Clean smirks from West London grime MC, Big Zuu.
We have had an amazing year for UK music this year. Critically acclaimed releases from Dave, Little Simz, Kano, Slowthai amongst others, has led to mainstream recognition, with many of these releases ending up on year end lists both here in the UK and in America.
And now we look forward to the year to see who we think will break out, who will have a great year, who will have the best release?
And in my humble opinion, I think Big Zuu is going to have a huge year next year.
Big Zuu over the past couple of years has been quietly building a buzz for himself, with the release of his debut mixtape ‘Content with Content’ in October 2018 and following it up with the criminally under looked ‘We Will Walk EP’, along with his first headlining tour and supporting Dave on the European leg of his tour. And Zuu has been making big moves away from music, with the recent announcement of his own food show on the channel Dave.
But I still feel like not enough people are paying attention to Zuu and the music he is making. Before music, Zuu was studying youth work at Goldsmiths, and this passion in wanting to empower the youth permeates in his music. His song ‘The Struggle’ off his latest EP exhibits this, touching on topics like the education system, minimum wage and the class system. The song also has a plea for other artists to become role models for the youth, to present the reality of a life that can sometimes be glamorised. There’s sincerity in Zuu’s music which permeates through it, he seems like he has a genuine concern for his listeners and the youth in general. And we need that from our artists. Because Zuu doesn’t come across preachy or judgemental, instead he is a relatable voice, he came from the same place as those who he is speaking to.
“Animalise!” ~ Big Zuu
Despite all his successes, Zuu seems really down to earth, which allows him to keep an underdog vibe. This mean him not only can he speak to people, but he can also speak for them. Following Grenfell, he released an incredibly moving tribute with footage in the video from the site itself, depicting the volunteers and the tributes. He also released ‘Xenophobia’ which touched on the hatred that people receive for coming to the UK. Zuu has the potential to become a powerful voice in music for those who feel they aren’t represented. And he still manages to make it catchy, Zuu is able to strike the balance between message and music, which can be really hard to do.
The youth in this country need role models, they need people they can relate to, especially over the next few years, as things are likely to get harder. The election results will likely lead to a rise in austerity, rise in poverty, the gap between the rich and the poor widening, people feeling more disenfranchised than ever.
So my prediction is that Big Zuu will release an album next year which receives critical acclaim, along with including words of wisdom for the youth and the population in general who will need that hope.
Words by Daniel David