UPZ celebrates 10 years in industry with release of latest album
Internationally renowned producer and artist, UPZ, that brought us Mzansi classics like Pure Surprise, Uzongilinda, Believing and What’s The Point as well as 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 released on Friday, October 27th on 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, but UPZ 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, featuring Thantaswa, Sangoma’s Theme, featuring Lifford, And In Time, with BlackwHole and A Dream Away, with Siò. 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, whilst Take Me Away, featuring Shanteh, Unbreakable, featuring Pearl and Say What U Want, with Mariechan & Proverb, convey afro-soul influenced rhythms.
UPZ’s 2007 self-titled debut Japan, 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 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.