Need a new pop-rock superstar in your life? Well, count yourself lucky – we have just the answer! We were honored to interview star-in-the-making Zoe Ko, whose debut EP Baby Teeth dropped November 3rd!
Baby Teeth is five tracks of angst-pop perfection! If you’re a 20-something teenager, then Zoe is the artist for you. We discussed all of Zoe’s inspirations from Gwen Stefani to Olivia Rodrigo to Captain Marvel, plus what it was like to work with Catie Turner and Katie from The Aces!
Though she may find inspiration in these icons, with her debut EP Zoe has found her unique voice, and we couldn’t love it any more if we tried! From TikTok fave ‘Baby Teeth’ to new single ‘Pink Noise,’ we’re down bad. So we won’t keep you waiting any longer! Read on for our interview with Zoe Ko!
Congrats on the release of your first EP! When we first listened to the title track ‘Baby Teeth’ it actually reminded us of UK 2000s indie before the bridge even kicked in! What made you sing in a British accent for the bridge?
I first sang the bridge into the mic in a British accent as a joke then my producer and I actually thought it was kind of sick. So, we kept it in the song as the final take and then decided to take it a step further and do the backup vocals in a (very poorly done) French accent! It was so much fun we were hysterically laughing.
You’ve mentioned that ‘Pink Noise’ is your favorite track from the EP. We’re completely in love with the transition and the laughing adlibs, but what about the track that makes it stick out for you?
I am obsessed with the guitar riff! It sounds kind of like the Tequila song! I also adore all the women artists I got to work on this with! All the background vocals are done by friends and other women artists. I literally texted them and said…, “would you wanna come to the studio and moan on a song of mine?” It was quite entertaining.
What’s something that you think is “cute until it’s ugly?”
“Cute until its ugly” I feel can be perfectly described as the cat Goose from Captain Marvel who looks so cute like a normal cat but then opens its mouth and eats you in one bite. That’s how I’m trying to be with my feminine rage. Same with Carrie, she’s so pretty and cute on stage and then the kids try and mess with her, pour the blood on her, but then she makes all their heads explode!
You have songs ‘Rib Cage’ and ‘Baby Teeth,’ if you could complete the hat trick and release another song with a body part in the title, what would it be called?
Oh, just wait and see what I got in store next year! I would have to choose cheeks. An ode to one of my old songs ‘Lovesick In Public.’
Speaking of ‘Rib Cage,’ it’s such a cathartic listen! Was it the same kind of emotional release for you when creating the track?
Oh my god yes! So so cathartic to write and sing. I sang the final take in just a few takes and late at night when I was really tired and sick. I felt so proud of how emotion came through in the vocals. For me this song helped me work through some family trauma, past relationship trauma and coming to terms with how much I moved growing up.
We love how you managed to articulate the feeling of homesickness when it can be such an abstract feeling! Do you have any tips or cures for homesickness?
I’d say feeling grateful for the present and experiences that you are having that day. I recently moved to LA and miss NYC so much, but I have found things I adore about California that I can’t get in NYC and that’s made me feel like I’m making a new home for myself, not necessarily to bandaid or replace the things that made NYC special to me.
When we heard about you and Catie Turner working together, it just made complete sense to us. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?
I had the concept for ‘Rib Cage’ a few weeks before the session with Catie was scheduled but I knew I wanted to save it for when we wrote together because she was the perfect person to help make the story come to life. And I was right. I brought the concept in and immediately we all loved it and wrote it pretty quickly in that one day.
We’re also huge fans of The Aces here at THP! What was working with Katie like, and how did it come about?
Katie is perfect. She came in and with hardly any direction knew exactly what the songs needed and the energy that was missing. She’s also one of the best hangs and so inspiring hearing what The Aces have accomplished in the few past years.
‘Petri Dish’ sets our self-esteem sky high every time we listen to it. What songs do you listen to for a confidence boost?
I listen to Gwen Stefani’s ‘Hollaback Girl’ and ‘What You Waiting For,’ Marina and the Diamonds ‘Bubblegum Bitch,’ and Avril Lavigne’s ‘Girlfriend.’
The tracks on Baby Teeth each have such an emotional release in them, so what we’re saying is that we’d love to see them live and scream along! You have the shows with Carpool Tunnel and Chase Petra coming up, but can we expect some more in 2024?
Yes!!! I already have a small tour as an opener planned in early 2024 that I haven’t announced and I’m trying to put a headline show together with some insanely talented women artists in LA soon too in the new year.
What would you say is the biggest difference between the Baby Teeth EP and ‘Line’ and ‘Lovesick In Public,’ your biggest singles so far?
This EP was so much about self-reflection and helped solidify my voice as an artist, though that’s forever evolving. I also feel the most confident about my vocal performance in these songs. I feel like this project sets the foundation for my career and for what people can look forward to next!
This EP is perfect for every 20-something teenage girl! What other artists would you put on a “20-something teenage girl” playlist if you were to make one?
Gwen Stefani, Mariana and The Diamonds, Avril Lavigne, Paramore, The Ting Tings, Anna Sofia, Lola Young, UPSAHL, Troye Sivan, Kesha, and Olivia Rodrigo.
Thanks so much to Zoe for taking the time to talk to us!
Don’t forget to stream Zoe Ko’s Baby Teeth right here!
And for more THP interviews like this one with Zoe Ko, head this way!