San Francisco-cum-Los Angeles producer ZHU
In an ever-shifting digital landscape of fluid identities, long distance discoveries and a music community that is more global than ever, ZHU is an exciting new voice who is quickly making a name for himself – without even ever having mentioned it.
At the start of February, an anonymous track consisting of Outkast songs reworked to a futuristic dance floor medley titled ‘Moves Like Ms. Jackson’ sent ripples across the online music community, being featured and raved aboutt across a plethora of major dance music publications as well as being endorsed by Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1. From MTV, Dancing Astronaut to ThisSongisSick and Earmilk amongst others, rumors swirled as to the identity of the creator behind the masterful recording, with theories ranging from Duke Dumont to French Express to a collaboration between Disclosure and Outkast ahead of their joint billing at Coachella.
One week later, the artist anonymously uploaded an original track titled ‘Superfriends’ which provided a further enticing inkling to the shadowy maverick. Finally, as the track surged to the top of the Hype Machine charts and after much speculation, the investigative work of one particularly avid follower revealed artist's identity as ZHU via electronic music website Do Androids Dance.
In the space of these meteoric few weeks during which the tracks accumulated a combined over one million plays on Soundcloud, one thing was at no point ambiguous - the unbridled creativity and addictive pull at the core of ZHU's craft. Drawing from a range of dance music genres from house to disco to garage to hip-hop and synth-pop, along with his distinctly captivating voice and futuristic production, ZHU spins these elements into a potent concoction entirely of his making, perhaps best described by his own title for the genre: ¯_(ツ)_/¯.
His latest track ‘Faded’ was first one to be put out officially under his own authorship. It expounds on the intriguing palette set thus far with smoky midnight italo disco, elastic garage keys, and ZHU's liquid falsetto and cunningly manipulated vocal production delivering a hymn-like earworm melody. It came out to an ever more rapturous reception, shooting to #1 in the Hype Machine chart and clocking nearly half a million accumulative plays in under two weeks.
An EP and debut album from ZHU titled GENERATION WHY are due to follow later this year.