Qkumba Zoo is a dance music trio from Johannesburg, South Africa, consisting of vocalist Levannah, dancer/sculptor Tziki and producer Owl.
Their first album, Wake Up & Dream, was a unique break into the music scene in 1996, featuring 11 tracks of feel-good dance music. The songs provided an enjoyable listening experience, with Owl’s mix of sounds and beats backing up Levannah’s incredible voice. Their song “The Child (Inside)” hit #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1996 and #69 on the Hot 100. Recently the track has been used in several US television commercials, the most popular being from Seaworld amusement parks. Wake Up & Dream also reflected the band’s strong feelings in supporting anti-apartheid, shown in the song Weeping. The trio, like many others in South Africa, struggled with being white in a nation torn apart by racism.
Several years after the album’s release, band member Tziki committed suicide. This was one of the catalysts that changed Owl and Levannah over the next several years, which can be heard in the music of their second album, Butterfly Peepl, released in 2000. In addition to the album’s release, the band’s name was officially shortened from Qkumba Zoo to QZoo. The group also left Arista in favor of their own independent label, Zoocumba Music.
While Wake Up & Dream did not have as big an impact on the music scene as was hoped, Butterfly Peepl was barely noticed at all. Even most fans weren’t lucky enough to grab a copy when QZoo’s official site still existed. However, the second album musically surpassed the first one, showing the true potential of Owl’s songwriting. The music seemed to mature beyond Wake Up & Dream, and in QZoo terms, one could say that they had finally hatched from the coccoon.
In 2001, long after their domain had disappeared, QZoo popped up on a new website under the name Innaskinz. The band still consisted of Owl and Levannah, who were now paired with a woman named Cajun. The site promoted the band and its history, as well as Owl personally running a mailing list. Lyrics for a new song, Rise Up Against the Tide, appeared on the main page for a brief while.
Innaskinz seems to be the last sighting of the band, for not long after, the new site disappeared as well, and the band cut off email communication with its fans, vanishing back into the darkness of Africa. There is no doubt that such magical musicians are still creating music in some way, shape, or form, but outside of South Africa, they now remain a mystery.
Edited by OwlMerlyn1 on 23 Jan 2010, 22:37
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