Sazu shines with musical talents


Provided by Sam Zhu

Sam Zhu has had recent success through music.

Molly Smith, Sports Editor

Starting behind the piano, slowly tapping the keys beginning to look for the right sounds; searching for the notes that spark inspiration for a track. Soon one chord turns to two which turns to three until a mood has been established. The piano is a success and now comes the time where the recording is entered into a producing computer, and the process continues to roll. This is the setting where junior Sam Zhu thrives.

Going by the alias Sazu, he has amassed over 10,000 consistent monthly listeners on Spotify. His top song “I’ll Be Your Home” has gotten over 161,000 streams. He creates mostly electronic music for himself, in addition to music he produces; when he produces, he is not listed as an artist he works behind the scenes to create mixes. Knowing from a young age he had a passion for music, Zhu continues to impress many fans with each new track he puts out.

Most artists have a defining moment when they realize music is the path for them. For Zhu, it happened quite young. At eleven years old, he was introduced to a Lativian music producer by the name of Tobu. y closing his eyes and listening to the beat he fell in love with every aspect of music. Since that day, he has not lived without music.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhu has had plenty of time to work on his music, whereas in past years he had many other activities going on.  This allowed him to jump from barely 1,000 listeners in May 2020 to ten times that in monthly listeners and more than 100 times that in streams. His hard work and dedication to his craft have really shown through.

“What he’s accomplished in such a short period of time is amazing. At his age, during this weird time, he stayed motivated and established himself really well,” friend Aditya Venkat said.

Zhu has not only impressed his peers with his knowledge and understanding of music, but also music teacher Michael Soo, who remembers the passion he brought to class two years ago as a freshman.

“His passion for the subject was immediately apparent. I was struck by the initiative he took in creating his music, asking questions, and trying to develop the strongest product he could,” Soo said.

Although Zhu is older and much more established in the music industry, he still brings the initiative and passion he had when Soo first met him. The two have reconnected this year and will be working on strengthening Zhu’s knowledge of why notes sound good together. Usually considered a musical “superpower”.  Even though Soo still has many topics to cover in teaching his pupil, he is ready to learn from Zhu’s successes.

Going into 2021, Zhu wants to continue to bring joy to not only himself but his followers through music. Something that has become increasingly difficult the bigger his platform gets and the more challenging it becomes. Instead of focusing on quantitative data like the number of streams he receives, he wants to put time, passion, and art into each and every track he creates. This shines through in his new song “Tired Eyes”, written with fellow rising artist Jane Xie. “Tired Eyes” is A song that many teens resonate with. In just over two weeks the song has almost 5,000 streams on Spotify.

“It’s about the struggle of a relationship and how it can be difficult at times. It can wear people out and take a toll on your hearts,” Zhu said.

Although Zhu has clearly gained recent success, he doesn’t want to stop there and continues to set goals. He is hoping to get half a million Spotify streams by the fall and is also hoping to get some tracks signed to big labels. He is already on his way to creating bonds with many artists.

“Sam has been one of the best people to work with. He’s always putting his entire heart into his music, as am I,” music colleague Mary Shannon said.

Although Zhu still has a lot of work ahead of him before accomplishing his dreams, he is ready to continue on this journey of the passion he loves.

“I just wanted to continue to spread some good in the world with my music,” Zhu said.