Qkumba Zoo

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Qkumba Zoo
Also known as Innaskinz, QZoo, Qcumba Zoo
Origin Johannesburg, South Africa
Genres Electronic, House, South African, Dance
Years active 1995-2013
Labels Sony BMG
Website www.qkumbazoo.co.za
Members Levannah, Owl
Past members Tziki

Qkumba Zoo was a dance music trio from Johannesburg, South Africa, consisting of vocalist Levannah, dancer/sculptor Tziki and musician/producer Owl. The band was originally formed by Owl and Levannah as a duo called "Ocean Road". On March 11, 2013, it was announced that Qkumba Zoo is "officially a 'side project,'" and Owl joined with Simone to create "Owl and Simone" [1]

BIG[edit]

Qkumba Zoo's first release was titled BIG, and released in South Africa on Gresham Records. At the time, the band's name was spelled Qcumba Zoo, and even Tziki's name was the elongated Tsatsiki. The booklet contained a very colorful, busy design, featuring original artwork from Tziki, and pictures from Qcumba's stage shows. The title track on BIG has slightly different music and vocals from its subsequent release on Wake Up & Dream, and "The Child (Inside)" has a fading outro.

Track Listing
1. Rain (3:58)
2. Happy Earthday (3:42)
3. The Child (Inside) (3:27)
4. Cloud Eyes (I'm Scared, You're Scared) (4:28)
5. Flesh & Blood (4:04)
6. Big (3:48)
7. Into The Night (5:04)
8. Mermaids (4:45)
9. Time of Wonder (5:18)
11. Big - Mothership (4:15)

Wake Up & Dream[edit]

Qkumba Zoo's international debut, Wake Up & Dream, was released on Arista Records in 1996. As Levannah said, "We wanted to form something that could be part of the global village. And, at the same time, have it be tied to its birthplace." This is apparent with Owl's fusion of tribal & synth, backed by Levannah's trilling vocals.

Track Listing
1. Rain (3:45)
2. The Child (Inside) (3:58)
3. Cloud Eyes (I'm Scared, You're Scared) (4:32)
4. Flesh & Blood (4:03)
5. Big (3:48)
6. Into The Night (5:04)
7. Weeping (5:06)
8. Mermaids (4:46)
9. Happy Earthday (3:42)
10. Time of Wonder (5:14)
11. Big Mothership (4:04)

Their first single, "The Child (Inside)," produced by the Berman Brothers, hit #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1996,[2] and #69 on the Hot 100. It peaked on the Radio & Records contemporary hit radio charts at #34 on 10/18/96. The 1996 Arista release of "The Child (Inside)" featured several mixes by DJ Junior Vasquez that became the standard for the song in American clubs. Vasquez followed up with several mixes of "Cloud Eyes (I'm Scared You're Scared)". In recent years, the original mix of "The Child (Inside)" has been used in several US television commercials, the most popular being from Seaworld parks and Carnival Cruise Lines.

The track Weeping was added to this release, the a cover of an anti-apartheid song by Bright Blue, another South African band. Bonus tracks are also provided on this album, including a musical remix of "Mermaids" and two stories/poems narrated by Levannah.

In August 1996 the group were the opening act for Danish singer Whigfield when she performed at the University of Port Elizabeth indoor sports centre.[3]

Butterfly Peepl[edit]

Several years after the release of the debut album, band member Tziki committed suicide. This was one of the catalysts that changed Owl and Levannah, which can be heard in the music of their second album, Butterfly Peepl, released in 2000. In addition to the album's release, the band's name was officially shortened from Qkumba Zoo to QZoo. The group also left Arista Records in favor of their own independent label, Zoocumba Music. The unfortunate part of the Butterfly Peepl release is that it hardly gained attention, and even slipped through the hands of many QZoo fans, only having been for sale for a short time on QZoo's official site.

Track Listing
1. Beautiful (4:28)
2. Torn Between You and the Sky (7:01)
3. Invisible (3:55)
4. Slap Bang (4:00)
5. Virgin (4:28)
6. Wonder Woman (4:54)
7. DNA (4:51)
8. Butterfly People (4:03)
9. Let the Light In (4:50)
10. Words (6:41)
11. In The Moon (2:57)

The album, simply put, is all about "becoming a butterfly" - going through the cocoon and emerging as something better and new. Butterfly Peepl shows a deeper side of QZoo, diving into emotional tracks like "Torn Between You and the Sky" and "Let the Light In". However, the band still retains its initial upbeat nature in songs like "Invisible" and "DNA". Bonus tracks are also included on this album, such as a musical track with middle eastern flare that is accompanied by Levannah's "world language." The CD is also enhanced, and when played on the computer, shows a short slideshow/video promoting the album and website.

Other releases[edit]

While on the Arista label, many singles/samplers were released on CD, cassette, and vinyl:

CD Sampler (1996)
1. The Child (Inside) (4:01)
2. Weeping (4:50)
3. Flesh & Blood (4:04)
4. Cloud Eyes (I'm Scared, You're Scared) (4:56)

The Child (Inside) - Promo CD (1996)
1. The Child (Inside) (4:01)

The Child (Inside) - CD/Cassette (1996)
1. The Child (Inside) - Radio Mix (3:58)
2. The Child (Inside) - Berman Bros. Remix Edit (3:58)
3. Wake Up & Dream (Album Snippets) - Weeping & Flesh and Blood & Big (4:40)

The Child (Inside) Remixes - CD (1996)
1. Extended Album Mix (4:54)
2. Junior's Club Mix (8:47)
3. Berman Brothers Club Mix (6:40)
4. Anthony Acid's Up-Lift Mix (8:41)
5. Toxic Twins Solid Waste Dub (6:13)

The Child (Inside) Remixes - US 2 x 12" Vinyl (1996)
Side A: Junior's Club Mix (8:48), Anthony Acid's Hard Drum Mix (3:52)
Side B: Berman Brothers Club Mix (6:39), Toxic Twins New Energy Dub (7:24)
Side C: Anthony Acid's Up-Lifted Mix (8:40), Junior's Piano Dub (5:03)
Side D: Extended Album Mix (5:45), Berman Bros Dub Mix (6:56)

The Child (Inside) Remixes - UK Promo Vinyl (1996)
Side A: Junior's Club Mix (8:45), Anthony Acid's Hard Drum Mix (3:50)
Side B: The Child (Inside) (Junior's X-Beat Dub) (8:04), Anthony Acid's Up-Lifted Mix (8:40)

Enhanced CD Bio (1996)
1. Multimedia Presentation
2. The Child (Inside) (4:01)
3. Weeping (4:50)
4. Flesh and Blood (4:04)
5. Cloud Eyes (I'm Scared, You're Scared) (4:56)

The Enhanced CD Bio was special because it contained an interactive track that could be played on the computer, providing a band bio, interview clips, recipes, games, and videos.

I'm Scared, You're Scared {Cloud Eyes} - CD (1997)
1. Radio Mix (3:47)
2. Album Version {Edit} (4:02)
3. Dance Radio Mix (3:28)

I'm Scared, You're Scared {Cloud Eyes} - US Promo Vinyl ADP-3303 (1997)
Side A: Murk Big Time Club Mix (10:05), Murk Radio Mix (3:30)
Side B: Murk Big Fat Dub (7:43), Murk Green Dub (7:37)

I'm Scared, You're Scared {Cloud Eyes} - US Promo Vinyl ADP-3377 (1997)
Side A: Junior's Main Club Mix (9:03), Tribal Beats (5:39)
Side B: Junior's Vocal Dub (6:00), Main Dub (7:18)

I'm Scared, You're Scared {Cloud Eyes} (Dance Mixes) - US Commercial Vinyl 07822-13384-1 (1997)
Side A: Junior's Club Mix (9:11), Tribal Beats (5:42)
Side B: Murk Club Mix (10:05), Murk Radio Mix (3:30)

5FM presents The Santa Sessions (2002)
This CD was released by the South African radio station 5FM, and contains Christmas songs covered by South African bands. QZoo is featured on track 14 covering "O Holy Night."

N3X+[edit]

In 2001, after their official domain had disappeared, QZoo popped up on a new website under the name "Innaskinz". The band still consisted of Owl and Levannah, who were now paired with a woman named Cajun. Lyrics for a new song, "Strike Out Against the Tide", appeared on the main page for a brief while, but soon the site disappeared.

Eventually, Owl resurfaced online and made it clear that he hadn't stopped making music, whether solo or paired with Levannah's voice. Tracks like "Vision Afrika 2000", "These Visions", "Spider Girl", and "My Shepherd" appeared for fans to stream/download.

In 2009, Qkumba Zoo quietly released a new EP called N3X+, available for download on Rhythm Music Store's website.

Track listing[edit]

  1. Earthbound
  2. Torn Between You and the Sky
  3. Strike Out Against the Tide
  4. Karmic Book
  5. Let the Light in

Tracks 2 and 5, while previously released on Butterfly Peepl, were remastered for N3X+. "Earthbound" was a song originally written while the band was still known as Ocean Road. Between Owl's solo work and N3X+, there is an apparent musical change from previous albums, which is now heading in the direction of traditional folk while continuing to integrate electronic/tribal sounds.

In late 2009, another official Qkumba Zoo site opened at Qkumbazoo.co.za, which contains a blog and other band info.

Letthelightin[edit]

In July 2011 Qkumba Zoo released an album with Souvenir Records called "Letthelightin". The album contains re-mastered songs from their previous album Butterfly Peepl and songs from the N3X+ EP.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Qkumba Zoo Post". 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 211. 
  3. ^ http://152.111.1.87/argief/berigte/dieburger/1996/08/22/4/2.html Retrieved 23 May 2014