Zendaya Debuts New Song ‘Close Up’, Talks Second Album in ‘Hunger’
Mr. Photographer, I think Zendaya is ready for her close up.
The young, multi-talented superstar on the rise has been making plenty of headlines lately, but not so much for her artistry: Instead, she's made waves — at times unintentionally — for speaking out about social justice issues, from Giuliana Rancic's poor choice of "joke" about her dreadlocks on E!'s Fashion Police (which prompted a perfect, mature response on Z's end), to educating about cultural appropriation to calling out photographers for retouching her body and criticizing beauty standards. For all those reasons, it's perhaps no surprise that she was recently included in TIME's 30 Influential Teens list.
But now, it's time to get back to another talent Zendaya has to offer beyond just her critical thinking about social issues: Her music career, leading to a brand new fashion film and interview with acclaimed photographer Rankin's Hunger.
The clip, which features clothing from Vivienne Westwood's Fall/Winter 2015 and couture collections, sees Z channelling her inner supermodel of the world and supplying plenty of fierce and strong looks, only aiding in her current reputation as a young style icon in the making. And to make the deal even sweeter, the film is soundtracked by a new, Timbaland-produced song called "Close Up" off of her upcoming sophomore record, due out in early 2016.
For fans of her self-titled debut, the difference in style is pretty evident: "Close Up" provides a more mature, hard-edged urban sound — and certainly more sensual lyricism: "Silent shooter, you got me when I least expected / Working angles, you getting me from all directions," she purrs. "There's a bigger picture I just wanna show ya."
Deeper into Hunger, Zendaya dishes on what to expect from #Z2, which — in addition to Timbaland — she's reportedly been working on with Babyface and Diane Warren.
"This new album is kind of me talking about stuff that at this point I finally understand, and have been through and can speak about. It’s not super deep; it’s all around the ideas of love. Dealing with love for the first time and what that means to me has been a big part of the album," she says.
It also sounds as though she's exploring some experimental territory: "A lot of labels are afraid of the kind of music that I want to do, because it’s something different," she reveals. "I don’t necessarily want to make what’s already on the radio, or what every young girl my age is doing."
She went on to discuss her inspirations — and their inspirations: "Michael Jackson, for example, took elements of other [music] that people didn’t necessarily remember. He used inspiration from everyone, from James Brown to Fred Astaire, and moulded it into his own creation. It’s the difference between just copying somebody else’s stuff or recycling it and turning it into something new."
If there's anyone to count on in this new crop of pop stars to bring that newness, it's Zendaya.
Fresh-faced, #nofilter photos of Zendaya + more pop stars: