Where moniker and merit come hand-in-hand, the title DJ Zulu embodies an unrivalled passion demonstrating nothing short of serious business – musical and spiritual.
Born into an artistic family, he’s always been a child of incredible musical wonder. From day one of his life, he embodied rich musical and theatrical traditions of acting, flamenco singing, and dancing, with the creative artform composing his earliest ever memories. His father worked in radio, and movie dubbing industries – with his own home studio featuring; turntables, library records, magnetic tapes, vintage FX generators, and mixers. This laid the groundwork of future genius.
At only 15 years old, he began his vinyl collection. Soon though, his passion formed his entire world –working to save for turntables, DJ gear, and of course, feeding his musical appetite for new vinyls. This passion jump-started DJ Zulu’s career right at the epicentre of hip-hop, house, acid-jazz, and drum’n’bass of the mid 1990s, when he would tour with local hip-hop crews as a turntablist. His sheer passion and devotion to the artform caught the attention of one of Spain’s most popular DJs and record dealers, earning him a mentorship that fostered a new love for rare groove, funk, jazz, and disco genres too. His determination never faded, and throughout his early career, he would personally deliver his mixtapes to venues across a musically vivid Barcelona, enticing new ears to his special blend of rare funk 45’s, hard soul, afrolatin sounds, with a touch of obscure disco tracks. His efforts fuelled this pivotal moment in his career.
By age 21, DJ Zulu amassed a formidable record collection, becoming one of the main go-to record dealers for other DJs in his city. Already respected in his community – he hosted enthralling parties, and an online record marketplace – promoting his sound as The Timeless Grooves. It allowed him to embark on his works as a radio host, playing records nationwide, in Spain, France, and Italy, working as a sound technician, as well as promoter and musical Director for the prominent Barcelona underground nightspot, Timeless Club. Not long after, in 2004, Zulu became the in-demand DJ, at the height of the deep-funk scene across Spain and beyond.
On a spiritual note; the musical art would meet the martial art precisely with DJ Zulu, who embarked on his first foray into Asia, with his Boxing Team to Thailand in 2006. Even throughout his 10-day intensive Thai Boxing trainings, his musical curiosities prevailed, as he’d crate-dig the limitless record stores of Bangkok. This planted the golden seed, of the now critically-acclaimed mixtape series, The Secret Grooves.
Asia enticed DJ Zulu evermore, and just a year later he was brought to Taiwan – where he expanded his musical repertoire, alongside teaching his native language whilst studying Mandarin. His admiration for the martial arts led him to coaching, and fighting Mixed Martial Arts competitions earning him 4 victories against local champions. To this day, he remains unbeaten in the Taiwan MMA scene.
Existentially, his combined love for musical and martial arts transcend into what is a testament to the famed warriors of Southern Africa. The stage name, DJ Zulu, originated as a celebration of spirit and bravery on the battlefield, and within the hearts of those they defend. Zulu’s selections would reminisce organic, and percussive elements honouring the very roots of dance music. Notably, the drum is the first-ever musical instrument invented, and it is a widely-held belief that its origins lie on the African continent.
With the 10-year span of Asia in full-swing, Zulu has also guest DJ’d throughout Japan, Macau, as well as Vietnam. To this day, he co-headlines Taipei’s decade-famous Soul, Sweat & Swank Show (SSS), since 2008. This energised his continued propelling of Timeless Grooves alongside Asia’s most revered DJs and record diggers, which with enormous fanfare, awarded him the attention of Shanghai’s most celebrated nightclubs.
In 2016, he rose to Resident DJ at the world-famous Unico, in Shanghai’s prestigious Bund precinct. The biggest city on earth; a powerhouse of finance and culture, gasping for the savvy of DJs specialising in quality blends of funky music – a taste to which DJ Zulu masters with acoustic passion, and tremendous musical acumen.
To-date, his most notable gigs from an endless list of back-to-backs, opening, and closing sets include the famed DJ Vadim & Yarah Bravo, Joe Bataan, DJ Simbad (Brownswood Records, Havana Cultura), Thomas Dyani Akaru (percussionist for band Incognito), and the funk superband Osaka Monaurail from Japan.
Presently, connoisseurs can look forward to his near-future release of The Secret Grooves Vol. 2, following an intensive 3-year research project, available online and as a physical release. Listeners too can set their dials to his future streaming radio show. In-between, he continues to work on several musical productions and remixes, the foundations of his next hit releases, akin to his now acclaimed Timeless Grooves, and SSS parties in Shanghai, Beijing, and the world’s most premier cities. Stay tuned, the passion continues!