After playing in an array of bands throughout college, Zuli has been steadily creating a name for himself with his solo work. His debut album On Human Freakout Mountain has received critical acclaim, and there’s no sign of slowing down for Zuli. He has recently put out his new track ‘ur mistaken’ which marks his return to music since his 2017 debut. This new record showcases how timeless his sound is and leaves you wanting more.
We got a chance to chat with Zuli about everything from his new single ‘ur mistaken’, pursuing his solo career, and so much more…
What’s the story behind your new single “ur mistaken”?
I wrote it during a slump in my personal life. Juggling my career with my relationship to friends and family. I wanted to write a song with both of those perspectives articulated. I think the song is really effective in that way. Showing both sides of the coin, so as the user or the use-ee? (is that a word? haha) you can relate to the feeling.
In the past you’ve played in bands, what made you want to pursue a solo career?
I’ve always been writing my own songs, but it came to the point where it made more sense for me to run with ideas as opposed to opening up a dialogue about them. I love outsider input, but ultimately feel the need to have the final say.
How did you know when you wanted to fully commit to making music as a career?
Since I was a kid. It was an intuition thing. Something I can’t really explain or stop doing, but it always felt right. Making music is something I can’t really quit, even when it fucks me up.
What would be the line up at your dream concert?
This is tough haha. I feel like I have different answers, all stemming from different times in my life. If I were to meld all of those worlds, I guess Queen would open the show, followed by an intimate Rubber soul era set from the Beatles, then close the night with Frank Ocean. He can play whatever he wants.
What is your favorite part about performing live?
Definitely connecting with the fans. I feel the most like myself when I perform on stage, but at the end of the day, when I feel the energy being given back, that is truly an irreplaceable feeling. Something that connects your world and the crowd’s world together to create this beautiful moment in time.
Where do you draw inspiration from when making music?
It comes from all over. Music, film, books. I think all of these mediums help paint pictures in my head. My favorite way to be inspired, though, is through conversation. Speaking openly with someone and hearing something that has such an impact, I need to run to the other room to start framing the idea. That’s when it feels the most relatable and organic.
What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the year?
I think finishing the next record is the biggest goal of the year. That, and maybe just living in the present and enjoying the time I have right now. My head is already looking towards 2020, and the way I see it, I wanna look back at this time and think that I enjoyed how different my life was, and maybe even miss it.
Is there anything coming up that fans can look forward to?
New music, and everything that comes along with that. Still working on it, but very excited about the process.
Zuli will be performing at Elsewhere in New York on the 13th of September.