5 Questions with Zuli: on polished sound, working solo vs. collaborating, and more



The best part of our On The Rise series? Chatting with the people behind the music. We asked Zuli a few questions to get you (and us) ready for their show with Lazyeyes, Invisible Familiars, and Coaches on January 25th. Take a read and come see them live on our main stage next week.
1. What creative freedoms have you experienced working on a solo album vs. working collaboratively with a band; what have been the drawbacks?
Working on my own was definitely daunting at first, but really gave me the confidence I needed to follow my gut and make the music I wanted to make. There’s definitely a level of compromise needed when writing with a band, but when you’re staying true to a vision, I think it helps to have one person really steering the ship rather than being pulled in multiple directions. I’d say the only draw back I experienced was some loneliness in the studio haha. That’s really not an issue now tho, since I have the band and I bounce ideas off those guys all the time.
2. You’re quoted, in Nylon, describing your music as “somewhere in the sweet spot between well-crafted and shitty lo-fi” What about your recordings feel well crafted to you, and what would you consider lo-fi; what makes your sound yours?
I think what I meant when I said that, is that I wanted the songs to have this polished quality in terms of the composition, but feel really raw at the same time when you see us live or listen to the record. I’ve always been inspired by artists who can showcase their chops through the instrument of the song structure, rather than just wailing. However,  I also love when things are in your face and the energy/performance are at an all time high. 

3. Your sound has been described as having a summery, 70’s tinge. What groups from past and present influence the sound you make?
I think my sound and the music I’ve aspired to make has been inspired by a wide variety of bands. Generally, what I love are artists who have songs that can stand alone with just a piano or guitar, but are made unique by the layers and textures that they add on top of it. Songs that strike a chord with you emotionally, but also make you think, “they can do that?!” Really, I love music that hits home in the head and the heart. But if you’re looking for a laundry list my favorites are: Animal Collective, Beatles, Beach Boys, Dirty Projectors, UMO to name a few.
4. What do you see Zuli doing in upcoming years?
We’ll definitely be touring a lot, and releasing a full length later on this year. I think a big goal of mine is to go over seas and play some shows around Europe. I think creating at a steady yet comfortable pace is my main goal for the years to come.
5. Where’s your favorite hang to get some food when you’re not working on music?
If we’re in the city, Lasso Pizza is where it’s at. If we’re home on Long Island, you know we’ll all be hanging at Texicana Mexican grill haha. One of my favorite spots of all time.

Zuli will perform live at LPR on January 25th with Lazyeyes, Invisible Familiars, and Coaches as part of our On The Rise series. Have a great band you think would be perfect for On The Rise? Email a link and sample of their music to marketing@lprnyc.com and we’ll consider them.
post by b.s.