Steven Zhu, who performs as ZHU, (born April 28, 1989) is an American musician and singer who has been active since the beginning of 2014, signed to Mind of a Genius Records. Until mid-2014, Zhu remained anonymous, asking to be judged by his music alone. His debut album, Generationwhy, was released on July 29, 2016.
The first single from The Nightday, titled “Faded”, drew support from Pete Tong, who named it an “Essential New Tune” on his radio show on BBC Radio 1. “Faded” was released in March 2014, and quickly climbed the global charts, peaking at number 3 in Australia and the UK, and number 12 on the US Dance/Electronic chart. “Faded” was certified platinum in Australia in 2014 and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
In a November 2014 interview, Zhu’s manager Jake Udell described the current music climate as “very black and white” and acknowledged that Zhu’s race played a role in the decision to release and market his music anonymously, saying: “Some of us don’t even know the limitations of our own prejudice. Rather than put those limitations to the test, we’ve created an engaging way for fans to focus on the music rather than who’s behind it.” Zhu stated in a February 2015 interview that “the project [Zhu] is all about art, and we try to make it about the songs and the response.”
He first premiered his debut album Generationwhy at Coachella 2016 during his closing set in the Sahara Tent. Zhu’s Coachella performance was praised, with a writer for the New York Observer suggesting that he could be “the next Daft Punk”.
Zhu’s success carried over into 2017, where he was a featured performer in Ultra Music Festival 2017 in Miami on the live stage on March 24, 2017. His performance was positively received. Also in March, he released the single “Nightcrawler”, which was followed by a second single “Intoxicate”.
On April 26, 2018, Zhu released the first installment of his second studio album, Ringos Desert, as an extended play. The full album was made available five months later on September 7, comprising 14 tracks featuring Tame Impala, Majid Jordan, and TOKiMONSTA. An accompanying North American tour was announced in support of the album.
Zhu has played at Coachella and Ultra Miami Music Festival.
See a full list of upcoming Zhu shows here.
Without further ado, Zhu’s top 5 tracks of all time:
5. ZHU – Light It Up (feat. TOKiMONSTA)
4. Zhu – Cocaine Model
3. ZHU – My Life ft Tame Impala
2. ZHU – In the Morning (Official Video)
1. ZHU – Faded
BONUS: ZHU – Good Life