly hope that every single person, especially women, relates to every single word I sing on this album. I want them to feel irrepleacable, beautiful, powerful, like they have the power to change anything. That’s my only goal. 

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