CALI FAM #16
Our Cali Fam #16, Zara Ali is more known as ZEZE and founder of Safi Club. Safi Club was founded in 2021 as a platform where they could express themselves through music and building bridges for a subcultural community. Since our first team-up last year together with Tusabe, Tommy Collection by Tommy Jeans and Blonde Inc the night club scene have seen even more of ZEZE and it was a given to have her playing at our boat party for the 20 year anniversary. We met up a couple of weeks back to take some photos with the FRÉNE x CALI XX COLLAB JACKET
Tell us more about your background and how it has affected you and inspired you to start Safi Club
I came to Sweden as a refugee when I was 6 years old. We lived in a very multicultural area for a while before my family moved to a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Stockholm. It was just like the ends but with a lot less diversity. There used to be a Nazi march every year in the area that ended by a gathering point, with a stage and massive speakers and a big crowd of supporters. The stage was just beneath our balcony so we couldn’t avoid the hours-long racist slurs. Being a middle eastern girl during that time was not easy, I was clearly different from the other kids at school and they clearly didn’t like it.
I gained awareness pretty early of what cards I’ve been dealt with in life. And the xenophobia we went through taught me to be unapologetically myself. Music came to be a medium of self-expression for me ever since. It also gave me a sense of belonging. I watched music videos on MTV every day and downloaded hundreds of songs into my little MP3. It had everything in there! Tupac, Bob Marley, Arabic bangers, Persian songs about heartbreak, Baile Funk, Vybz kartel and more. I held on to my MP3 player during my whole childhood and it steered me into what I’m doing today. I have always been into different underground movements and communities around the world.