By Stephanie Kelly, Arts Subeditor
Ziggy 2000 is not a name you might have heard of… yet. The Bristol based artist is one of our very own, a second-year French student who is now on track to release an EP and, once lockdown ends, finally get on stage.
You might think that grunge, punk, and alt-rock has taken the backbench when it comes to contemporary, youth-driven music culture. Among a wave of low-fi singers, SoundCloud rappers and producers that currently dominate the student music scene, it’s refreshing for someone to compose simple but infectious melodies and turn them into rock ballads once again.
Especially since she’s a girl, and unashamedly so: ‘Girl-rock is so underrated. There really aren’t enough girls to look up to in rock music these days.’ She’s not wrong, the latter half of the twentieth century was full of inspirational female punk, rock and alt artists (think Verruca Salt, Hole and early 2000s pop-punk band Paramore):
‘These days, you can only look to the 90s for inspiration. Electronic music has just kind of taken over. But I don’t want to diss other female artists at all! Sometimes it just feels as if music nowadays is so self-conscious and complicated. It’s just way too polished. Rock bands can be so simple and raw. I just want to make the music that I love listening to!’
‘There’s definitely some good stuff out there,’ she continues. Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell and Beabadobee are two massive inspirations for Ziggy 2000, both sonically and stylistically. She reminisces on ‘cringey’ scene culture, growing up with emo/pop-punk bands like My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday, and the long stripy, rainbow socks that she would wear as a child. Her style and music definitely embody the sticky-sweet, unashamed joy that growing up in the early 2000s brought.
For the rest of us, the world progressively became bleaker, but at twenty, Ziggy 2000 still wears knee high converse and fairy hairclips. Think, Alex Russo from The Wizards of Waverley Place, but hardcore. More accurately, she would describe her dress sense as a mix of punk princess and Harajuku Street Fashion. It’s a perfect contradiction of a boyish, baggy skate style (The M32 skatepark is, in fact somewhere she often goes to skate) and the hyperfeminine: tiny pink tutus, glitter and butterflies.
More cartoon than human, there is something about Ziggy which is almost like someone just took a regular girl and turned the saturation up. The name ‘Ziggy 2000’ itself draws upon early internet culture: ‘It was my club penguin name!’ But she recognises that it also carries a lot of cultural weight. ‘It was a big point for me when I was deciding to use it or not.
‘The first thing Bear, my manager, said when I told him what I was going to be called, was that it reminded him of Bowie. Which I have no problem with because… it’s Bowie. And he’s incredible. I was just a bit worried people would think my music was an ode to Ziggy Stardust. But I feel like the '2000' offsets it a little. Makes it silly. It is kind of an ode, but to the 2000s. The weird part of early 2000s culture where the style was so awkward, but it still looked sick. Just cute shit and cool patterns kind of being thrown together, you know.’
It is stark how quickly Ziggy progressed from a first-year languages student to budding rock musician. In February she was studying French, going to MUN meetings and singing in the university choir. In March, as the country stumbled into its first lockdown, she decided to stop fiddling around with the ukulele and bass; she’d finally take the plunge and learn how to play guitar.
‘I just fell in love with it – I was obsessed. Once I got the hang of it, my music literally exploded. One of the first songs I ever wrote was called "Obvious". It sucked, but once I’d written a load of other songs, I revisited it and thought "Fuck!" I can actually do this. In that sense, lockdown pretty much changed my life.’
With enough songs to fill an album, Ziggy 2000 is now on the hunt for prospective band members. Her songs are currently in the midst of being produced and turned into demos, but a Kickstarter was made on the 19th of November to help her get started on recording an EP.
While the wonders of her music - lyrically charged, emotional, melodic with goosebump inducing riffs - are confined to her circle of close friends, manager and producer for now, let it be known here first: Ziggy 2000 is one to watch.
Featured: Stephanie Kelly
Have you listened to Ziggy 2000? Is there Life on Mars?