ZIA LINDBERG

Country Sweden

Style Melodic Rock/AOR

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Born on 26 of October 1966 in Lulea, a small town in the north of Sweden. From the age of 4, her 9 years older sister made her listen to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and CCR and these Rock n´roll giants had a huge impact on the little toddler. Zia also grew up listening to her mothers favourites, Ella Fitzgerald, Cleo Lane, Shirley Bassey, The Manhattan Transfer, Count Basie and Glenn Miller and to this day Zia has a soft spot when it comes to Swing music ” If I ever get married I want a live “Swing big band” to play at the wedding-reception”. At age 7, Zia discovered her own favourites in ABBA, Sweet and Suzi Quatro and by then she just knew that singing was what she would be doing for the rest of her life and her family have always supported this desicion.

“My favourite female singer is Dalbello and I´ve been mesmeriized since the first time I heard her voice and her music in the beginnig of the 80:ies. My favourite band of all times is Thin Lizzy and I wish that I had had the chance to see Phil Lynott live and I wish that he was still in this world today making great music, to me he was the ultimate musician”. At the age of 18 Zia left her home town and moved half-way across the country to Uppsala where her older sister, who introduced Zia to Hard Rock, by now had a well-respected academic career. Zia was hired for training show-jumping-horses outside of Uppsala but her dream was still to become a professional singer. In Uppsala she met Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) with whom she worked with in different kinds of projects ever since and he became a mentor with his great knowledge and his uncompromising devotion to music.

“I have never met anyone so focused and devoted to music as Roine. The result of a huge amount of talent, incredible skill, total committment and refusal to compromise his music, is fans all over the world enjoying his great music today. And he accomplished this all by himself with his own record-label, own production-company, own management and so on. I really admire him for this and for being just as great as a human being as he is a musician, he is a really beautiful person”. In the all girl band Miss Tress, where Zia was the lead-singer for a few years, she started to perform some of her own music and lyrics, an ambition that had been lurking in a drawer for many years.

In 1991 she moved to Stockholm and as a solo-artist, she won the “Swedish Masters of Rock” and was signed to Alpha Records, a one-record-deal that resulted in the cd “Zaniness” in 1993. As usual she turned to her old pals from Uppsala, Roine and co, to play on the album and her boyfriend Per Lid..n (Da Buzz) had become a member of her band as well as writing a couple of songs on the album. “Zaniness” was produced and engineered by Lasse Gustavsson who stepped in half-way through the project and literally saved it. “Lasse created a happy end of a very bitter start with a hung-over engineer and a dirty-minded producer (no names mentioned) who made obscene phone-calls in the middle of the night telling me what he was doing whilst listening to my voice.

It was a nightmare but since I was used working with one of the most professional guys in the business, Roine Stolt, I knew that I didn´t have to put up with this b-s and Roine and the guys in the band supported me in my drastic desicion. I basically gave the record-company an option to choose between me or the duo of disaster. But these guys, appointed by the record company, had been working for 20 years and here I was, a young woman, making my first album and telling the record company who they should hire and fire, I guess I wasn´t their favourite person in that moment 🙂 But the very next day Lasse Gustavsson was by my side and we completed the album the way it should have been done from the beginning, with joy and creativity and first and foremost in a professional manner.”

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After touring in Sweden and representing her home country in numerous International Song-festivals and Charity Events alongside worldwide known performers Zia was asked to go to Bosnia and sing to the UN-forces in 1994-1995 and she went, 4 times! The first trip to Sarajevo was originally cancelled by the federation of UN-performers since the situation in Bosnia was too dangerous but the band decided to go there despite the warnings. “What´s the use of an organisation formed for supporting the troops if they can´t be there when they are most needed”. Except for journalists, the band was the first foreign civilians to come to Sarajevo and Zia doesn´t regret this risky decision. “The UN helps people to get water and other necessities, everything we all take for granted every single day in our safe homes. I had no idea that our music would mean that much to the peacekeepers down there, but it did and I am grateful for being just a tiny part of something that important.” But being in a war-zone made Zia face reality in a way that noone can be prepared for .

“The absolute worst part was meeting all the orphans as we handed over clothes and toys we had brought from Sweden. One of these “shelters” was hit by missiles a few days after our visit and many of the children were killed. A week later I was back in Sweden and the first thing I did was to go to the local store to buy some groceries. When I heard people complaining about having to wait in line for a few minutes I started to cry and I just couldn´t stop. People who basically have a really good life are not even aware of it and that is also a huge tragedy in this world. For me this period in my life was the beginning of a personal transformation as the trips to Bosnia really put things in perspective”

In 1996 Zia was tired of being an solo-artist, always having to be on top of evertyhing and she found something completely different as she accepted the offer of being a back-up-singer for Dr. Alban. “It was such a relief to just grab my little bag, follow the roadmanagers directions and stay at 5-star hotels in beautiful places all over the world, singing the choruses of his hit-songs and getting the paycheck without being concerned about all the b-s in this industry that kills the joy of touring and making records”. The Swedish megastar “E-type” wanted her to tag along for his summer tour in 1997 and this was also a vacation compared to the obligations that comes with being a front-woman.

At that time, around 1996-1997 Zia was introduced to Run-4-Fun, a light-pop-/dance-/reggae-band that had climbed the charts in Scandinavia for the past years and was in for a big release in Japan. The band wanted to mix their pop-dance-music with Zia´s feel for Blues and Rock. “This was also so far off my own preferences in music but we started writing songs toghether and it was great fun. During the past years as I had been working with music that wasn´t Rock n´Roll-orientered I learnded that no matter what style your into, a good song is still a good song, and what I preferr is really depending on my current mood and situation. This was a huge eye-opener and it taught me to appriciate all different types of music. I was able to forget about image that mostly made me cut off the flow of creativity and inspiration and I started to write the music that was in me at the moment.

” The result of this was an album released in Japan 1999. But then the bands manager and owner of the record company Cool Music, Roy Colgate (former member of british band Scafell Pike), passed away. “Roy was a fit man in his late 40:ies and his tragic death was such a waste and the dircect result of what this business does to dedicated people. He was always stressed out about releases and songs and dead-lines and his heart just stopped in the middle of a gym-session. I lost my mother just as sudden in 1997 and for me Roys death was the end of my professional carreer. I just wanted to crawl under a stone, write music just for me and forget about the pressure and the strive for success, I just wanted out.”

And thats what she did. Today Zia lives close to the small city she was born in, with two kids, a dog, two cats and two guinnypigs. “Hopefully I have learned something from life and I feel like I have a story to tell and to me it is really important, both as a listener and a song-writer….and as a devoted Lynott-fan of course I love story-telling lyrics.” She laughes and finishes up with a promise. “The urge to perform is back and there will be another solo-album, hopefully with Roine since he is the only one who really understands what vibe I want to create in my songs. He is my arms and legs since I don´t play too well myself 🙂 And he just happens to be one of the best guitar-players ever, some girls have all the luck! There will definitely be some more touring in the future, not much but some… I miss it so much”. 

ZIA_ZANINESS

– Zaniness [1993]

Clive Jones

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