ZHU is one of the rare artists in this day and age who can back up his notorious marketing with raw talent and pure love of the music.
First hitting the scene under the guise of anonymity and a cloud of white smoke, listeners were immediately captivated by the deep and ghostly sound of early tracks like “Cocaine Model” and “Faded,” the latter of which went on to be nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 2014 GRAMMY Awards.
Where anonymity is so often a gimmick, ZHU used it to match the quality and aesthetic of his sound, and so when he wanted to take things in a more face-forward direction he stepped out into the world as himself: Steven Zhu, producer, DJ, musician, and vocalist.
This revelation came with his debut album GENERATIONWHY in 2016 which topped Billboard's Dance/Electronic albums chart and landed on the Billboard 200.
Fully established in the scene at this point, Zhu started seeing major remixes come his way like one of Camelphat and Elderbrook’s smash hit, “Cola,” and another for Calvin Harris’s collaborative single with Dua Lipa, “One Kiss.”
Since his debut album, Zhu has released two more full-length projects, RINGOS DESERT and DREAMLAND, as well as his most recent mixtape, Musical Chairs Mixtape (Vol. 1). With these ever-expanding releases, his live show has expanded as well to include live saxophone and guitar and hit major venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver.
But as Zhu grows he hasn’t lost interest in the DJ format, which is personified through his side project, Blacklizt. This is Zhu’s space for playing straight-up techno DJ sets.
The moniker itself has landed bookings at festivals like EDC Vegas, and it’s very common for him to do secret sets as Blacklizt at festivals where ZHU is performing as well.
Either way, seeing Steven Zhu in any musical form is seeing the raw talent and pure love of the music behind the image.