Hyde Park's Mia Zanotti's 'Tell Nobody' single now available
The music plays in the background as Mia Zanotti washes a client's hair.
It's the first time the customer sitting in the chair has heard the tune, but she recognizes the voice.
"Is that you?" says Marie Honkus, who is at A Finished Appearance Salon and Day Spa in Lower Burrell for her scheduled appointment with her favorite assistant, Zanotti. "You sound wonderful. Isn't she good? You are so talented. You can go as far as you want to go with that beautiful voice."
No matter how far her voice has taken or will take her, Zanotti vows her heart will never leave the Alle-Kiski Valley. She could live in Los Angeles or New York or any other big city, but chooses at this point in her life to stay in her hometown of Hyde Park.
"Staying here is important to me," Zanotti says. "I was born and raised here, and the people here have always supported me. I truly appreciate that. I love being here and working at the salon. There are so many creative women there, and they accommodate my schedule."
That schedule includes trips to Los Angeles for recording and other cities for appearances. Her latest single, "Tell Nobody," was released last month, and she was playing it for Honkus. The song is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music and Spotify.
It's a tune about relationships and life experiences. The 19-year-old Kiski Area High School cyber school graduate collaborated on the piece with artist Ryan Toby, whom she calls an amazing spirit. The song is via White Label and being distributed through Empire. She plans to release more songs over the next few months.
"Tell Nobody" Available everywhere now!!!! ☑️ pic.twitter.com/SFJHq0NYBJ— Mia Zanotti (@MiaZanotti) February 16, 2018
She's written 70 with her mother, Lorey Zanotti, and another 30 with her team of Toby, Kirk Lightburn, an A&R (artist and repertoire) rep for Sony, and a producer who is known as "Mr. Nobody" in the business.
"To study music , we must learn the rules. To create music, WE must break them." Collaboration••••••••• •TELL NOBODY• ✔️✔️ Produced by @CobaineIvory Written by @ryantobyryan : Angus Smythe pic.twitter.com/HONnBU1DfY— Mia Zanotti (@MiaZanotti) February 25, 2018
She describes her music as having blues roots and plans to expand on that genre, while remaining loyal to her true sound and taste in music.
"I want my music to be meaningful for everyone – people of all ages," Zanotti says. "I just want to keep working hard and making music."
She says every experience in her life adds something positive to her music — from her time on NBC's "The Voice" three years ago to her admiration for the talent of late Amy Winehouse. Zanotti has a a tattoo of Winehouse's eye on her arm.
"When you look at a person's eyes you can see a lot about them," Zanotti says. "Your eyes speak your soul."
Zanotti has performed across the U.S., as well as locally at the Benedum Center and Byham Theater in Pittsburgh, the Marconi Club in Leechburg, Nied's Hotel and Thunderbird in Lawrenceville, the Fox Chapel Yacht Club, the Altar Bar in the Strip District and her hometown's Hyde Park Days summer festival.
"Every experience gives you something to learn and to grow as a human being," says Zanotti, who has never had professional voice lessons. "I want to stay true to myself with my songs. I listen to all kinds of music. I need to hear music the minute I wake up. And I want people to connect with my music. It's about creating this energy around a song that resonates with those who are listening."
She says she had mixed emotions about being on "The Voice." Her mother, who is a huge inspiration, had entered her daughter and they traveled to Cleveland.
"Being on 'The Voice' was a blessing," she says. "It was an honor to be on a show with other contestants who share your love of music is amazing. The experience was kind of surreal. You are in the moment."
She was mentored by coach Pharrell Williams, who she says is so humble. He invited her to be part of his team and says he "was honored to work with someone as naturally gifted at Mia Z."
Being able to follow her dream is thanks to the flexibility of salon owner Anna Fusko.
"Mia is so passionate about what she does," Fusko says. "I want her to be able to chase her dream. I have my dream career and I want her to have hers too. She is so together. She knows what she wants and she deserves success because she puts so much time into her music. The sky is the limit for Mia."
It certainly is, agrees Honkus, who has the new song on her phone and plans to listen to it all the time and share it with her friends and family.
"She is so talented, and she works so hard," she says. "She is really motivated, but she also is down to earth and loves working at the salon. I am so happy she wants to still be at the salon, because she is so good to me. With her voice, she can go as far as she wants to go."
Zanotti attributes her interest in music to her mother Lorey Zanotti, who has always been there her and also her uncle Jay Zanotti. Lorey Zanotti and her brother have always been in a band and who consistently support and encourage Mia Zanotti as well as her sister Zena Zanotti who has been influential in recognizing her best songs.
Lorey Zanotti says she gets emotional when hearing one of daughter's songs.
"Mia loves what she does," her mother says. "I am so proud of her. She has stayed grounded. She loves this area and she really wants to thank everyone who has supported her."
"I want to thank the whole community that has supported me, Mia Zanotti says. "They have been so patient waiting for this single. I don't want to let them down."
Follow her on Twitter @MiaZanotti
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.s