L-R Matt ‘Doe’ Muirhead, David (King of Sludge) Parks and Leo Pellegrino
Too Many Zooz are the subway sensation known for collaborating on Beyonce’s Lemonade as well as a searing series of live busking viral videos.
Their latest single with KDA Warriors has been featured on Google’s Pixel Two advert and they are currently touring nine months out the year.
We spoke to them about how they grew from busking on the streets to playing to thousands, how they like touring in the UK and whether or not music school was beneficial for them.
Hi Too Many Zooz! I understand that you’re facing the tail end of your tour right now, how’s it all been? Have you liked playing in the UK?
Of course. We love coming to the UK. Great food and shopping… good music. The crowds are always fun as hell.
For anyone who hasn’t listened to your music, how would you sum it up?
In a lot of ways, it’s the acoustic adaptation of what you hear DJs spinning. It’s what we call brass-house. A mixture of electronic music, trap, jersey club shit, and whatever else we feel like playing.
How did you all meet? Did you study music together?
Myself and Leo went to the Manhattan school of music. Leo met Sludge playing in a different subway band called the Drumadics. Then they started hitting by themselves. Then I came along one day. Shit just felt right so we ran with it.
Coming from the busking streets of New York City, what do you think of the UK busking set up? Are there any buskers that you’ve noticed in the UK whilst on tour?
We haven’t performed on the streets enough in the UK to speak on it. As for performers, I haven’t seen any. Again, we’re in a van or in a club 24/7 so it makes it quite difficult to go see a busker in a tube station.
You guys are all insanely talented, but when you started busking, did you ever think you would be where you are today? Do you think it’s important for buskers to keep an open mind?
Yes and no. I believe in myself. Leo and David believe in themselves. But most importantly, we believe in Too Many Zooz. And have since day 1.
On the other hand, I never knew exactly where our paths would end up.
So it’s a little bit of trust and knowing that what you’re doing is good and will bring you success
To any musicians who are looking to start busking-any words of advice? Were you nervous at first?
Just do it. Everyday you sit on your couch is another day you could have been out there working
What’s more nerve wracking? Playing on stage or playing on the streets?
To me, they’re both equally unnerving. I can’t say I really experience any sort of stage fright or nervousness anymore. I’m more comfortable on stage in front of 10k people than I am at a dive bar
Despite your recent success, do you still busk?
No. We would but were on the road 9 months out of the year. Makes it difficult.
Your video went viral in 2014, how important is social media as an avenue for success for busking artists? Any tips on how to achieve viral success?
If you go out to perform and you’re goal is to ‘go viral’ I can almost guarantee you won’t. Have fun. Get your friends involved. Start a culture!
Manchester is host to many music universities and colleges, from RNCM to the British Institute of Modern Music- do you personally feel that Music Schools are beneficial? Can musicians succeed without them?
They can be beneficial. Depends how you use them. And of course musicians can be successful without them.
You’ve just collaborated with UK number 1 artist KDA for “Warriors”. How did this come about? What was KDA able to bring to your music?
Man… excited about that record. KDA is such an artist. We collaborated kinda through Sony UK and kinda through his general interest. To be honest I’m not really sure how the whole thing unfolded but I’m happy it did!
Finally, what’s next for ‘Too Many Zooz’?
More shows. More records. More merch.
Check out the Too Many Zooz Site here for info on tours, music and merchandise!