While a good number of new artists today choose to make music based on popularity trends to assure their success, the band Da’ Zoo bets on the fusion of rhythms to earn their spot on the artistic scene.
Band members include Charly Rodríguez “Charly Zoo,” Freddie Lugo “Yo-Fred,” Raul Quezada “Raggi,” and Elizabeth Fuentes “Eli-Joe,” four Puerto Ricans that have come together under one name to make something new happen in music, with originality as the foundation.
To come to this point in their careers, each of them began tracing their path from a young age.
A while ago, “Charly Zoo” formed a band by the name of “Macro,” where he sang lead. He was then featured as a participant in the show "Objetivo Fama," which led to the recording of a solo album. He then remained in the underground scene, playing bars and clubs throughout Puerto Rico.
On his end, “Yo-Fred” always played the bass, heavily influenced by rock, leading him to play with various bands on the island, such as “Sí Señor.”
He later met Charly while studying music at the same university and recognizing each other’s talents, they began to conceive a project together.
As they took on this process, they found “Raggi”, a versatile musician who played piano and guitar, studied sound engineering, and had matching experience playing local gigs.
Once Raggi was on board, there was a definite need to complete the band, with one more member, and it was then that “Eli-Joe” found her way to them. “She quickly understood the band concept and applied it to her style,” says Raggi. Thus the band’s chemistry was immediate and the idea for Da’ Zoo came alive.
However the name search did not go well: “Humans are reasoning animals, but they are still, above all, animals,” explains “Eli-Joe.” They had the concept of a Zoo, but a Zoo of ideas and influences. “Ever since we locked ourselves up in the studio, we saw that we were four animals making music,” tells “Charly Zoo”. It was during this recording and mixing process that the band's name came about.
Da’ Zoo defines their sound having an electric base with organic cords on the guitar, and the base. However, in their music, the make fusions with other rhythms like pop and reggae. Truth said-they prefer not to be boxed into any one particular genre. “Our tastes in music are totally different, that’s why we fusion our music,” affirms Raggi.
It is in Puerto Rico’s slang, they say, that they find their inspiration. They sing like they talk, and each member brings something to each composition. “There is no single author here,” clears up Eli-Joe, “to tell the truth, we write the songs between all of us.”
The band says the street helps them to know what the people live day and day out and it is precisely that reality that they bring into their lyrics.
It is the track “Chitu,” which has become a total novelty and features a matching animated video, with over 50,000 visitors on YouTube, that Da’ Zoo has started making a name for themselves. The song was born from the band’s finding of the concept of gibberish in a Spanish book, later deciding to do something in that “language”.
“We wanted for people to hear the song and like it, but we didn’t think it would have such success,” says Raggi. What started out as a joke, has awoken curiosity in people trying to decipher the message in the lyrics.
Due to the song’s success, the band is releasing their debut album in april, with an assortment of songs under the dance format. The album also includes romantic lyrics and is directed “at people who like originality and, above all, fun.”
The album’s production was entirely done by the band, as well as playing all the instruments used in it. It was recorded in Puerto Rico, at the renowned Playbach Studio, where other great music stars have recorded, such as Calle 13, Olga Tanón, Daddy Yankee, to name a few. The album was mixed by Mario de Jesus (Marioso), at Circle House, who has worked with Wisin & Yandel, among others. The mastering was done by Tom Coyne, an engineer famous for his work with stars like Britney Spears and Beyoncé.
“We would like to leave a point in history where it is known that, for many years Da’ Zoo was around.”