She's named after a 19th-century coal miner's wife and grew up in one of Arizona's oldest towns, so it's fitting that singer-songwriter Zella Day's cool, ethereal aesthetic appears to be straight out of another era. But when it comes to her voice, well, she's downright otherworldly. To see more exclusive images of Day, pick up a copy of InStyle's September issue, on newsstands and available for digital download now.
Zella Day is a sun child—a lemony blonde with subtle freckles and crystalline eyes, all of which light up whenever she steps outside, whether she's running with her dog or playing music festivals for die-hard Day fans. A free-spirited girl at heart, the 21-year-old indie-pop songstress grew up in the mountains of Pinetop, Ariz., near an Apache reservation. By her teens, Day was playing acoustic covers of Bob Dylan and the Beatles in a local coffeehouse.
Almost a decade later, she's setting off on an 11-week tour on which she'll headline 17 shows around the country. The gig Day most anticipates is at Red Rocks, a natural amphitheater in Colorado. "You're just completely in nature's stage," Day says. "Every musician friend I have says that's the most magical arena to play."
Onstage, Day dons her own brand of fashion she calls her "prairie rocker" look. Her ideal outfit consists of a "beautiful floral dress with a leather jacket on top." She strives to create movement, so that means "a lot of sheers and a lot of fringe."
Appropriately, Day draws style inspiration from Stevie Nicks, Cher, and even Mick Jagger. "Anytime I want to wear a pants outfit, I look to him." Many of Day's ensembles are culled from vintage stores—she considers her secondhand clothes "found treasures." Her goal for next year? Moving up to the main stage at Coachella. "I'd love to be decked out in a long-sleeve button-down with a little crop top and striped pants," she says. Just like Jagger.
Photographed by Wai Lin Tse; styled by Ali Pew; Hair by Christine Nelli for Exclusive Artists Management; Makeup by Fiona Stiles for The Wall Group; Manicure by Nettie Davis.