Leica Camera USA x Astralwerks Partnership
ASTRALWERKS ANNOUNCES CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH LEICA
Collaboration Launches With Newly Signed Astralwerks Artist ZHU
Watch Live Q&A With ZHU On Leica’s Instagram On May 23
Astralwerks has teamed up with Leica in a creative partnership that will provide the label’s recording artists with powerful new tools for artistic expression. ZHU – the GRAMMY®-nominated producer who recently signed to Astralwerks – is the first artist to bring Leica into his creative process.
Watch Leica’s IG Live with ZHU on Saturday, May 23, at 12PM PST, on Leica’s Instagram to learn more about ZHU’s vision for the visuals that will accompanying his forthcoming projects. ZHU and Astralwerks’ Toby Andrews discuss the new partnership in this interview, and also share a collection of photos they have taken with Leica equipment.
Astralwerks GM Toby Andrews said, “Partnering with Leica is a huge statement for Astralwerks. As a label, we’ve always tried to put ourselves at the creative forefront for our artists. Working with Kiran and her team at Leica is allowing us to bring so much to the table, at the highest quality. Their equipment is world-class, and to launch this alongside ZHU feels special. He’s a visually driven artist so working with a new team to amplify that to the world is a perfect match.”
Kiran Karnani, Director of Marketing, Leica North America, added, “We are honored to partner with Astralwerks during this momentous occasion as supporting artists is an integral part of our ethos. By offering a new layer of visual storytelling to recording artists such as ZHU, we are able to see firsthand the incredible journey they go through. We hope to provide a new element of insight into this creative process through the lens of a Leica camera.”
ZHU said, “I’ve loved the Leica sensors from the day I picked up a camera.”
A longtime Leica user, ZHU’s personal photo archives are already massive. See a collection of photographs he shot with his Leica TL2 HERE.
News of ZHU’s signing to Astralwerks was announced last Friday, coinciding with the label’s release of his new collaboration with Tinashe, the haunting new single “ONLY.” Download / stream HERE. View the official music video HERE.
Since emerging from the underground in 2014, ZHU has brought a cinematic sense of world-building to his music. Born Steven Zhu and raised in the Bay Area, he began playing piano at a young age. After making his debut with “Moves Like Ms. Jackson”—a 2014 release that drew widespread attention despite ZHU’s deliberately concealing his identity—ZHU dropped his debut EP The Nightday and soon earned a GRAMMY® Award nomination for Best Dance Recording for his breakthrough single “Faded.” Arriving in 2016, his debut album Generationwhy found ZHU illuminating his emotional life to a greater degree, in part by adding more of his lithe vocal work to the album’s channeling of desert psychedelia. ZHU continued that sonic exploration on his sophomore album Ringos Desert, a 2018 effort featuring guests like TOKiMONSTA and Tame Impala.
As his profile has risen over the past few years, ZHU has passionately pursued his interest in fashion, playing an essential part in the design of his fashion-forward merch. With ambitions of including a runaway at upcoming live shows, ZHU aspires to shed light on the left-of-center sensibilities of the more daring corners of the electronic-music world in all aspects of his artistry.
Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, design and experience. It is a beautiful collision of art and engineering, and the future of form and functionality. Leica Camera, headquartered in Wetzlar, Germany, is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the supreme quality and performance of cameras and lenses, and the iconic images that artists and photojournalists everywhere captured with them.
Established in New York City and now finding its new home in the historic Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, Astralwerks was the brainchild of staffers at Caroline Records who saw an opportunity for a label focused on the emerging electronic and ambient scene. Having reached a milestone of 25 years, Astralwerks has quickly become a modern, artist-first label with a true focus on nurturing talent across the electronic genre and beyond. Acting with a scalable, independent and global thinking mentality with the capability to tap into the resources of a major label, has allowed Astralwerks to retain and sign up-and-coming artists such as Illenium, Jonas Blue, Alison Wonderland, EDEN, Sigma and Axwell /\ Ingrosso. As a testament to this pioneering approach, Astralwerks has amassed 30 GRAMMY® nominations, taken home six GRAMMY Awards and had historic releases from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Swedish House Mafia, Halsey, Porter Robinson, Phoenix, Eric Prydz, Fatboy Slim and many more.