“Damn, I haven’t washed my hair for days,” begins pop songstress EZI on REDEMPTION, the first single from her forthcoming debut EP, “Another day I’m feeling lost.” Over a pulsing, synth-driven beat, the 21-year-old wastes no time getting real with her listeners.

If any song were an ideal introduction to the real EZI (a.k.a. Esther Zynn), REDEMPTION would be it. The Long Island, New York native—and the first signee to Steve Madden’s label, 5Towns Records—wrote the song during one of the lowest points in her life.

At the core of her 5-song EP is the singer’s relationship with herself—something she’s cultivated over the years she spent traveling to-and-from auditions in New York City, or studying her various crafts.

EZI’s parents both immigrated to the U.S. from Moscow, Russia and settled in the Great Neck area of Long Island. “When kids were outside in the summertime doing kid stuff, I’d be looking up what an acting resume looked like. Or I was making covers on Garageband, cutting [tracks] up and editing them, sneaking into my sister’s room using her computer.”

EZI’s debut EP isn’t just vibey and vulnerable; it conveys the major lesson taking center stage in her life right now.