'anatomy' is out now.
Kenzie Ziegler is getting personal with her music. In an interview with ET's Deidre Behar, the 19-year-old singer, who now just goes by kenzie, discussed how her latest single, "anatomy," was inspired by her estrangement from her father, Kurt Ziegler.
"I had these problems with me and my dad, so I started talking to [my therapist] about that. I started opening up and she said, 'You should write a letter to your dad,'" kenzie recalled. "I felt really weird about doing that, so I genuinely wrote this song just so I could send it to her and be like, 'Here's my letter to my dad.' And then I ended up loving it so much more than I thought I would and I just wanted people to hear it."
Letting people hear the personal track was an easy decision, as kenzie admitted, "For the first few months that I had the demo just sitting, I was like, 'I don't know if I'm confident enough to share this,' because, obviously, my whole family is going to hear it."
Eventually, kenzie came to believe that the song, which she admitted is "kind of gut-wrenching," could "help a lot of people," so she decided to release it.
"All of the people around me are telling me that it helps me, and it helps her, and it helps them," she said. "I think it's a time when it's a normal thing to go through."
One of those people in kenzie's corner is her older sister, Maddie Ziegler.
"When I played it for her, she bawled her eyes out," kenzie said of her 20-year-old sister. "... It's her favorite song. She actually choreographed the music video for me, so it's kind of our song that we shared together, which is really awesome, because it's our experience... I don't know if I would release it if I didn't do it with her."
kenzie also felt that support from her mom, Melissa Gisoni.
"When I played this song for her, she cried. She's a very emotional person, but of course she cried to this song. She just said that she loved me and that she's here for me," kenzie said.. ".. She was like, 'It's the most beautiful song that I've heard you do,' so that was really awesome to hear."
kenzie likewise felt the love from her boyfriend, Tacoda Dubbs, who gets a subtle, yet sweet, shout out in the song's second verse.
"I think he loved it. I think he definitely has seen me kind of grow into myself over the years, because we have been together for three years," she said. "In the beginning of us being together I had major trust issues just because I had this expectation that love doesn't work out because of [my] parents getting divorced."
"Now all of my walls are down and I feel so happy," kenzie added. "Honestly, it's kind of like a best friend situation. Like, we're best friends, but we're also together. It's the way it should be."
When it comes to her dad, kenzie is unsure if he's heard the song yet, but is hopeful that he will one day.
"I thought about sending him the song, because everything that's in the song is exactly how I feel... I'm sure he will hear it," she said. "I still have so much love. I mean, that's my dad. I can never hold grudges with people. I still love him deeply and he is a part of me."
"We have a tricky relationship where we talked for a while, and then we don't... I'm honestly OK with it," kenzie added. "I kind of want him to hear it, because it's how I feel, genuinely. I would never hate on him. Life happens and that's just how it goes. I hope he hears it and something good comes out of it."
That's not her ultimate goal, though, as she told ET that her hope with the song is that she's able "to repair my younger self."
As for her forthcoming album, which will likely come out in early 2024, kenzie said it'll be her "just telling my story."
"It's about friendship breakups, breakups, it's about boyfriends, it's about ex-boyfriends," she said. "It's about everything in between."
The singer also told ET that she plans to tour following the album's release.
kenzie's new single "anatomy" is out now.