When asked about his earliest musical memory, Muzi remembers very clearly. “My dad is playing Bob Marley, ‘Buffalo Soldier,’ out of his Toyota Cressida,” he recalls. “I’m four.”
Since his 2016 studio debut, South African DJ/singer/songwriter/producer Muzi has earned a reputation for unpredictable sonic experiences. The magic of his music is rooted in a rich recipe of African Zulu influences (specifically Mas-kandi, Kwaito, and Iscathamiya) and pop and electronic music.
On his fourth studio album, 2021’s Interblaktic, Muzi demonstrates a natural talent for writing engaging, theatrical music about the under-explored universe of intergalactic adventures and African space travel. (“[I love] the idea that humans can do extraordinary things.”)
In his 2021 single “Zupiter,” the lyrics describe himself hurtling “two hundred and fifty kilometres” towards the fictional planet in his spacecraft, which he pilots as Zulu Skywalker, a daring cyberpunk persona who he occasionally adopts in his songs. “I think even though the name stuck organically, my performance style is a mixture of live performing plus DJing…I call it ‘Zulu Skywalking,’” he explains. (Not many artists can take credit for creating a new verb.) “So I guess the character comes alive on stage.”
This warm memory of him and his father in the Cressida remains vivid because it was a major moment in helping him down the artistic path he currently walks as Zulu Skywalker, a path that has gained notable admirers such as Damon Albarn, Stormzy and Chris Martin, who asked Muzi to remix his Coldplay song “Orphans.”
However, as much as he looks up to the stars for inspiration, Muzi also ventures deeply inward when writing songs, usually revolving around one central theme. “I pretty much always write about love,” he says. “Whether that’s love of self, love of my culture or love for people.”
Here’s a day in the life of Muzi.
Date October 7, 2022
Time I woke up 7:30 a.m.
Every day starts with Tea and some sunlight.
Breakfast consists of Water. I’m not a breakfast person. I usually feel like eating something closer to noon/lunchtime.
To get going I always Start with workouts and doing my morning routine. Makes me feel good because there’s 4/5 personal things I’ve already accomplished in a day by the time noon hits.
I don’t feel dressed without An earring.
Before I start working I must Listen to the things I made the day before. See if they are dope or not or if I was tripping when I was making them.
Currently working on A couple of songs. The more ideas I’m making, the more some start to feel like a body of work.
But I’d really love to be Back at home by the beach. City life can get hectic.
Book I’m reading Ego is the Enemyby Ryan Holiday. Arguably the only book I repeat. I read it once every year. It’s currently that time.
I don’t know how anyone ever Doubt African music.
If I had to play one album on repeat, it would be Daft Punk’s Discovery.
The perfect midday consists of Having my admin done so I can play PlayStation and watch Peppa Pig with my daughter.
Not a day goes by without speaking to Zeno (my daughter).
My daydreams consist of Building a happy fulfilled life based on what I want and not what the world thinks/says I need.
In a perfect day, in a perfect world Everyone in my life is good. No problems.
I’ll always fight for Artistic integrity.
Currently in love with Myself.
Hoping to make time to watch The Woman King.
By my bedside I always have A picture of my mom and my daughter.
To help get through the night I try to tire myself out so I can sleep. I’ve had very bad insomnia, but it’s getting better as I grow older.
Bed time Normally it’s 2:00 a.m . Tryna get it to 22:00, but that’s hard.
When I think about tomorrow, it’s always I don’t really try think too much about tomorrow. I always deal with things at hand. If I do them today, tomorrow will be better.