I do not remember how I find some musicians on my endless quest for the best collection of music. Some randomly pop up out of nowhere while others follow a more regimented search online. One band in my collection is one of those unknowns. Zulú 9.30, a one of a kind musical group from Barcelona has rocked my iTunes library time and time again. Musicians Oski, Blas, Kodi, Nando and Topata offer a unique reggae sound that stands alone with its use of electronic sounds from their roots. To learn more about their work, I reached out to the crew to have them share their overall message from their music.
Their goal in music is quite deep. “We had the intention of offering our free vision of music. [A showing] of the cultural fusion and mixture [and] enjoying music [with] our live performances as an only way to transmit some kind of feelings and sensations about life and about the way to live positively. We tried always to share all these sensations as everyone can feel them. [Also], how turning around some situations to give a positive vision and to create a personal way of communication between us and our audience.” I will let you absorb all of that for a moment.
All of their songs are special in their own right. “In each work we did, we tried to improve our resources, our way of doing… This is why we think our last works are more mature… Every period has its… moment and its concrete reasons… We appreciate each work/album/show/style that we carried out being conscious of [this entire] context. The way that we still [are] today is the consequence of every step we took…”
Zulú 9.30 are humble about their career yet they still have plans for next steps. “We reached a lot of goals we set. [We] recorded five albums, received acknowledgment, shared stage and our time with a lot of bands and artists who we admire and performed on the most important festivals and clubs around the country. [Our goal has been] to perform in front of a huge audience, to travel around the whole continent carrying our way of doing music and our way of transmitting our message. Of course, we still always [remain] ambitious about reaching a lot of more goals, performing… in more important scenes, but as I told you before, we like to appreciate all these achievements and be thankful about our experience. We think this is our mode to grow in a good way, although we are ambitious, we prefer keeping our innocence and our illusion just like that.”
Being a musician is not always easy; I asked if they could share an example of a rough patch. “It was the first time we performed 15 years ago, Ha-Ha-Ha… It was a wonderful situation, but very very difficult. [We performed] without any experience [or] even support, but with an incredible illusion, wishes and hopes to make growing the project you know today as Zulú 9.30 from [nothing]. Today it is different, but with this answer we want to highlight that we can create from illusion, desire, hope, and we should never forget this first time to be grateful about overcoming all these difficulties that we should cross, taking all these opportunities to learn and grow with every stone we find on the road.”
Will the music scene evolving so quickly, I wanted to hear about their thoughts on it all. “We think that we are in a changing period, a growing one induced by this globalization in communications. [The] world is more open minded, opened to adopt cultural resources and traditions to… grow our own culture. Maybe one day this situation will become steadier, but we think today we live a time of enrichment. Of course, there are some aspects and ramifications we don’t agree, but we shouldn’t fight, but learn about every situation to do our best.”
Music is their main medium, I asked of they were interested in any other forms of art. “I don’t know if beyond, well, we did some things not exclusively about music, in our video clips, writing lyrics that never saw the light, engaging more in technical production, in web learning, in social media, etc… but it was always related to our music. Music has opened our way, but at the moment we are not thinking on being video producers, even writers, even actors, even web designers… But who knows…?”
My favorite song of Zulú 9.30’s is Era. I asked if they would change anything about their music. “Oh well, we always want our music to become more popular, more connected with the popular feeling, but we actually know that we are an underground band, as we talked before. Times in communication have changed, it is very difficult to find economic and diffusion supports to reach the media promotion, and it is very very difficult doing the step from underground to mainstream stages. We are happy to grow at our own pace.”
Zulú 9.30 has a ton of influencing artists that they pull from. I was curious if they could share a few off the top of their head. “Damien Marley, Julieta Venegas, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Jorge Drexler, Alejandro Sanz, Police, Manu Chao, Trilok Gurtu, Rihanna, Paco de Lucia, Daft Punk, Carles Benavent, Stevie Wonder, David Guetta, Juanes, Carlinhos Brown, Michael Jackson… Oh, well… The list is so so large… From Bob Marley to Miles Davis, from Flamenco to Rock music, from songwriters to main stream artists, from past to [present]… We think a good artist must appreciate all kind of art, and we should have a very large list of influences to enrich our own style, and we can find our own way with a lot of work, but we carry in our backpack a lot of recorded feelings by culture, art, music and life we lived.” Wow, now that’s a mouthful of great musicians!
The crew remains busy as always. “We are just now preparing, finishing and creating new concepts around our new lyrics and new themes to complete a new and compact work, we’re just defining the axis around our new album will turn. Musicians and artists always have new projects on mind, since our last recording, since our last performance we are already creating new ideas to transfer them on our next songs, lyrics or shows. We are just now preparing new concepts to record our next album and begin again our job trying to bring our project to as many ears and people as we can. [We are] always working step by step and being grateful and happy about our job as our way of living.” There you have it folks. Thanks to Zulú 9.30, you now have a new musical sensation to enjoy. Please give these great guys a listen and enjoy their infectious tunes.