The members of the LA-based instrumental-electronic group, Eko Zu revealed in this interview important details about the early stage of their music career and additional stuff of great interest. Wisely, they have integrated nice illustrations on their videos and artworks, which have attracted a lot of attention among their fans. After reading the whole article, you’ll find out these guys deliver an original music experience!
1 – What are some words you would use to describe your music?
Playful, upbeat, sexy, loving.
2 – Where did you meet each other? How long have you been together as Eko Zu?
We washed ashore on Eko Isle, near the Mariana Trench, around 2003. The first year or so was strictly survival – learning to work with the Jungle, rather than against it. Music naturally became our way of passing the time, turning night-time predators into friends, until the Isle changed us into the demi-humans we are now.
We moved to the Bay Area in 2008, shortly after rescuing the island’s creatures from a volcanic eruption – more details of our story on our website www.EkoZu.com 🙂
3 – How did you come up with the artistic name Eko Zu? What other names were you considering?
The Zu lives in us all, it’s our connection between our human counterparts and animal ancestors. It’s a reminder that although the circuits and screens and mechanics of today are vital to our culture, to remember to stay grounded and love one another above all else.
By living this mantra, and being the example rather than the preacher, it echos (Eko) and ripples to our friends, family and complete strangers, in an infinite feedback loop.
Our name is pronounced (Echo Zoo), it resonated with us one cold night around a warm fire.
4 – Can you explain to us what is the role of each member?
Zu’ri is our vocalist, our songstress. Zu’CH3N is our guitar player, our melody weaver. Zu’ian is our producer, our frequency shaper. During our live show, we harmonize vocals with one another.
5 – I sincerely love the illustrations you employ in all your artworks and music videos. Who is the designer behind these amazing visuals and what inspired him to create these graphics?
Thank you! We love our illustrator Agroshka. She takes inspiration from our live-action characters, photos from shows and shoots. We all share an affinity for anime and illustrated works; in particular, Miyazaki, Samurai Champloo, and Steven Universe have had the most impact on our look.
6 – What characterizes your live performances and why are they so cool?
There’s a liberating anonymity to get down on the dancefloor when you’re wearing a mask; many of our fans come wearing animal-print shades, animal facepaint (we’ll sometimes hire a professional face painter for our shows), others bring or even make their own animal masks to be one with our Zu’krew!-
We perform with live guitar, vocals, and drum pads, so there’s an easy connection between what the audience is hearing and feeling, and what they are seeing onstage.
Inflatable palm trees and animals are becoming a regular theme of our shows – it really adds to the life of the party seeing them bob around like festival totems, people get crazy when you combine the comfortable anonymity of a mask, plus inflatables to toss around + dance music. 😂
7 – What music elements were added to your recent medley “We Found Love”?
Our music is always inspired by the world around us, in real-time…we were celebrating Zu’ri’s birthday at a cute tapas restaurant in San Francisco, when “We Found Love” started playing overhead. The vocal harmonies struck a chord with us, we were discussing how fun it would be to cross this song into the modern dance world.
We’ve been playing with medleys for ages, it’s tricky because you have to transpose two different songs to work together, while staying within your vocalist’s range of comfort. The “live” version of this song is completely different than the version we released, so fans can only hear the Live version at our shows!
8 –Do you plan to release a forthcoming EP or album soon?
We will likely continue to release singles, under the “umbrella” of an EP. Songs written within short range of each other tend to feel cohesive and mark a passing of time in a band’s career. But at this stage it makes more sense to release singles rather than a bundle of songs at once. We’d rather give our fans a steady stream of music than hold out for a year or more haha.
9 – What famous artists would you love to work with? Why?
We would love to work with Nile Rodgers; after reading his bio “Le Freak” we feel he really “gets” music in a very primal and beautiful perspective. You can hear the influence of his riffs and rhythms in every dance tune out today, as Disco and Funk are the foundations of dance music.
10 – Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves or your music?
We have an official remix for The Glitch Mob hitting our SoundCloud later this month!
We are routing a West Coast tour between, with stops in San Francisco (7/23), Portland (7/26), and tentative shows in Santa Ana and Seattle. Fans can stay posted via any of our social channels below, the best would be signing up for our email list at www.EkoZu.com