This week’s Song of the Week is Money by ZHU
Stephen Zhu, an American of Chinese heritage performing under the name ZHU, first broke onto the electronic dance scene in 2014 with the song ‘Moves Like Ms. Jackson,’ a medley of OutKast songs. He released his debut EP ‘The Nightday’ in spring that year, and his first hit single, ‘Faded’ was nominated for a Grammy after major international success. Using the internet to make his career, ZHU was anonymous when his career started, and his Grammy nomination made him the first anonymous artist to ever be nominated for music’s prestigious award. His second album, the 14-song ‘GENERATIONWHY’, was released at the end of summer this year, with the song ‘Money’ featuring at #8. A performance at Coachella earlier this year lead some in the music industry to label him “the next Daft Punk”.
It won’t surprise you to hear that I heard this song for the first time on Thursday, as part of the track-list on the popular videogame FIFA 17. The yearly football/soccer franchise is one of the biggest selling games in the world, and is just as famous now for its song-list as it is for its gameplay. I discovered some of my favourite musicians – such as The Black Keys, K-os and Miike Snow – through the game, and I’ll certainly be looking into ZHU’s music after this song.
This is definitely my stand out track on FIFA this year. Money is a track that doesn’t just has a great beat accompanied by a strong voice – and what a strong voice it is – but above all, it just shows an incredible level of patience. Incredibly calm despite always feeling like it wants to burst forth, ZHU does a great job of creating really interesting contrasts, none more obvious than in what is an incredibly unique and original sounding chorus; a piece of sound that is worth the price of a track alone, even just to listen to it once.
I really hope you enjoy listening to this incredibly smooth and unique song, and as always have a great week with lots of love from The Culture Cove!