In many ways, ZHU‘s rise was unlike many others that reached superstardom popularity in the dance space. Weaving an emphasis on fashion into his aesthetic, ZHU gave a new definition to what it means to be a dance music artist and a brand. In his new Amazon Music documentary, Welcome to Dreamland, the multifaceted producer guides fans through his artistic vision and how he planned to make a splash with his latest project.
Welcome to Dreamland begins by introducing the COVID-19 pandemic. ZHU details how staying locked inside affected him, pushing back his plans for shows and leaving him alone in his house, just as it did everyone else. He opened the documentary by admitting,
“When COVID hit, I never thought ever that concerts could be taken away like that. I’ve almost forgotten a little bit that feeling, that rush, that calmness.”
But live music was able to return. And ZHU sold out six shows at Red Rocks as soon as it did—a record for the venue. The enigmatic beatsmith explained that as soon as the restrictions lifted, he was determined to be on the move and go somewhere. He performed livestreams around the world, creating elaborate sets, decked out with neon lights, polished by his dark, fashionable aesthetic. The documentary also sees ZHU explain why he opted to be a more mysterious figure in the dance scene prior to revealing his identity, hoping he could focus more on the music than his own backstory.
ZHU released the single “Z-train” earlier this summer, the track first teased during his lockdown set aboard a moving train that chugged its way through Montana. The artist sat down with Dancing Astronaut in October 2020, expressing that he wanted to deliver forward-thinking livestreams that pushed artistic boundaries. “Creativity comes out of circumstantial things,” he explained.
Now, with an Amazon Music-backed documentary feature, ZHU’s nearly matchless knack for creativity is on full display in Welcome to Dreamland. Watch below.
Featured image: Jeff Kravitz