On Aug. 23, rising alt-pop musician Zella Day joined more than 40 other emerging and superstar acts at the inaugural Hot 100 Festival, a two-day, three-stage event at Nikon’s Jones Beach Theater in New York.
Having spent her summer performing at mammoth events such as Firefly and Lollapalooza, Day was used to playing for sunbaked festival crowds when she took the Hot 100’s Beach Stage on Sunday afternoon. Before her set, Zella told us her secret to presenting her music to the festival masses.
“I try harder to connect to the music than I do to the audience, because worrying about the audience can be a little bit overwhelming,” says the 20-year-old Arizona native. “I think I have this mentality that I always need to rise to the occasion, so I always get in warrior mode [before a show]. Like, okay, this is what I’ve got to do. I’m gonna kill it right now.”
And kill it she did. Zella’s unforgettable sunset performance — which featured enchanting renditions of hits like “High” and “Sweet Ophelia” — was presented via Billboard’s partnership with the Patch. Created by Sour Patch Kids, The Patch supports touring musicians by providing them with houses in Austin and Brooklyn, N.Y., that fuels inspiration and immersing them into a community of like-minded creatives.
Leading up to her set, Billboard’s cameras trailed Day and documented her every move from the time she arrived on site to the moment she left the stage. Watch the video above and get up-close and personal with one of music’s most exciting new stars.