It’s not easy to get started in the music business, especially as a young artist. From late nights recording to building the necessary connections, there are a multitude of behind-the-scenes steps that must be taken in order for an artist to reach even mild success. Some artists fizzle out from the pressure, while others embrace the challenges and reap the rewards of their hard work. When it comes to the Zulus, a new Denver group consisting of two brothers, Montae & Tre Zulu, and a member from Portland, Capital K, it’s clear they are ready to take on the tumultuous adventure of becoming great artists.
While there are three members of the Zulus now, it originally started with just the two brothers and a few friends who showed vague interest. For the brothers, it all started with Montae. From the time he was 12, Montae Zulu, the older of the two Zulu brothers, has been recording music. While he didn’t get serious about recording until a few years later, that base foundation of musical passion has helped him develop as an artist, and has also rubbed off on his younger brother Tre. At first he was just a tag-along to the recording sessions, but Tre eventually started writing his own raps and proved to have some prowess behind the mic. Within a few months of him recording his first verses, Montae decided there was enough there to start something bigger.
After recording their first song, they knew something was there. With help from their manager/father, the duo printed out 200 flyers with information about the song and themselves, and headed to downtown Denver in order to build some buzz. Thanks to this grind, the Zulus still have fans to this day who follow them after only seeing their flyer. It’s this type of hustle that has already helped the Zulus grow from a group of talented individuals to a collective that deserves recognition, and as long as their hard work continues, their audience will grow as well.
Once their first handful of recordings were done, the Zulus knew they were talented enough to make a career out of music, but also knew they needed to get more serious about it. Some of their earlier recordings weren’t up to the standards that they wanted to meet, and that sense of constantly needing to improve led to some big changes. They streamlined the group, got rid of some hangers-on that weren’t fully committed, and added their third official member, Kaleb, who they met through playing video games online.
This addition has lead to the Zulus’ current form. When asked about why the trio decided on the name the Zulus, it became clear that there was more behind the name than it just sounding good. The group wanted to represent their African heritage with their name and branding, bringing a sense of power to their audience. The group’s logo, a lion’s head with a flowing mane, exudes that confidence and strength, and gave the trio a polished, professional look.
With their increased sense of professionalism came some of their best music to date. Superman, a high energy, catchy song is one example of this. While Kaleb is absent from the track, both brothers bring the music to another level with strong verses, smooth flows, and great production that brings some ear-catching thump. The group knew that this was their best work yet, and thus needed a visual for it.
In comes Nefilim Productions. An upcoming videographer, Nefilim Productions helped lay the backdrop for the Superman video amidst one of Denver’s most visually appealing neighborhoods. The excellent street art surrounding the Zulus helps bring an artistic air to the video, and having the artists hop into an actual Benz was a nice touch, too. After only a few weeks, the video has already racked up thousands of views and looks poised to keep going strong. For a first video, this is impressive for the Zulus, and shows that they are growing into being artists, rather than kids having fun in the booth. While both brothers feel there is room to improve, this is a great start for the young group and it looks like bigger things are in their future.
It’s an exciting time for Colorado hip hop as a whole, and groups like the Zulus are a big reason why. Check out their first video for the song Superman below and keep up to date with everything they’re doing on their Twitter or Instagram.