MuzicNotez Crew: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
Introduce yourselves, what are your names and rolls in thegroup?
OnPlanetZu: Thanks, Nick. OnPlanetZu music is produced and created by ‘Fader Master’ Cori Jacobs, who doubles as our onstage dj, DJ Fader. He brings us that OPZ sound quality. For live shows, we like to make the music as full as possible. So I have recruited the guys from my rock band, BAZERK. These guys know how to blast the energy and feed the hype. Fred Funk lays down the funky grooves and the drum beat. Randy Wilde Brings in low bottom wobble with his bass. Dave DeLuna fills in the guitar tracks. I am Zu, the originator of OnPlanetZu. I write the songs and keep the vocals hype building, so the crowd keeps dancing.
MuzicNotez Crew: How did you meet and form up? How long have you been together?
OnPlanetZu: I started OnPlanetZu in the summer of 2012 as a result of a trial remix of a BAZERK track for an indie label. The electro-rock sound struck home with me and I decided to make it official and see where it led. Since our debut song, ‘Speakers’, there has been no looking back. When ‘Speakers’ video came out and quickly got over 100k hits, we knew we had something. It has just been a matter of having fun and creating outside the box ever since. As far as our live performances, we didn’t want to be a group who just stood onstage tweaking nobs. We wanted our music to be an entertaining experience. We love the way the live instruments sound on top of our electronic tracks. It was easy to pull my other musicians in and create something really unique.
MuzicNotez Crew: How did you come up with the name OnPlanetZu?
OnPlanetZu: Ha. Well my name is Zu, so it stems from that. But it goes far beyond that. On the Planet of Zu, it is like there’s this constant rush of creative power and musical possibility that is anxious to express itself. Planet Zu feeds off of the culmination of each person’s energy and spiritual form and motivates us to return that creative energy to the people. It is a place between time and space, a state of mind. On our Planet, everything is possible through music. Therefor… OnPlanetZu!
MuzicNotez Crew: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the band you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
OnPlanetZu: Thats a good question. At an early age, I was really inspired by Prince and George Clinton because they are so outrageous and did their own thing. Sly and the family stone, Ohio Players and Rick James were my background funk foundation. Then I got into hip hop: Run DMC, KRSOne, Busta Rhmes, Wu-Tang, Public Enemy, etc. As far as electronic influences, there are some undeniable influences in our musical style: Bassnectar, Skrillex, The Prodigy. I’ve always really enjoyed Rage Against The Machine, Flava Flav, Chili Peppers, all these hyper dudes. That’s where I get all my hyper energy and intensity from.
MuzicNotez Crew: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
OnPlanetZu: The greatest concert I performed was definitely doing Prince’s birthday bash when he was in LA and owned the club, Purple Rain. Prince came backstage and told me he didn’t know what it was, but to keep goin cuz I had it. Then he gave me some pointers on how I could grow the versatility of my sound. I was like whaaaa?! That was early on and had a strong influence on my musical career.
The best concert was George Clinton during his Mothership Connection Tour. It was outrageous: costumes, gimmicks, stage props, things I had never seen before, because I was so young and still a baby in the music scene. He became a large influence in my style after that.
MuzicNotez Crew: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
OnPlanetZu: Well, I don’t want to come off preachy in my lyrics. That gets annoying. Yet, mostly my music is about a spiritual life journey, and putting it into words so that they don’t come off preachy but can reach each person individually through energy and spirit. I use a lot of analogies and metaphors. Lots of association to music and letting go and enjoying what is.
As far as a musical career, we want to create our own path toward being able to help other unique indie artists; so that they can know that they can do it. It takes a lot of hard work. But there is support out there. We want to be some of that support.
MuzicNotez Crew: How does your musical style and originality make you unique? What do you do that makes you stand out?
OnPlanetZu: Everything we do is completely original, it comes from thoughts and ideas from inside the brain of Zu. I hear this sound or hook in my head, take it to Cori, then we manifest it in real life-no samples. Cori is the mastermind interpreter, man. I walk into his studio saying, “Aye man, I got this idea it sounds like…” then I start making all these contorted noises and rhythms. He will listen for a while then be all, “Yeah, yeah! whooo, That’s great! I’m feelin’ that” he twists some nobs, slides some faders, and gives me a freakishly accurate replication of what I had in my head. Then we work from there. We don’t use any trendy loops, no trendy beats. It is all completely original sounds, loops, and beats- there it goes!
MuzicNotez Crew: How do you approach creating a new track? What’s your writing style like?
OnPlanetZu: I spend a lot of quiet time alone with my thoughts. I try to just sit and listen. 1,000 things go through the musical database in my mind, but when one hits me, I pick it out. I can be somewhere and it just blasts me. Then I have to hurry up and get it down on my phone or into my stereo. I have to just hurry and get it out before it leaves. I start with a tempo, usually based off the energy I’m feeling throughout the day, then the bass line, then the melody and the verse. Sometimes its a hook that just jumps into my head and I build everything around that. There is so much in this head, man. I just gotta sit quiet and let the right stuff present itself or else its overwhelming.
MuzicNotez Crew: You recently released a new album, how would you describe this release?
OnPlanetZu: Adventures of Yo Mama is high energy. Its electronic, its hip hop-rock, right in your face- real aggressive. And its got tons of bass. Its not just your standard genre styles that you would expect to hear, but each turn and layer in the music can switch up style or layer multiple styles at any time. This keeps the listener awake, and keeps the music entertaining. It was a lot of fun to create.
MuzicNotez Crew: You say that you’ve had your share of rejection from the industry. This is a very similar problem with all indie’s. How has this motivated you moving forward?
OnPlanetZu: You can say that again! The rejection has been motivating because I know in my gut that we’ve got something that people will want to hear. That motivation and determination not to compromise my style has led us to this label that we’ve got now, a label who feels the same way I felt about my music; and he has had a similar musical journey. Skee-Lo lets me do what I want and puts out the product without wanting to rearrange it and change it. He respects me as an artist, as do I him. There will be some very hot collaborations coming up in the near future.
MuzicNotez Crew: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
OnPlanetZu: We are working on getting a tour scheduled, and are also focused on getting music pitched in movies and film. Another crazy video is on its way, and another OPZ album will surface sooner than some might expect. We are going ham on everybody so that they know who OnPlanetZu is. This year, we will be releasing joint efforts with artists like Skee-Lo, Redman, Darcy Donavan, Galilee, and have some of our tracks remixed and released through the dubstep gang over at Cleopatra Records. That’s just the near future of OPZ. One collaboration track that we did with Galilee and Supa, ‘Feels Like Friday-Turn Me Up,’ will be placed in Asylum Film’s upcoming “The Bachelor Party.” We are really honored to have been invited to open the after-party for the ‘West Coast Icons and Legends Awards’ on June 23. It will be aired on BET and other TV channels, it will be OnPlanetZu’s first red carpet related performance. This is a really exciting event for us.
MuzicNotez Crew: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
OnPlanetZu: Yeah, definitely. As an artist, make sure that when you’re doing music in this industry, you take your own path. Don’t listen to these industry execs who tell you what to do with your music, yet have no true sense of musical artistry. You have to stay true to yourself and to your art, and stick with it! This shiz ain’t easy. Surround yourself with those who are motivated and inspired like you, even if its your dog. Keep yourself in supportive company. Oh, and… Holla at your boi, Hit us up at www.onplanetzu.com