Nova Zaii is an electronic producer and drummer originally from the south side of Chicago. After completing two degrees in Performing Arts Technology and Jazz Studies at the University of Michigan, he moved to the city of Detroit to connect deeper with the city’s historic electronic music scene and to engage its vibrant jazz legacy. From 2016 to the present, he’s been a core member of the electronic-jazz group, The JuJu Exchange, which released its debut album ‘Exchange’ in 2017 that quickly rose to the number one Jazz Album streaming position on Apple Music. The group sold out its first performance at a 700 seater venue, Park West, in Chicago and has gone on to perform in headlining positions at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Le Poisson Rouge in New York, as well as TEDx Chicago and other prestigious venues. While at U-M, Nova Zaii invented an instrument, called the Nova Portals, that he does not need to touch in order to make sound. The instrument consists of three ‘pods’ circumambient to his person that sense his movements, and he performs them, engaging a seemingly invisible atmosphere, by waving his hands back and forth in front of the pods. Nova Zaii developed Nova Portals and produces his genre-defying music with the intent to advance artistic expression towards new terrain, and to stimulate belief in the human ability to breach the impossible.
ALL of the above
The vivid Invisible
The stage name Nova Zaii is a mantra to express light and to recognize the light in others. Nova is derived from the stellar phenomenon --supernova--which to him is symbolic of what it means to be an artist as it is a simultaneous experience of death and rebirth. Zaii signifies the feeling of vibration; as you say “Zaii” it literally vibrates your skull, heart & chest. Together, “Nova Zaii” is an empathetic trigger word for a communal experience. Nova Zaii is the conductor on the train leading the listener to intergalactic travel through inner & outer alternate dimensions. In the case of his recent single “All of the Above'' (re-released on March 20th), Nova Zaii invites the listener to connect with their inner light and allow that to fill them up and define them. The soothing, sparkling production, inspired by the sounds of Solange & Alice Coltrane, curates a beautiful celestial space for listeners to embark on connecting with their highest selves.
In the case of his recent single “The Vivid Invisible” he confronts his demons by connecting with that which is invisible but is extremely vivid to get past them and overcome his fears. “I Am’ing” is a sonically documented spiritual war where Nova Zaii fights against oppressive forces to form his true identity and stick to it. That sonic experience is intended to give the listener armor, energy, fuel to combat and triumph over evil forces to define themselves. These songs provide a stimulating sonic experience like no other, offering listeners a journey to self-renewal, self-reflection and re-invention.