Making waves here and abroad

MZANSI has yet again produced a DJ whose appeal goes beyond the borders of this country and the continent.

MZANSI has yet again produced a DJ whose appeal goes beyond the borders of this country and the continent.

Culolele thu Zulu, the man behind Culoe de Song, which is currently making waves on the music scene, seems to be headed for the stars.

Zuly might be one of the youngest DJs on the international dance scene, but he is rapidly notching up the kind of behind-the-decks action and airtime that ensures he is firmly on his way to the top.

It's no surprise at all that he is making such an impact with his DJ sets and own music. The young man has loved music since he was born.

"My full name is Culolelethu, which means Our Song in IsiZulu, so I guess my parents knew where my future lay," Zulu says.

He was born in the small town of Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal. His family is very musical. H is mother is well known in her area as an accomplished singer and his grandfather's skills behind the keyboard were also impressive.

With his family background it wasn't long before Zulu found an old, abandoned hi-fi on a rubbish dump and began experimenting with mixing records.

"I knew from that moment that this was the element that would begin my career as a DJ and music artist," he says.

Zulu's interest in DJing gained a further boost when, in 2004, the youngster headed for the coastal city of Durban to further his high school education.

With his incredible drive and vision it wasn't long before Zulu had absorbed the heady energy of the seaside city and immersed himself in its many nightclubs.

"Yes, the scene was new and intimidating, but it brought me closer to the decks that I was so hungry for," he says.

A meeting in 2006 with Durban-based DJ Kabila was another turning point in Zulu's music career.

Founded on a mutual passion for music, it was DJ Kabila efforts that gave Zulu a chance to experiment on the turntables.

"I have to thank DJ Kabila for encouraging and teaching me because those early days have proved to bea solid foundation for me," Zulu says.

Driven by a desire to take music further than simply behind the ones and twos, Zulu began playing around with music production in 2007 - and clicked so instantly with this new creative avenue that his talent was quickly spotted by South Africa's high-profile DJ, Black Coffee.

The first original Zulu production appeared on Black Coffee's second album, Have Another One. Titled 100 Zulu Warriors, it was an instant hit and a breath of fresh air for South Africa's many dance music fans.

This quickly cemented Zulu's status as a dance prodigy capable of rousing a club crowd and creating original music on his own.

He has since gone on to work with several well-known South African house music legends, including DJ Christos, who has also played a key role in pushing Zulu's career to new heights.

In 2008 signed signed for Black Coffee's label, Soulistic Music, and released cuts like The Bright Forest,Super Afro and 100 Zulu Warriors Remix.

In that same year Zulu's international career took off. Among the highlights was playing with international DJ-producer,DJ Rocco and being chosen to take part in the Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona, Spain,

More recently Zulu played at the legendary Sonar Music Festival in Spain. He was chosen to play the highly-anticipated closing set at the Sonar Dome, hosted by the Red Bull Music Academy on day three of Sonar by Day.

His EP, The Bright Forest , was released on to the global market through respected electronic dance music label, Innervisions (Europe). It remains a strong digital seller.

This likable music ambassador notched up another busy year in 2009, playing in Rome, Milan, Oslo and Barcelona in the latter part of the year and is already eyeing a full schedule for 2010.

"I am young and I love what I do, so it's easy to aim high," he says.