If you’re yet to have been introduced, San Zhi are a duo with roots in Bournemouth and Egypt who convey warm sentiment through their rich vocals, lush instrumentation and expansive production work. We’ve been tracking them throughout the year, after breezy number Blackholes surfaced in the spring. This week we chatted with San Zhi ahead of the release of their debut single and EP next week; stream the new EP below, and scroll down further to read what they had to say.
Hi San Zhi! Congrats on the EP. Has its release been a long time coming?
Thank you. It feels like it has! Blackholes was the first song we recorded properly in Paris over a year ago and we’ve been making music together since way back at music college. It’s nice to finally have a 10” vinyl in our hands but we’re more excited about what we’ve been recording recently and can’t wait to finish the album.
Your Show Me Love cover is awesome. Can you talk us through how it came into being?
Our friend Ziad came over to the studio to hang out and brought a few records with him, one of which was the Robin S 12”. We were pretty zoned out and decided to start messing with the tempo of the original and our producer thought it sounded great slowed down so we decided to do our own version at that speed. Suraya wasn’t in the studio at the time and when she arrived we told her what we were doing but she didn’t know of the song that well. Instead of playing her the original we just printed her off the lyrics and she recorded her vocal in a couple of takes, recognising the song half way through. Show Me Love was pretty much the soundtrack to every club growing up in Bournemouth and its encouraged a few of my friends back there to order the EP.
Your name and your Tumblr page seem to draw on some far-reaching influences – what influences your music?
I guess a big thing is the thought of escaping the sometimes quite mundane and depressing world we live in. Suraya was born in Alexandria, Egypt and has a different way of looking at stuff to me, her mum writes a popular blog about the Egyptian Revolution and has a beautiful way with words. We’re both obsessed with exploration and hidden worlds, also the thought of where our world will be when our kids grow up. There’s also the everyday stuff like having your feelings hurt.
How was the experience of shooting the video for ‘Ice Light’?
We were desperate to make a video for the EP but didn’t have much money. We were introduced by our friend Claire to a genius called Kieran Mithani who managed to take our ideas and build us this whole new world from the comfort of his home. We wanted to go to the north Pole but our budget took us as far as a studio in Vauxhall. Suraya did nearly get some frostbite though holding Ice.
What’s the best thing you’ve heard this year?
That there were new pictures of Mars.
What can we expect from San Zhi in 2013?
An album, 4 more members and hopefully a tour in China.