Zoe Wees released her debut single in March and immediately went viral. A raw, autobiographical ballad about the German teenager’s struggle with epilepsy, “Control” has racked up more than 30 million streams on Spotify and spawned a club remix courtesy of NOTD. After charting across Europe, the song is slowly making its way to the US and could well end up being a global hit. What’s the appeal? For starters, there’s that voice. Zoe possess a powerful instrument and squeezes every ounce of emotion out of it on “Control.”
The song is also deeply relatable. While Zoe penned it about coming to terms with epilepsy, it rings true to anyone experiencing hardship — be it physical, mental or otherwise. “Early in the morning I still get a little bit nervous, fighting my anxiety constantly I try to control it,” the 18-year-old begins the song. “Even when I know it’s been forever I can still feel the spin, hurts when I remember and I never wanna feel it again.” That takes us to the soaring chorus. “I don’t wanna lose control,” she belts. “Nothing I can do anymore.”
Ultimately, the song is about processing trauma. “Losing control during my seizures made me feel claustrophobic, and that affected everything I did,” Zoe explains. “The song served as the most direct way to process and tell my own story. It was painful to write but also very healing.” Get to know the breakout star a little better by checking out the original version of “Control” and the club remix below. Expect to hear a lot more from her this year.
The original version: