ZULI will release a debut album on Lee Gamble’s UIQ imprint.

Egyptian artist ZULI debuted on UIQ in 2016, releasing two EPs on the label before releasing and a six-track EP on Haunter Records earlier this year. He also presented a commissioned a piece for CTM Festival in 2017 and will play live with Abyusif at Unsound Festival this October. 

We’re told that Terminal is an album inspired by ZULI’s own personal experience in the city of Cairo where he lives. Straying away from the dancefloor and towards more melodic, ambient, and listening territories, the album features prominent Egyptian rapper Abyusif, newcomers Abanoub, Mado $am, and R-Rhyme, and the mysterious Mecca-based vocalist MSYLMA. It sees ZULI broadening out his work on previous EPs into something “more localized and personal.” 

In a world that feels like it’s regressing into tribalism, many of us who don’t fit into any one specific group identity feel sidelined at best. When people talk to me, whether it be the press or peers in the scene I operate in, I am often approached with a preconceived notion of pretty much everything from my influences and taste to my politics and lifestyle, solely based on my nationality. It is a caricature that has proven very marketable, one that makes for a more interesting read/conversation/booking, apparently, than a multi-faceted (hence unique) human personality just like each and every one of us. Ever since this came to my attention I have been making a point to be as vocal as possible about how unfair that is. 

“This is an album inspired by my own personal experience in the city I live in. I just happen to be an Egyptian musician and the city just happens to be Cairo; my experience in Cairo may very well have more in common with that of an Indian accountant in New Delhi than of another Egyptian musician in Cairo.

“Terminal draws from an abstract narrative of increasingly frequent cycles of ego-death and rebirth; its effect on everything from self-image and worldview to the creative process, its fruits, and the various masks/identities assumed in the process. The rap verses that feature are all either autobiographical or come from a place that is unique to each individual rapper; some of whom happen to be Cairean, and some who are not; the point is that it doesn’t really matter that much in the end.” — ZULI


A1 / 1. Nari (ft. Abyusif, Mado $am, Abanob, R-Rhyme)

A2 / 2. Archimedes (ft. Abyusif)

A3 / 3. Bump

A4 / 4. Wreck

B1 / 5. He’s Hearing Voices

B2 / 6. Stacks & Arrays

B3 / 7. Kollu l-Joloud (ft. MSYLMA)

C1 / 8. Akhtuboot (ft. Abyusif)

C2 / 9. Mazen (ft. Abyusif)

C3 / 10. Follow Your Breath

D1 / 11. Ana Ghayeb (ft. Mado $am, Abanob, Abyusif)

D2 / 12. In Your Head

D3 / 13. Vulnerbody

D4 / 14. Continue

Terminal LP will land on November 2, with “Kollu l-Joloud” (ft. MSYLMA) streaming below.