LADIES is the fourth release from creative supergroup, The X Collective, and the second release by collective members Zapho and Chloë Agnew following their groove-stomping debut, ‘WB’ which hit the Irish music scene back in April 2021. Fans of the Collective have been growing in numbers, and Ladies is reflective of the unique blend of musical styles they’ve come to know and love.
Strength and empowerment are values woven through the very fabric of The X Collective, and ‘Ladies’ sees these play out with particular emphasis on, as the name suggests, women. Stunning vocals from Zapho and Chloë Agnew blend like alchemy over a driving beat and catchy synth hooks, and the result is an uplifting anthem that captures both the collective and individual strengths of the two artists.
‘Ladies’ was born out of a songwriting camp hosted by the Collective that was loaded with powerful female energy, and like with previous releases from the group, it captures and gives the listener a taste of the creative magic that unfolded there. Emily Shaw, The X Collective co-founder says: ‘With some of the best talent in the country at the camp, this track was one of ten songs written and produced over the weekend, each on par in terms of quality and musicianship that you would never know they were made in a cozy Airbnb bedroom in Kilkenny. The creativity, love and genuine comradery created that weekend was next to indescribable.’
Written by women, for women, ‘Ladies’ is a celebration of the woman in all her many forms. It is a musical emblem of the artists, the culture, and the songwriting camp out of which it was born.
In both lyric and theme, the song represents the relationship between women, so often an instant bond akin to that found in the ladies room of a nightclub. Driven by lifting each other up and finding a shared sense of strength and resilience, one that is sometimes far from reach outside the realms of female friendship.
Such is the relationship between the two Rathfarnham musicians, Zapho and Chloë who, in a serendipitous twist of fate, were paired together at a songwriting camp in 2019 where they found a unique chemistry in both their music and their experiences as women. ‘Ladies’ is a manifestation of that relationship, extending now to a wider audience of women who resonate with it. Together they create a driving pop track with themes of change, empowerment and sisterhood, which is represented by gang vocals from Senita Appiakorang and Jess Kav.
Zapho on meeting Chloë Agnew:
“We wrote what ended up being The X Collective’s first single ‘WB’ in under a day. What I loved about that particular collaboration was that it was my first time writing with another woman, someone who shared my experiences, who walked in my shoes as a musician, who had the same worries and fears and hopes and dreams as me. Besides that, I was just blown away by her musicality and writing abilities. It was such a wholesome experience. That was where I first saw the absolute power of community, friendship, sharing of skills, resources and knowledge in music.”
“Collaborating with The X Collective community genuinely has been one of the most rewarding musical experiences in my career to date. It has allowed me to explore a whole new side to song writing and expressing myself through music in a way that has been so freeing and exciting. Every time I’m in a room with Zapho and our X Collective family a little piece of me comes alive and the process for creating our latest release ‘Ladies’ was one of the most fun and empowering writing sessions I’ve been a part of. We laughed, danced and had a great buzz throughout the whole session and knew we had a fun upbeat anthem for women all over the world. It’s so incredible to see all the musical layers that have been added since along with the finest playing & musicianship from our X Collective band.
Our group is largely dominated by women and it’s been a real joy finding a safe space and a community to create with that promotes the power of what women can do when they join forces. I’m so proud that this song encapsulates that.”