Freshman Zaira Ulmer finds her voice through music

THROUGH+THE+CAMERA%3A+Freshman+Zaira+Ulmer+shoots+for+her+first+release+%E2%80%9CWannabe%E2%80%9D+in+the+fall+of+last+year.

Zaira Ulmer

THROUGH THE CAMERA: Freshman Zaira Ulmer shoots for her first release “Wannabe” in the fall of last year.

Karen Wang, Staff Writer

Notebook in one hand and pen in the other, there isn’t a moment in freshman Zaira Ulmer’s day where she’s not turning her thoughts or epiphanies into music. Songwriting since childhood, Ulmer, who goes by the stage name iazY, recently released her third single and music video “Delete it All.”

With guitar and piano, Ulmer traces her roots on Youtube to posting freestyle music sessions and singing live along with covers to iconic songs like “How to be a Heartbreaker” by Marina & the Diamonds. Releasing her first music video for “Wannabe” just six months ago, Ulmer has previously performed the single at Northwood’s talent show this past February and hopes to continue in live shows in the future.

This love for songwriting began with a simple inclination toward writing short stories as a kid. Teaching herself the basics of piano at just 9 years old, Ulmer saw the intersection of her passions for literary and musical expression in writing originals and covering songs of other artists.

“I think my love for making up stories growing up really led me to the art of songwriting,” Ulmer said. “One day I made a song up in my head then wrote it down to remember, and it’s been endgame ever since then. Make songwriting like your diary, because one day you could have a whole catalog of songs that costs millions.”

Now available for streaming on her YouTube, “Delete it All”’s music video highlights the struggle of letting go and features clips of Ulmer and her brothers. Her internal conflicts are symbolized by a dark chase through the woods and the presence of something unknown always lurking behind. The single emulates both sadness and redirection through its liberating lyrics and powerful melody.

“All of my past music videos were really played safe, so I wanted to do something a bit darker than usual,” Ulmer said. “‘Delete it All’ is really just about these kids running away after having to hurt a man who betrayed their trust because they realize that something or someone is still lurking around.” 

Production for the video among others wasn’t without a team effort. The vision began with the simple imagination of a beat that could work with lyrics Ulmer had in mind. 

“Usually before even thinking about the beat of the song, I like to write it first, then see how I can make it work. After the beat was finished, I of course recorded vocals and played around with ad libs,” Ulmer said. “Then my producer mixed and mastered it, making the creation finally come to life.”

Working in technical theater with building carpentry and running crew for productions such as The Ash Girl also provided Ulmer with experience and skill in planning out her own music videos. And with over 70k views on YouTube and three music videos with more to come, it’s safe to say that iazY is an up-and-rising star in the making.

“I hope that my music can be heard worldwide one day as I continue to improve my wordplay and creative skills,” Ulmer said. “My biggest inspiration in the music industry definitely has to be the one and only Ms. Doja Cat. I love her balance of goofiness, seriousness and work ethic and how she works hard while speaking her mind.”