Grammys are coming up very soon and with that, there is a lot of media that surrounds the ceremony. Artists are brought to promotional photoshoots as well as interviews. Zhu, being one of the nominees, has actually appeared to the photoshoot and answered some questions to the LA Times that we’ve all been wanting to know! Here at EDM Assassin, we’ve uncovered a lot about Zhu as it is and revealed some information. Here’s some information we learned from this latest interview (some stuff we already know and others not so much):
1. Despite never showing his face in public, he has signed a major-label deal with Columbia Records.
2. This is his first American interview and first photoshoot. (Remember, he spoke with Triple J.)
3. He has confirmed that he is 25 year old, Steven Zhu.
4. He is all about the art of the music rather than his personal image.
This project is all about art, and we try to make it all about the songs and the response. Being able to have everyone focus back on music is the first step. But the second is to have influence and have people care.
5. His whole game plan to release music was a big strategy that was developed by himself, his manager, and his label.
The slow reveal was, in part, the strategy of Zhu’s manager Jake Udell of the firm Th3rd Brain and Zhu’s indie label Mind of a Genius . But the aesthetic of the project and its marketing were pieces of an all-encompassing plan in place before Zhu ever signed to a major.
6. Zhu tries to emulate the idea of Prince.
When you see someone like Prince, they way he looks and behaves totally matches the music, Zhu said. Great music always transcends, but artists have to create the space for fans to go beyond the music.
7. He wanted his music to work anywhere, not just a specific place or venue.
His goal for the “Nightday” EP was, as he put it, “to work on the dance floor, in the car and in the bedroom.”
8. Due to the fact he had barely any live experience, he performed hidden behind silhouetted screens in order to protect his buzz in front of tens of thousands of people. This inturn was the highlight of the festival.
He delivered big time at HARD Day of the Dead in 2014, said Gary Richards, the DJ and concert promoter who booked Zhu at HARD. Zhu is a true artist who is bringing an original style and concept to electronic music. We need more artists like him.
9. Zhu cares about the art first and foremost and everything else is secondary.
This project is all about art, and we try to make it all about the songs and the response, he said. Being able to have everyone focus back on music is the first step. But the second is to have influence and have people care.
10. He isn’t sure if he wants to reveal himself let alone attend the Grammy’s.
Maybe? Zhu said, shrugging and grinning. It might not be time to break the spell just yet.
Dancing Astronaut was able to join in on the LA Interview. Here’s some information that they found out about him:
11. He sings.
I sang on [“Faded”] but I think that’s something that happens to a lot of people. What I’m doing here is allowing an open canvas for anyone who listens to this song to look in the mirror and a lot of people who listen to “Faded” have that exact same emotion at some point in their life, or the past week or the past couple of days. And all I am is just a mirror and I reflect what they see. So that particular song – I’m sure many men have been thinking about that late at night.
12. He is able to multitask.
What’s cool about this project is that I’m able to write, produce and sing and pick what voice works. My voice works for some things but it doesn’t work for everything. So if I need a different texture, then I’m gonna go and get it
13. He enjoys his super secret identity.
Being able to be stealthy. And I think you get to see a lot of things that happen and what people are like if they don’t know who you are. If people know who I am, they’re gonna put on their best face. But it’s kinda cool to see who’s genuine about what they do.
14. He has a passion for jazz.
I love jazz, and I grew up playing jazz. There is some gritty element of musicians who really love music. You could be anyone. You could be a very famous artist, someone in the streets. But when you’re in their presence, you’re all the same. When you play with them, work with them, talk to them, share a meal – everyone is equal which to me is special.
15. His home is his studio and he creates limitations to further his music.
Obviously, my team has done a great job and we’ve worked with what we’ve got. Making a record in an environment that – for instance, I wrote a lot of my songs in my apartment. That’s all I had. But you feel that. It’s a lonely, dark, sexy vibe. But that’s the vibe that was intended based on the situation. So we have to give ourselves limitations to be able to make the record in a specific format marketed in a way where there are limitations. We’re independent, but I think it’s gonna work out.
16. The whole anonymity was intended to last this long, let alone exist.
It was never my intention to be anonymous. To me, I just wanted the music to speak for itself. People are gonna find out and catch on and in the beginning all we were trying to do was like, “Hey, here’s the music, listen to it without judging who’s behind it.” Obviously people want to find out who the artist is but to me, the music is definitely more important than who’s behind it.
17. He believes in the idea of quality over quantity as shown by what he has done.
You know to me, quality is more important than quantity. With this EP, we chose to put six really great tracks ranging from more vocal based to more club based, more chill based to more of a kind of seductive tone and give people variety.
18. He has plans for collaborations, but not with other producers (just yet?).
There are some things in the works. We’re looking to collaborate with people who are artists in their own right. Who are uniquely different but come together, we can make cool stuff. Kind of like how Jay Z and Linkin Park did.