Always one for the allure of mystery, ZHU has always kept fans on their toes with unexpected releases and his high-caliber production technique. The enigmatic producer maneuvers his marketing plan in such a way that is more artistic than it is “viral” or gimmicky. Wish the same could be said for Marshmello… And while the initial potential was high for Marshmello’s branding, overtime his unmistakable “candy” house style became commercial and formulaic. ZHU’s darker house aesthetic, however, has long carried an underground quality that has kept his brand consistent, careful, and conscientious.
Today, ZHU hit fans with another new surprise on his Instagram — this time in the form of a black-and-white video harpooning back to a 1970s/80s B-movie, cult classic nostalgia. It’s safe to assume the music in the background is ZHU’s next original single given how it follows his familiar house sound stamp.
The video’s narrative shows a group of people carrying a casket to a cemetery at night and, soon thereafter, a car pulls into the scene. Each person is holding a rose and places it on the casket. The camera then pans over what is written on the casket: a list of eight names crossed out including Marshmello, Kygo, The Chainsmokers and more. At it’s heart, it’s a grim commentary about the mainstream kids that have exploded out of the electronic music scene over the last few years.
This is a bold and interesting move for ZHU to put his fellow industry peers on blast; but a move that more so provides a stark visual commentary on the commercialization of artist identity than it does “call out” any one person. Maybe ZHU never considered them peers to begin with. Maybe he was providing his vision into what the future holds for dance music trends. That is, “Down with Commercialism! The underground lives on!”
Stay tuned for more details as to when ZHU’s new single is set for full release. Until then, you’ll just have to play this 50 second clip on repeat.