Zoe Wees Belts Powerful 'Girls Like Us' During 2021 American Music Awards

2021 American Music Awards - Fixed Show

Photo: Getty Images North America

Zoe Wees is an up-and-coming trailblazing artist, whose self-described “dark” sound delves into her own complex stories with hopes of empowering others.

The American Music Awards honoree performed her hit song “Girls Like Us” live on Sunday night (November 21), marking the AMA Song of the Soul Moment. That’s a moment in the show that “celebrates the power of music and the artists that use their voices to inspire change,” according to the AMAs. Wees recalled being in a London recording studio when her team called her to tell her that she’d be performing at the AMAs, and “I freaked out,” she recalled, gushing that she’d “never heard of German, Black, 19-year-old artists performing at the AMAs and this is something that I wanna use. This is my power... this is just so dope. This is just so dope.”

Wees, 19, promised an “epic” performance of her second single, “Girls Like Us,” when she spoke with iHeartRadio on Friday (November 19). She hoped the rendition would help fans and viewers “feel better in their bodies. This is all I want to tell the people with this performance, that we’re good the way we are, and we should love ourselves.”

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Wees has immersed herself in music her entire life. That includes by listening to Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and other influential artists, including modern idols like Jessie J, Tate McRae, Doja Cat and others: “The thing is, I can’t remember a day where I wasn’t singing, where I wasn’t doing anything that has to do with music. I was always into music… I can’t live without music. Music is just, like, 99% of me.” Wees said writing music is “so strong to be able to express yourself in your own words.” She grew up with Benign Rolandic Epilepsy, which can cause seizures. Wees credits one of her teachers with helping her growing up, and she channeled her emotions into the song that became her debut single, “Control.” She admits that she never thought she’d release it, but calls it the “perfect” first single because of its honesty. Wees said that although writing about personal topics can be difficult, “it’s therapeutic … I want the people to get to know me through my music and that’s all I’ve ever wanted, to just be free, be an artist, be creative, and be able to do what I want with my music.”

And she’s far from done: “I have so many stories that I wanna share with the whole world, and I hope people are gonna hear that.”

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