Johannesburg– Internationally renowned producer / artist, UPZ – that brought us Mzansi classics including Pure Surprise, Uzongilinda, Believing and What’s The Point plus collaborations with Black Motion, Cuebur, Black Coffee and more – marks his 10th anniversary in the music industry with a brand new album titled, Drop It, which releases this Friday, October 27thon various digital platforms.
The long-anticipated new album is a step forward in the musical direction of the South African-Israeli producer and DJ. Not content with the tried and tested, UPZ experiments and ventures into new sonic avenues whilst continuously extending his collaboration tentacles.
House music textures may lay the foundation of the album, butUPZ is not shy to explore the different terrains within the genre; from afro house beats to fusing elements of soul, hip-hop, nu disco and Jamaican dub. Most apparent when listening to Drop It is UPZ’s penchant for vocals and song writing. The album sees him collaborating with both well-known and upcoming artists from South Africa and abroad including BlackwHole, Lifford, Proverb, Mariechan (Jamali), Jocelyn Mathieu, Siò, Thantaswa, Pearl, Shanteh, Obi Sanaa and Chris Rouse.
Beyond the mere exploration of universal themes of love and relationships, Drop It finds UPZ lyrically tap into topics of social relevance & mystique, specifically with tracks like Drop It (feat Thantaswa), Sangoma’s Theme(feat Lifford), And In Time (with BlackwHole) and A Dream Away (with Siò, award-winning vocalist of 1000 Memories with Julian Gomez). Concurrently, UPZ crafts his production with the dancefloor in mind, with plenty of groove appeal throughout.
Disco Girl (the latest radio single) and Magic With You explore nu disco sonic aesthetics, whilstTake Me Away (feat Shanteh), Unbreakable (feat Pearl) and Say What U Want (feat Mariechan & Proverb) convey afro-soul infuenced rhythms.
UPZ’s 2007 self-titled debut (Japan, Rambling Records) featured his breakout single, Pure Surprise which secured him a no.1 hit in South Africa in 2009. In 2012, his album, Pioneers of House: UPZ (Soul Candi) included production collaborations with Black Coffee, Black Motion & Qness.
Support for UPZ productions have poured in from leading DJs including Fresh, Euphonic, Vinny Da Vinci, Black Coffee, Louis Vega & DJ Kent and his releases have graced powerhouse labels Defected, Strictly Rhythms and Objektivity (Dennis Ferrer).
Born in Tel Aviv, UPZ moved to Nairobi, Kenya with his family at the age of five and two years later relocated to South Africa. After graduating from Wits University, he decided to pursue his passion for music upon moving back to Tel Aviv. Africa, however, continuously beckoned and UPZ returned to SA in 2014 and currently resides in Johannesburg.
“This album has been over two years in the making,” says UPZ. “I feel truly happy with the direction the album has taken and was honoured to have worked with some great artists, songwriters and vocalists in its formation.”
Drop It contains ten new tracks, some of which have already charted nationwide on leading radio stations (Sangoma’s Theme, Say What U Want), plus a bonus track of the new remix of Pure Surprise (2017 Sunrise Mix) currently on high rotation on music channels MTV base and Trace Urban and which charted on multiple radio stations across SA.
Drop It will be available via soWHAT Records on all digital platforms from October 27th, 2017(itunes pre-order link). The album launch takes place at the BlackwHole Lounge in Mamelodi West on Friday, 27 October with guest artists BlackwHole, Twister, Mams Black Project, Maghaula and Footsounds. R40 entry and the album will be available to purchase.
Drop It Tracklist:
- Disco Girl – UPZ feat Jocelyn Mathieu
- Drop It – UPZ feat Thantaswa
- Sangoma’s Theme – UPZ feat Lifford
- A Dream Away – Sió & UPZ
- Magic With You – UPZ feat Chris Rouse
- Take Me Away – UPZ feat Shantéh
- And In Time – BlackwHole & Obi Sanaa (co-prod UPZ)
- Village Ghetto Style – UPZ feat Chris Rouse
- Unbreakable – UPZ feat Pearl
- Say What U Want (Afro Mix) – UPZ feat Mariechan & Proverb
- Pure Surprise (Sunrise Mix) – UPZ feat DKP
soWHAT Records is boutique label based in Johannesburg and established 2007. The label has released productions and singles from leading SA producers like Black Coffee, Black Motion, UPZ, Cuebur, BlackwHole and Qness and have featured vocalists such as Maleh, Proverb, Harrison Crump and Kafele (USA). Stand out singles include Pure Surprise by UPZ, Uzongilinda by Qness,Endless Motion by Dahl Hates Disco, Believing by UPZ and Afrika Wo-man by Black Motion & UPZ and Love is Not For Hire by Avi Elman (Black Coffee Remix) and have licensed to labels Soul Candi, Sheer, Defected, Strictly Rhythm, Objektivity (Dennis Ferrefer) and more.
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