Find Out Why Eko Zu Is The Next Big Thing
Eko Zu reigns supreme at the very top of the animal kingdom.
Hailing from Eko Isle, Zu’ri, Zu’CH3N, and Z combine forces for the benefit of the EDM industry, each member bringing something fresh to the table.
Zu'ri holds down the breathtaking vocals, Zu'CH3N weaves it all together with her guitar, and Z - well, Z is a special breed of cat. iEDM had the opportunity to speak with Z about the evolution of a sound that goes above and beyond.
Z's fascination with music came after his father purchased him a guitar when he was a kid. Just by listening, he quickly picked up popular songs from The Offspring and Ramones and could play them by ear. Z would continue to hone his craft by joining different rock bands throughout his formative high school years.
Like most teenage boys at that time, Z's parents got him a Nintendo Entertainment System, and it was a gift that changed his path forever. It was during that time that Z began to write electronic music - the road to EDM stardom that was paved with an interest in video game soundtracks. Mario, and the Final Fantasy series in particular, resonated with a younger Z.
"I just kept [writing electronic music] because I really loved it," says Z. "Around the time that I was finishing up high school, and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, I wanted to write music to video games. That's what had really inspired me."
Z began to look up schools to make his own music sound better. He would eventually call Expression College his new home to hone his craft at sound engineering. At 19-years-old, Z saved up enough money from painting houses during the summer months to make his dream a reality. He took his two duffle bags, and $2,500 in his bank account, to make the big move to the Bay Area.
Once the producer graduated, he quickly figured out that he had to find a way to pay the bills.
"I was doing live sound for small venues. Bars, churches - whatever would pay me at the time. Then, I got an internship at Namco," Z told iEDM. "They did Pac-Man, Tekken, and stuff like that. I was doing music and sound effects for them."
The higher-ups at the company noticed his talent and took a keen interest in Z, eventually making him a full-time employee. He worked at Namco for two and a half years writing music. Suddenly, it occurred to Z that he wasn't passionate about writing music for video games. He learned that he wasn't having the opportunity to write the music that was deep in his heart. He also couldn't keep the rights to his creations.
"It was a blessing in disguise when they laid off their whole production. They shipped all of the production back to Japan," Z states. "I was grinding on the side. I was moonlighting, still working at small clubs and venues. I played some live shows, did sound for a bunch of bands and artists. Then, I got linked up with PK Sound. That put me on the Glitch Mob tour."
LA's Glitch Mob gave Z the opening he was looking for. It was Z's big opportunity to break into the touring scene. He confessed to iEDM that he was lucky to be trusted with such a high-responsibility gig.
“PK Sound, the band and management had faith in me. They gave me a shot," Z grins.
That once-in-a-lifetime shot turned into a two year run for Z. He got to do EDC, Coachella, and all of the massive festivals across Europe. After his stint with Glitch Mob, Z found himself as the front of house for Big Wild. Management showed Z the ropes as he continued on his journey, which would eventually lead him to working for Bassnectar and The Chainsmokers as their front of house.
"[Bassnectar's] got such a rabid following, and crazy, high expectations from his fans," Z says. "From there, I got pulled onto The Chainsmokers tour. I would focus on the touring aspect - keeping the artists happy by making sure the shows are sounding good, and also staying true to my music and my project."
Eko Zu has been in development for over three years. Z met his teammates organically, through a random open mic. He played acoustic covers from Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Incubus. A singer in the crowd recognized Z's talent, and would later become one of his best friends. He was then introduced to the singer's then girlfriend, now fiancée.
"They had this amazing synergy. I picked that up really early on. I recorded, and mixed their first EP as a duo. I was floored when I was mixing their music. When you are in the studio, hearing a song 200 times; it grinds you down. I was still getting endorphin rushes at certain vocal trails and guitar licks. I knew they had something special, really deep, and very loving."
Z realized his new mission in life was to help spread the message of love to the rest of the world with his newfound friends. The gang developed a very specific mashup sound. Their vibe combined a folk-acoustic, soul influence within the electronic spectrum. Z believes that in order to reach the masses these days, artists need to combine the organic with the electronic.
"We all look at music very differently, but we all resonate with the same frequencies. They are amazing to work with. We have never argued," Z adds. "If we have a disagreement, we talk through it."
Eko Zu is currently focused on releasing new music this year, and connecting with their fan base in preparation for an upcoming 2019 that will be filled with live shows across the country.
Guaranteed, the out-of-this-world trio will be the next big thing in music on whichever planet they may rightfully choose to conquer. Festivals will be lucky to have Eko Zu on the lineup. Their music is vibrant, passionate, and just flat-out cool.
When it's all said and done, it's Eko Zu's colorfully bold universe, and we're all blessed enough to be living in it.