active as dj and sound curator since 2000. After starting the Ngoma collective and series of Global Bass parties in Berlin, Zhao has been alternating between countless hours in the studio and performing regularly at festivals and clubs around Europe. Equal parts ethno-musicologist and booty shaker, Zhao brings unique perspectives and vision to every event, and has shared the stage with artists such as Pan Sonic, Rhythm and Sound, Orchestra Poly Ritmo De Contonu, Cooly G, etc.

particularly in Angola and Cape Verde there developed particular strands of musical expression which focus, in a particular way, on a particular feeling: that of loss and longing, of desire and nostalgia, of love mixed with sadness. (an example most are familiar with would be the Cape Verdean Morna artist Cesaria Evora)
Since Zouk arrived (back) in Africa from the Guadeloupe and Martinique islands, where rhythms and melodies of the African “expats” mixed with Rumba, Calypso, Gwo Ka, Compas, Reggae, and even Salsa (and where they must have looked across the ocean with infinite longing for home), it has since been influenced by another deeply emotional music: Portugese Fado. Long story short, during the last few decades Zouk, Kizomba, and related styles have become IMMENSELY popular and ubiquitous in many parts of Africa. And, sadly, we all know what this kind of huge commercial success does to a genre: it becomes cheap and watered down, quantity replaces quality. So 99% of the modern Zouk and Kizomba we encounter today is tacky and paltry rubbish of incredibly bad taste, garishly saccharine instead of deeply moving like the Zouk of bygone years. Yet in this sordid state of affairs there are artists which are producing music which retain more than a touch of the bygone golden years, making songs which are soul stirring as they are groovy. So if one digs deeper, there IS such a thing as good contemporary Zouk and Kizomba: this is what i hope to convince people of, especially long time lovers of African music who have given up on these genres.