ZYO
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ZYO

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Established on Jan, 2018
Solo Electronic Afropop

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"ZYO's debut single with Mpumi Sizani is a mix of afro house and pop with a definite South African influence Channel24 Channel2421 May 2018 Cape Town - South Africa’s ZYO has just hit the music industry with his first single, We Are One - featuring none"

South Africa’s ZYO has just hit the music industry with his first single, We Are One - featuring none other than songbird Mpumi Sizani.

The is a mix of afro house and pop with a definite South African influence.

About the release, ZYO said: “The song is the celebration of the beauty that connects us all. It features lyrics in Xhosa and English, which was a very intentional thing, as it conveys the ethos of ZYO. Mpumi was the perfect collaboration partner. She wrote the Xhosa lyrics and brought so much energy and passion to the song, let alone an amazing vocal performance!”

THE MEANING BEHIND THE NAME ZYO:

The artist says that his name ZYO comes from the Zulu word “esizayo”, which is translated as “future” in English. “My utmost desire with my music is to celebrate the uniqueness of South Africa and the cultural mixing pot that we find ourselves in. ZYO is essentially a manifestation of the music and culture that’s been pervading my consciousness for all of my life. It’s a fusion of my roots in Africa, as well as my European heritage.”

HOW THE COLLABORATION WITH MPUMI CAME ABOUT:

ZYO says that with the initial rough demo of the song, he put the word out, looking for an incredible African vocalist based in Cape Town. “As fate would have it, Mpumi’s name came up repeatedly. So, I reached out to her by sending her the instrumental track and lyrics I had written. Her response was overwhelmingly positive. She came through to my studio and the synergy was incredible. We had a great collaborative session where we fleshed out the song, combining elements of what I had written and what she had. It was clear to us both - doing the song together was meant to be. Mpumi is so gifted. She got the whole concept of the song and her Xhosa lyrics were a key element in cementing the We Are One message.” - Yahoo News!


"ZYO rides SA zeitgeist in first single"

INSPIRED by Daft Punk, David Bowie and Depeche Mode, a Cape Town-based Afrofuturist artist has chosen to conceal his real identity from the world and perform publicly under the pseudonym ZYO.

Drawing on his European heritage and African roots he has fused these with afro house music and hints of pop and disco.

ZYO is originally from Joburg and after working on live music events at which he recorded the sound, moved to London to work as part of the sound team on the iTunes music festivals.

When he returned to South Africa 10 years ago he made

Cape Town his home and has been working in the advertising industry crafting the sound and songs for ads and locally- produced film and television shows.

“I’ve always been involved with music and when I was a teenager I was always walking around with my guitar. Last year I decided to create ZYO because it was a concept I had in my head for a long time,” he said.

He recently released his first single, We Are One, which also features Xhosa lyrics by Mpumi Sizani, which ZYO says contribute to his style aesthetic.

“I had the rough demo, which I did using Logic Pro in the studio, and wrote the initial lyrics, but I wanted an African vocalist and I reached out to my friends in the music industry, and Mpumi’s name kept coming up.

“She’s just got this incredible voice and you can hear me actually talking on the song. She encouraged me to do it. We had two studio sessions where she gave some ideas and then we fused things together,” he said.

The song aims to be a vehicle for change and focuses on what brings humanity together as opposed to social issues that cause divisions.

“I’m a big believer in Nelson Mandela and ubuntu was one of the things that came to mind when I was coming up with the ethos for who I wanted ZYO to be.”

ZYO says his name comes from the Zulu word “esizayo”, which translates as “future”, something ZYO chose to fit into his style.

“I’m optimistic about South Africa and the name was a reaction to all the negativity going on in the world. Africa is being looked at in a certain way right now with our vibrant culture and I’m passionate about my promotion of Africa.”

ZYO says Afrofuturism is a reaction to the cultural zeitgeist and the theme encapsulates his style, from his music through to his custom-made outfits in bright colours and patterns influenced by cultures throughout the continent.

“My Afrofuturism is reminiscent of disco music and visually appealing, which comes through in the colour and design.”

He is working on a further three singles and says an album is in the works, but believes that the way the modern music business works singles should be his focus through working with more local artists.

“Entrenched in the ethos of ZYO is collaboration. I’m hoping along the way to uncover and provide a platform for unknown artists. There is so much talent here, and I would be so honoured to provide a platform for it.” - Weekend Argus


"Who is 'electronic music artist' ZYO?"

Little is known about ZYO. Shrouded in swathes of intensely coloured shweshwe fabric and donning a bandanna mask, his eyes are concealed behind shades.

There are flashes of skin, but the palette of his hands and other features is indeterminate. That is how he wants it to be - an enigmatic music man - appreciated for his “modern fusion of African and European elements”.

The moniker, ZYO, he says comes from the Zulu word “esizayo”, which is translated as “future” in English. He tells us that he was born in Auckland Park, Johannesburg and went to Michael Mount Waldorf School in Jozi. The specifics of biography pale in relation to the journey of “fusion of cultures” that he is embarking on. ZYO is about innovation and shape-shifting.

How is ZYO pronounced? It’s pronounced “ZIO”. It’s tied to the Afrofuturistic concept; taking the name from the Zulu word “esizayo” was the perfect representation of the ethos and intention.

How old is ZYO? ZYO is ageless. In human terms, I was born in 2017, transported to this world by an Afrofuturistic space shuttle, covered in shweshwe-inspired patterns and disco colours.

What did you listen to? I grew up listening to a whole lot of different kinds of music - David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Johnny Clegg, Fela Kuti and James Brown; listening to my uncles’ record collection, going to the opera and playing in a band with my brother and closest friends at school.

When I developed my own taste, I kept hunting for new and different music. I had an insatiable appetite to discover music that I hadn’t heard before and this is still the same to this day. It’s a never-ending quest. I was also exposed to classical music through my grandfather. The intention of ZYO’s music was always for it to be a fusion of my roots in Africa and my European heritage.

Can you talk about ZYO as the “electronic music artist” - inspired by the cultural aesthetic of Afrofuturism? Afro-futurism is a cultural aesthetic, a philosophy of science and a philosophy of history that explores the developing intersection of the African culture with technology.

I love the idea of presenting Africa in a futuristic way, rather than the way it’s often presented as being backwards. In terms of the aesthetic, I find the Afrofuturistic movement visually appealing and forward-looking. It’s ancient meets modern and it fits perfectly with the ethos of ZYO and the fusion of cultures that is the driver of everything behind the project. It wasn’t developed in clubs. The word “electronic” stems from the way the music is made, which is primarily on a computer.

How did you get started in the music business? I put the whole project together independently, from concept to creation, and then released the single. I’m hoping I’ll inspire other artists to follow their dreams. It’s 100% possible to be a successful artist without a record label’s backing.

Tell us about your collaborating with Mpumi Sizani? She got the concept of the whole song right away and then contributed her own special energy to the song. As the message of the song is about unity and togetherness, the intention was always to have lyrics in different languages.

Initially, I had written the entire song in English and I had recorded my voice as a way to demo my vision of the song to potential collaborators. When I heard my voice and Mpumi’s together in different parts of the song, it became clear that this was how the song was meant to be. It really helped to cement the “we are one” message.

Who makes your clothes? I love the custom ZYO print in millennium pink.

As with all the other aspects of the project, I conceptualised and designed the custom ZYO pattern. I had it printed onto fabric and then had it made into a suit. The mask was made by the fabulous folks at Monkeybiz in Cape Town. The colours reference disco and the pattern references African shweshwe designs. Every element was carefully thought out and created intentionally to cement the concept of the fusion of cultures. - IOL Entertainment


"ZYO's debut single with Mpumi Sizani is a mix of afro house and pop with a definite South African influence"

Cape Town - South Africa’s ZYO has just hit the music industry with his first single, We Are One - featuring none other than songbird Mpumi Sizani.

The is a mix of afro house and pop with a definite South African influence.

About the release, ZYO said: “The song is the celebration of the beauty that connects us all. It features lyrics in Xhosa and English, which was a very intentional thing, as it conveys the ethos of ZYO. Mpumi was the perfect collaboration partner. She wrote the Xhosa lyrics and brought so much energy and passion to the song, let alone an amazing vocal performance!”

THE MEANING BEHIND THE NAME ZYO:

The artist says that his name ZYO comes from the Zulu word “esizayo”, which is translated as “future” in English. “My utmost desire with my music is to celebrate the uniqueness of South Africa and the cultural mixing pot that we find ourselves in. ZYO is essentially a manifestation of the music and culture that’s been pervading my consciousness for all of my life. It’s a fusion of my roots in Africa, as well as my European heritage.”

HOW THE COLLABORATION WITH MPUMI CAME ABOUT:

ZYO says that with the initial rough demo of the song, he put the word out, looking for an incredible African vocalist based in Cape Town. “As fate would have it, Mpumi’s name came up repeatedly. So, I reached out to her by sending her the instrumental track and lyrics I had written. Her response was overwhelmingly positive. She came through to my studio and the synergy was incredible. We had a great collaborative session where we fleshed out the song, combining elements of what I had written and what she had. It was clear to us both - doing the song together was meant to be. Mpumi is so gifted. She got the whole concept of the song and her Xhosa lyrics were a key element in cementing the We Are One message.” - News24


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Little is known about ZYO. Shrouded in swathes of intensely coloured shweshwe fabric and donning a helmet, his eyes are concealed behind a visor.

There are flashes of skin, but the palette of his hands and other features is indeterminate. That is how he wants it to be - an enigmatic music man - appreciated for his “modern fusion of African and European elements”.

The moniker, ZYO, comes from the Zulu word “esizayo”, which is translated as “future” in English. He was born in Auckland Park, Johannesburg and went to Michael Mount Waldorf School in Jozi. The specifics of biography pale in relation to the journey of “fusion of cultures” that he is embarking on. ZYO is about innovation and shape-shifting.

From a recent interview in South Africa's the Cape Times written by Robyn Cohen.

How is ZYO pronounced? It’s pronounced “ZIO”. It’s tied to the Afrofuturistic concept; taking the name from the Zulu word “esizayo” was the perfect representation of the ethos and intention.

How old is ZYO? ZYO is ageless. In human terms, I was born in 2017, transported to this world by an Afrofuturistic space shuttle, covered in shweshwe-inspired patterns and disco colours.

What did you listen to?  I grew up listening to a whole lot of different kinds of music - David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Johnny Clegg, Fela Kuti and James Brown; listening to my uncles’ record collection, going to the opera and playing in a band with my brother and closest friends at school. 

When I developed my own taste, I kept hunting for new and different music. I had an insatiable appetite to discover music that I hadn’t heard before and this is still the same to this day. It’s a never-ending quest. I was also exposed to classical music through my grandfather. The intention of ZYO’s music was always for it to be a fusion of my roots in Africa and my European heritage.

Can you talk about ZYO as the “electronic music artist” - inspired by the cultural aesthetic of Afrofuturism? Afro-futurism is a cultural aesthetic, a philosophy of science and a philosophy of history that explores the developing intersection of the African culture with technology. 

I love the idea of presenting Africa in a futuristic way, rather than the way it’s often presented as being backwards. In terms of the aesthetic, I find the Afrofuturistic movement visually appealing and forward-looking. It’s ancient meets modern and it fits perfectly with the ethos of ZYO and the fusion of cultures that is the driver of everything behind the project. It wasn’t developed in clubs. The word “electronic” stems from the way the music is made, which is primarily on a computer.

How did you get started in the music business? I put the whole project together independently, from concept to creation, and then released the single. I’m hoping I’ll inspire other artists to follow their dreams. It’s 100% possible to be a successful artist without a record label’s backing.

Who makes your clothes? As with all the other aspects of the project, I conceptualised and designed the custom ZYO pattern. Every element was carefully thought out and created intentionally to cement the concept of the fusion of cultures.

Band Members