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Steven Zhu (born April 22, 1989) (//or //) is a Chinese American musician and singer who has been active since the beginning of 2014, signed to Mind of a Genius Records.[3] Until mid-2014, Zhu remained anonymous, asking to be judged by his music alone. His debut album, Generationwhy, was released on July 29, 2016.[4]

Zhu
ZHU (29357096668) (cropped).jpg
ZHU performing in 2018
Background information
Birth nameSteven Zhu
BornApril 22, 1989 (1989-04-22) (age 30)
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • singer
Instruments
  • Synthesizer
  • piano
  • horns
  • vocals
Years active2014–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websitewww.zhumusic.com

CareerEdit

Zhu's first track, "Moves Like Ms Jackson",[5] a mashup of several songs by Outkast, was released anonymously in February 2014 and was positively received by blogs and reviewers covering electronic music.[6] Other tracks appeared on the music streaming site Soundcloud throughout February and March,[7] followed by an EP titled The Nightday in April 2014,[8][9] which earned a number 1 play of the week on Triple J.[10]

The first single from The Nightday, titled "Faded", drew support from Pete Tong, who named it an "Essential New Tune" on his radio show on BBC Radio 1.[11] "Faded" was released in March 2014, and quickly climbed the global charts, peaking at number 3 in Australia and the UK, and number 12 on the US Dance/Electronic chart.[12] "Faded" was certified platinum in Australia in 2014[13] and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.[14]

In a November 2014 interview, Zhu's manager Jake Udell described the current music climate as "very black and white" and acknowledged that Zhu's race played a role in the decision to release and market his music anonymously, saying: "Some of us don't even know the limitations of our own prejudice. Rather than put those limitations to the test, we've created an engaging way for fans to focus on the music rather than who's behind it."[3] Zhu stated in a February 2015 interview that "the project [Zhu] is all about art, and we try to make it about the songs and the response."[14]

On May 15, 2015, Zhu appeared on Pete Tong's "After Hours" show and performed a 40-minute DJ mix, mostly consisting of unreleased remixes, and also announced the Nightday Collection clothing line.[15][16] On November 6, 2015, Zhu released a collaborative EP titled Genesis Series.[17] It featured appearances from Skrillex, AlunaGeorge, A-Trak, and Bone Thugs N Harmony, among others. The EP received critical acclaim for its diverse sound and diverse range of talent. "Working for It", the lead collaboration with Skrillex and THEY.,[18] reached the top 40 and was certified platinum in Australia.[19] It also charted on the US Dance/Electronic chart.

In 2016, the single "In the Morning" was released. After his Neon City Tour, he announced that his debut album, Generationwhy, would be released on July 29, 2016 and that "In the Morning" was the first single from the album. On June 13, 2016, Zhu released the title track, "Generationwhy", as the second single from the album. He first premiered the record at Coachella 2016 during his closing set in the Sahara Tent. Zhu's Coachella performance was praised, with a writer for the New York Observer suggesting that he could be "the next Daft Punk".[20]

Zhu's success carried over into 2017, where he was a featured performer in Ultra Music Festival 2017 in Miami on the live stage on March 24, 2017. His performance was positively received. Also in March, he released the single "Nightcrawler", which was followed by a second single "Intoxicate". Additionally, Zhu provided remixes of "Andromeda" by Gorillaz,[21] "Bad and Boujee" by Migos,[22] and "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man.[23] That same year, he released his third EP, titled Stardustexhalemarrakechdreams, on August 18.[24] The EP's lead single, titled "Dreams", is a collaboration with electronic music trio Nero. The EP's single Chasing Marrakech was featured by Apple in an ad for the iPhone XS and XS Max on September 14, 2018.[25]

On April 26, 2018, Zhu released the first installment of his second studio album, Ringos Desert, as an extended play.[26] The full album was made available five months later on September 7, comprising 14 tracks.[27]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[28]
US
Dance

[29]
AUS
[30]
CAN
[31]
Generationwhy 109 1 35 88
Ringos Desert
  • Released: September 7, 2018[27]
  • Label: Mind of a Genius
  • Format: Digital download
"—" denotes an album that did not chart or was not released.

Extended playsEdit

Title Details Peak chart positions
US
Dance

[29]
US
Heat.

[32]
AUS
[30]
The Nightday
  • Released: April 20, 2014[33]
  • Label: Mind of a Genius, Columbia
  • Formats: Digital download, CD, vinyl
11 5 6
Genesis Series
  • Released: November 6, 2015
  • Label: Mind of a Genius, Columbia
  • Formats: Digital download
11
Stardustexhalemarrakechdreams
  • Released: August 18, 2017[34]
  • Label: Mind of a Genius
  • Formats: Digital download
10
Ringos Desert Pt. 1
  • Released: April 26, 2018[26]
  • Label: Mind of a Genius
  • Formats: Digital download
19 23
"—" denotes an extended play that did not chart or was not released.

SinglesEdit

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
US Dance
[35]
AUS
[30]
BEL
(FL)

[36]
DEN
[37]
IRE
[38]
NL
[39]
UK
[40]
2014 "Faded" 12 3 7 2 39 69 3 The Nightday
2015 "Automatic"
(with AlunaGeorge)
19 97 59 Genesis Series
2016 "Hometown Girl" 40 Generationwhy
2017 "Nightcrawler" Non-album singles
"Intoxicate"
"Dreams"
(with Nero)
36 Stardustexhalemarrakechdreams
2018 "My Life"
(with Tame Impala)
20 Ringos Desert
"Coming Home"
(featuring Majid Jordan)[41]
2019 "Mi Rumba"
(with Sofi Tukker)[42]
Non-album singles
"Man's First Inhibition"
(with Nghtmre)[43]
"Zoning"
(with The Bloody Beetroots)[44]
"Came for the Low"
(with PartywithRay)[45]
31
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.

Production discographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Blais-Billie, Braudie (January 31, 2018). "ZHU Teases Tame Impala Collaboration". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  2. ^ Rishty, David (June 9, 2017). "The 10 Best ZHU Songs (Updated 2017)". Billboard. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Medved, Matt (November 10, 2014). "How Dance-Pop Act Zhu Scored a Major-Label Deal Using Just His Logo and His Music". Billboard. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Geslani, Michelle (June 14, 2016). "Zhu shares summery new single "GENERATIONWHY" — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  5. ^ Jamshed, Zahra (February 11, 2014). "ZHU – Moves Like Ms. Jackson (OutKast Remix)". HYPETRAK. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  6. ^ "MOVES LIKE MS. JACKSON | Do Androids Dance". doandroidsdance.com. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  7. ^ "SoundCloud – Hear the world's sounds". soundcloud.com. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  8. ^ "ZHU – NIGHTDAY (Full EP Stream) | HYPETRAK". hypetrak.com. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  9. ^ "The Nightday [Mind of A Genius] :: Beatport". beatport.com. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  10. ^ "ZHU's 'Paradise Awaits.' drops with NightDay EP Pre-order". www.dancingastronaut.com. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  11. ^ "How Dance-Pop Act Zhu Scored a Major-Label Deal Using Just His Logo and His Music". billboard.com. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  12. ^ "Zhu – Faded Lyrics | MetroLyrics". metrolyrics.com. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  13. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". www.aria.com.au. Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Brown, August (February 5, 2015). "Zhu, the mystery man behind 'Faded,' opens up (a little) pre-Grammys". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  15. ^ "ZHU Teases New Music, Announces BBC Radio 1 Mix". Your EDM. May 10, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  16. ^ "Nightday Collection". Nightday Collection. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  17. ^ "ZHU Reveals 'Genesis Series' Featuring Skrillex, AlunaGeorge, Bone Thugs N Harmony & More". Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  18. ^ "ZHU x Skrillex x THEY. – Working For It (Zane Lowe World Premiere)". Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  19. ^ "Instagram photo by ZHU • Jun 18, 2016 at 4:47pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  20. ^ "Is ZHU the Next Daft Punk?". May 10, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  21. ^ "Andromeda (feat. DRAM) [ZHU Remix] – Single by Gorillaz on Apple Music". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  22. ^ "ZHU x MIGOS – Bad and Boujee". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  23. ^ "Feel It Still (ZHU Remix) – Single by Portugal. The Man on Apple Music". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  24. ^ "stardustexhalemarrakechdreams – EP by ZHU on Apple Music". August 18, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  25. ^ Apple (September 14, 2018), iPhone XS — Everything to know in :54 — Apple, retrieved September 21, 2018
  26. ^ a b Narozniak, Rachel (April 26, 2018). "ZHU makes sensuous return with new EP, 'Ringos Desert Pt. 1' [Stream]". Dancing Astronaut. Archived from the original on April 29, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  27. ^ a b Bein, Kat (September 7, 2018). "ZHU's Expanded 'Ringos Desert' Finds Salvation in New Tunes: Listen". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  28. ^ "Zhu Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  29. ^ a b "Zhu Chart History: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  30. ^ a b c "Discography ZHU". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  31. ^ "Zhu Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  32. ^ "Zhu Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  33. ^ "THE NIGHTDAY – EP by ZHU". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  34. ^ "Stardustexhalemarrakechdreams – EP by ZHU on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  35. ^ "Zhu Chart History: Dance/Electronic Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  36. ^ "Discografie ZHU". Belgium (Flanders) Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  37. ^ "Discography ZHU". Danish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  38. ^ "Discography ZHU". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  39. ^ "Discografie ZHU". Dutch Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  40. ^ "ZHU | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  41. ^ Narozniak, Rachel (August 10, 2018). "ZHU & Majid Jordan refine R&B on new single, 'Coming Home'". Dancing Astronaut. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  42. ^ Bein, Kat (January 18, 2019). "Sofi Tukker & Zhu have fun getting nasty with 'Mi Rumba': Listen". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 25, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  43. ^ Watts, Nick (August 23, 2019). "Nghtmre & Zhu – 'Man's First Inhibition' ft. Kidd Keem". Your EDM. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  44. ^ Bein, Kat (September 5, 2019). "The Bloody Beetroots & Zhu's 'Zoning' is a hard-hitting psychedelic journey: Exclusive premiere". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 11, 2019. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  45. ^ Bein, Kat (October 25, 2019). "Zhu Shows Face, Cosigns His Democratic Candidate in 'Came For The Low': Watch". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 29, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.