Nashville, known for its vibrant music scene, had the privilege of hosting ZHU on his “GRACE” Tour, and what an unforgettable night it was. The Grammy-nominated artist, whose new album “GRACE” will be released on January 19, 2024, via Astralwerks, transformed Nashville’s concert venue into a transcendent sonic cathedral.
Steven Zhu, known mononymously as ZHU, is an American electronic music producer and singer who has been making waves in the music industry since the beginning of 2014. What set ZHU apart in his early career was his enigmatic persona. Until mid-2014, he chose to remain anonymous, valuing the idea of being judged solely by his music. This mysterious approach added an aura of intrigue and curiosity around his artistry, leaving fans and critics alike eager to uncover the man behind the music.
The show had support from Noizu and Lux Velour. Lux Velour, Nashville’s premiere house-duo, kicked things off with a dreamy set that featured their latest release “Body” (which received support from Spotify with a placement on New Music Friday UK), several standout-IDs from Ken Kelly, and wrapped their set on a proper note ending with Mason Collective x Bipolar Sunshine’s “People in Love” as they handed the decks over to Noizu.
Keeping things proper, Noizu took over and immediately turned on the tech-house. He played through hits like “Vogue” , “Push To Start” , and gave Nashville a special treat of playing out Mau P’s unreleased ID “Dress Code” which will be out tomorrow on Black Book Records. The Techné Records label boss gave the South a taste of the UK & LA dance scenes.
ZHU’s breakthrough moment came with the release of his debut album, “Generationwhy,” on July 29, 2016. The album made a significant impact on the electronic music scene and showcased his versatility as an artist. Notably, the album was first premiered at the iconic Coachella music festival during his closing set in the Sahara Tent.
ZHU’s Coachella performance was met with widespread acclaim, and some even speculated that he could be “the next Daft Punk,” a testament to his potential to become one of the electronic music world’s great innovators. His ability to merge various electronic music genres seamlessly and his captivating stage presence left a lasting impression on both fans and industry insiders.
With his career marked by a commitment to pushing boundaries and defying expectations, ZHU’s journey in electronic music has been nothing short of remarkable. His evolution as an artist, from an anonymous trailblazer to a celebrated figure in the industry, has solidified his position as a true visionary in the world of electronic music.
This tour truly pushes creative boundaries with it’s production. The stage focuses on a box constructed by LED walls that either display an image or are see-through. While the photo below features a moment of Zhu with the Band, the second image demonstrates how the majority of the show occurred. Zhu was in the box and on top, while his band was kept safely below.
What made this box particularly fascinating was that as the different band members would play, the screen on it would show an close-up view of the featured musician for the crowd to really see. This was the first time I’ve ever seen a concept like this used, and I thought it was very unique! It’s surely something to see yourself, and I highly recommend if the Grace tour comes your way, be sure to be there.
Photos by Alex Cole @alexcxle