Back in April, ZHU made a sensuous return with the desert-tinged Ringos Desert Pt. 1. On top of the EP, the aloof and ambiguous artist announced he would be returning to the limelight with a DUNE Fall tour, a China tour, and even performed a riveting surprise set at Coachella. But throughout the entirety of these exciting new announcements, ZHU’s also been working away at his fashion brand, hoping to elevate its allure with exclusive, next level collections.
Just recently, at Lightning In A Bottle festival, ZHU fans had the chance to create original pieces during a special interactive design booth. With each sold out release, ZHU is coming closer and closer to a collision of festival culture and high fashion. His brand new SS18 Ringos Desert Collection was also debuted at LiB and can be found now in full here.
The high-powered remixes of Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s smooth funk house jam, “One Kiss” are rolling in. After garnering more than 200 million Spotify plays since it’s initial release, bass house maestro Jauz put his dark and dangerous spin on the track, taking the pop/dance music crossover hit from the poolside club into the underground. Now ZHU catapults the track down into it’s deepest, darkest depths with pounding rhythms, sensual arpeggiated synths, and palpable house energy.
Fresh off the success of his Ringos Desert Pt. 1 EP release, Steven Zhu ups the ante with his official remix of “One Kiss,” likely one of the year’s most impressive dance cuts. Steeped heavily in ZHU’s signature ominous house stylings, the cloaked LA-producer transforms the bright, retro-inspired original into a dark, steamy composition that is yet another show of his truly cinematic skill in the studio. After dimming the lights on Lipa’s bubbling vocals, adding in some whispering falsettos of his own, ZHU continues to prove he is truly a musical auteur.
ZHU is never one to shy away from the darker side of music, and the LA maestro’s new music video wholly capitalizes on his moody, bleak aesthetic. Now the producer released a video accompaniment for “Still Want U” with Karnaval Blues, off his new album, Ringos DesertPt. 1, which landed in April.
The video, co-directed by Yero Brown and Steven Zhu, displays a dark doleful aesthetic that has all the visual elements of a neo noir film, with menacing themes, key lighting, and clean stage designs that perfectly match the mood of the track.
ZHU leads listeners out to the desert in new EP, Ringos Desert Pt. 1, a cross genre scorcher that heats up with each successive track, from the sultry, guitar assisted stunner, “Guilty Love,” to the low toned “Provocateur.” Tinged with the dark tones inherent of ZHU’s aesthetic, and overlaid with the producer’s signature breathy vocals, the seven tracks that comprise Ringos Desert Pt. 1 exude a sizzling sensuality that ZHU will soon take on his Fall headlining DUNE tour.
The 21-date initiative will see the versatile producer accompanied by brand new stage production, and his live band, both of which will collectively transcend the live electronic experience as listeners know it. Pre-sale tickets to the DUNE tour are currently available for purchase with the code “desertwoman.” Regular sale ticket sales will begin on Friday, April 27 at 12:00 PM EST. Tickets can be purchased here.
The first installment of a larger Ringos Desert production slated for a full release later in the year, Ringos Desert Pt. 1 suggests that ZHU is at the apex of dynamism.
ZHU’S DUNE TOUR, Phase 1 DATES:
September 07 – Chico, California @ El Rey Theatre
September 14 – Los Angeles, California @ The Shrine
September 16 – Phoenix, Arizona @ The Van Buren
September 18 – Dallas, Texas @ Bomb Factory
September 19 – Austin Texas @ Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre
September 20 – Houston, Texas @ Warehouse Live
September 24 – Washington, D.C. @ Echostage
September 25 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ Electric Factory
September 27 – Brooklyn, New York @ Brooklyn Steel
September 30 – Boston, Massachusetts @ House of Blues
October 02 – Montreal, Quebec @ New City Gas
October 03 – Toronto, Ontario @ Rebel
October 09 – Minneapolis, Minnesota @ First Avenue
October 13 – Calgary, Alberta @ The Palace Theatre
October 15 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Vogue Theatre
October 16 – Seattle, Washington @ Paramount Ballroom
October 17 – Portland, Oregon @ Roseland Theater
October 20 – Las Vegas, Nevada @ The Pearl
October 22 – San Diego, California @ The Observatory North Park
October 23 – Tucson, Arizona @ Rialto Theatre
October 26 – Morrison, Colorado @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Zhu has officially announced phase one of his upcoming “Dune” tour, which kicks off this fall and will be making stops in LA, Brooklyn, Toronto and more. In tangent with the first wave of tour dates, he’s also released part 1 of his upcoming album — and bringing 2.5 tons of sand on the road with him to make for a truly unique live experience. In this case, part 1 is in the form of snippets that serve as background music under a voicemail by manager Jake Udell (who doesn’t seem too happy about the idea of touring with all that sand in the trunk).
Sources say the EP is set to release on April 26th — although they say Zhu himself will not announce it — and tickets will go on sale Friday April 27th. However, fans can get more information on pre-sale tickets in the meantime by texting “dune” to 773-8BL-KLZT (825-5598).
Gearing up for festival season, the ever-enigmatic ZHU has incited abundant buzz this week. In addition to leaking his newest exploratory, desert-themed track, “Desert Woman,” ZHU set rumors ablaze with a semi-conspicuously deleted Instagram post.
The deleted post showed a piece of paper with various already-confirmed festivals ZHU will be appearing at this summer, including Electric Forest and Seasons, Vancouver. Interestingly, Coachella, which ZHU has yet to be confirmed for, makes an appearance on the list — though it is struck through.
If all this wasn’t excitement enough, ZHU seems to have a tour in the works set for fall of this year, with details still yet to be determined.
Finally, to coincide with his new track, ZHU is giving away “Desert Woman”-themed pasties.
To both listen to the track, and enter to win a set of the highly coveted pasties, head here.
In the final days of 2017, Ekali and ZHU surprised the world by releasing their long-awaited collaboration, “Blame.” In the months since, the song has been heard in DJ sets across the world, thrilling listeners and inspiring producers to craft their own takes on the track.
The latest of these is Hunter Siegel, who’s released a slow-burning electro bootleg of the song. The Canadian producer has left many of the song’s original aspects intact, using the chorus as a place to put his own stamp on the collaboration. He chops up ZHU’s vocals and contrasts them with heavy layers of electro synths, giving the drop of the song an entirely different feel.
“As soon as I heard this tune drop I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, and it came together perfectly,” Siegel shared in the song description.
Hopefully ZHU and Kevin Parker have more shared work stocked away on a hard drive somewhere, because one single may not be enough. The Tame Impala frontman and enigmatic Mind of a Genius producer were slated for a new joint effort in 2018, and they’ve finally delivered their hotly anticipated new collaboration, “My Life,” a top-notch piece of indie-dance excellence that plays upon both artists most venerable qualities in a seamlessly complementary fashion.
It’s dreamy and palatably psychedelic, carried by Parker’s characteristically sublime vocal work — and while the composition isn’t ZHU’s typically cool, after hours-ready warehouse fare, the step outside of his comfort zone is certainly commendable. “My Life” leans more progressive house, at times even revealing a subtle trance inspiration, driven by its understated percussion arrangements, pronounced keys, and fluttering vocal loops.
Tame Impala’s last output was 2015’s Currents, though Parker has kept busy between records working with the likes of Mark Ronson, Lady Gaga, and SZA. ZHU on the other hand is continuing a white-hot output streak following 2017’s Adidas partnership and his newly inked deal with new Chinese dance label Liquid State. Hopefully a quick stop to smell the roses on “My Life” turned out more than just a single tune though, because Kevin Parker and ZHU make a quality pairing.
During a recent performance in China, Zhu took the opportunity to officially confirm to fans that the collaboration does in fact exist and it is underway, and later confirmed in a statement by the “Waters of Monaco” producer’s management team.
Zhu’s exciting news didn’t stop there though. The aforementioned performance in China came as part of a launch event for a new Chinese electronic dance music label called Liquid State, which will host releases from Zhu, Alan Walker, and burgeoning Chinese artists, among others in 2018. Liquid State is backed by Sony and Chinese streaming and tech powerhouse Tencent Music Entertainment. The new imprint will develop dance content with the intent of leveraging Tencent’s streaming services QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music to distribute said content. The move was effectively sealed by a reported 10% equity swap between Tencent and Sony’s licensing partner, Spotify, in December. Tencent, by comparison, boasts nearly double the users as Spotify across their three platforms.
ZHU has an uncanny talent for invigorating tracks with his own unique sound stamp. The Columbia Records signee has now turned his sights towards CamelPhat & Elderbrook‘s summer 2017 hit “Cola,” named the hottest record in the world by BBC Radio 1 upon its release on Defected Records.
ZHU brings on his own unique flare while doing well to churn out a lightly touched reboot that centers around elevating and equalizing Elderbrook’s crystalline voice. Layered with his signature dark sound design and lush, saturated beats, ZHU’s take on “Cola” is an exquisitely sophisticated firecracker.