Interview: El Mundo & Zazou

Dutch & German duo and long time collaborators El Mundo & Zazou have been on excellent form throughout the previous couple of years, releasing music with highly respected record labels such as Kindisch, House Music With Love, and 3000 Grad Records.

Alongside their productions on other labels, they’ve also been building an imprint of their own in Quetame, which now boasts a roster of music that includes tracks from the likes of Victor Norman, Timboletti, and Niki Sadeki.

We caught up with the pair quite recently to have a brief chat about how 2023 went for them as creatives, what they’re hopeful for as we head into 2024, and more. Read the full interview with El Mundo & Zazou, below.

First off, how was your New Year, did you do anything special to celebrate?

Zazou: I drove out to the countryside and spent some relaxed days and nights with my collective. Following that, I went back to Berlin on the 31st, to emotionally support my cats during the celebratory firework madness.

El Mundo: Nothing special really, enjoyed chilling with my family, eating too much “Oliebollen” this is a typical Dutch phenomenon – just Google it.

And how was 2023 for you both as artists? Did you achieve everything you hoped to?

El Mundo: For sure, we made some true leaps as artists, both creatively and technically. We delved into higher realms BPM-wise, but also experimented within subgenres that hadn’t gotten much love from us before.

Zazou: There were some weeks when we’d work on like ten songs in parallel. The outcome is a completely new live set that we celebrate every time we perform it.

What’s on the list of goals for 2024?

Zazou: We’re looking forward to performing in countries we’ve never been to before, and meeting inspiring people all over the world. Our agency, Sparklers Tribe, is organizing their own festival this summer, so that will certainly be a highlight. We’re about to obtain our US artist visa, so some tours are already set for that region. Burning Man will certainly be part of it.

Your Quetame imprint has seen appearances from Victor Norman, Niki Sadeki, and Timboletti, what’s your typical approach to signing new music?

El Mundo: The answer is quite straightforward actually: if two of us three really like the music, it’ll get released. Ideally all of us fall in love with the songs, but if not, that’s the mode we choose, and we feel it works very well for us.

And which other labels will El Mundo & Zazou be releasing with this year?

Zazou: In 2024 we’re set to release basically all new E&Z singles and EPs on Quetame. The reason being is we can shape every aspect exactly how we like it, artwork, mastering, and most importantly the release date. Bigger labels give you up to one year in limbo until the songs are finally released. In many cases in the past, we’ve released music with such a delay that it didn’t represent our evolved sound any longer. Nowadays when we have a finished premaster, we can go like: “Sweet, let’s release it next week.” It’s really an elevating feeling to have that freedom.

What was your favourite track of 2023?

El Mundo: That’s an easy one, Thomas Azier – What Does It Mean to be Free.
Zazou: I’ll go with The Magician by Andy Shauf. It’s not from 2023, but it meant a lot to me in recent months.

Is there anything else you want to mention before we go?

El Mundo: To everybody who reads this, I wish you and your families an inspiring and prosperous year. May your wishes come true.

Zazou: What Pim said. Also, buy our new record. Just kidding. Have a happy 2024!