It’s a big day for UZ fans, not only because his long-awaited debut album, Layers, is dropping on his Quality Goods imprint, but because the man behind the mask is finally stepping out and revealing his true identity in the process.
“The anonymity was fun when I started it five years ago,” UZ explains. “But now I feel like there’s too many masked artists and it really has become more of a gimmick than a message. Our motto at the time was to let the music speak by itself and not focus on the artist. It’s still true, but now that I’m a curator and I’m working full-time on my label, Quality Goods Records, I need to make myself heard and talk to people face to face.”
The unmasking of UZ also plays into the theme of the album, which seems to hint at digging beneath the layers of who and what you think UZ is all about. “People need to know where I’ve come from and where I’m going—right here, right now. This album is just the beginning of a whole new journey for me and I’m really excited about it.”
To get a sense of the various alias’ that French-born but now U.S.-based UZ has gone by in the past, check the following vids here and here of UZ rocking the decks under his alias DJ Troubl, where the two-time World Champion of beat-juggling is flexing as a turntablist. Still not impressed? What if we told you UZ also has gone by the alias Plezier and has explored the house, future bass, and garage side of things with releases on imprints like Ministry of Sound, Moda, Brownswood, and more.
Speaking of flexing, the Quality Goods fam and UZ have hit us with an exclusive premiere of the tune “Gone” from his Layers album below, which makes explicit the various inspirations and skills the multi-faceted artist is capable of kicking. Featuring Kevin Flum rolling out his inimitable silky sick lyrical flow, UZ takes his time to let the tune breathe before hitting the heads with a dizzying hook that’ll have you reaching to the sky begging for more. With a bottom end so thick it’ll rattle your ribcage, this is one of those cuts you want to experience on a massive system if only to understand the sensation of your breath being sucked right out your chest when it hits. But even more than that, it’s the perfect introduction to the man behind the mask and his first full-length body of work that reveals more than just a skill for knocking out the bangers.
The Layers album drops today on Quality Goods so lock your copy in here and check the exclusive cut below!