Feature

Meet ZYO: the faceless supernatural entity on a mission to groove you with his electro-house soundscapes dubbed afro-futurism

ZYO is pretty much a supernatural entity sent to Planet Earth on an expedition to soothe souls through soundscapes that combine futuristic electronic elements with rhythms, feelings, and expressions of Africa.

Since the release of his 2018 single “We Are One”, ZYO has set out to bring to life a collision of his European roots and his African heritage through music and art, all the while maintaining an air of mysticism and ambiguity. From the self-designed patterns of his shweshwe-inspired attire to his self-produced, carefully curated audial journeys, his attention to detail is a vividly creative outpouring of his soul.

ZYO believes in collaboration as an opportunity to learn each other’s truths, and to tell many sides of a bigger story. In the spirit of collaboration, “Ingoma Yam” — which translates as “my song” — features powerhouse songstress Thandeka Mfinyongo, whose rich vocals paint a colourful picture of appreciation for the healing power of music, and rapper Kitso Seti, who preaches a similar expression through vernacular lyricism.

As the first offering off ZYO’s upcoming debut EP, due release early 2021, “Ingoma Yam” makes its intentions known from the get go as the intersection where traditional African house meets electro future-synth production. Built on a foundation of varying rhythms, it’s a soundscape layered with warm synth stabs, rich African vocalism and harmonies, and kwaito rap stylings, that feels familiar without ever being predictable.

The beauty of the journey is in how it builds and drops, peaks, and then lets you down gently. It’s a musical culture clash that takes Afrofuturism to the next level with an expertly produced dance-floor banger that is equal parts electronic excellence and Afro-house groove. We want more.