Zak Joshua returns with the fifth release on his own NEMESIS92 imprint and what is without doubt the most personal track of his career to date: the extraordinary The Book Of Love, a homage to the infamous 1992 UK rave of the same name.
The Book Of Love was an outdoor rave promoted by Zak Joshua’s father and Amnesia House that took place two weeks after Zak was born in 1992. 50,000 ravers danced for hours at Northampton’s Brayfield Stadium to legendary acts including Carl Cox, The Prodigy and Fabio & Grooverider, and the party went down in history as one of the biggest and best of the early 90s.
With such a personal connection to the rave, Zak went back digging for footage of the rave, and a recording of one of the MC intros and subsequent crowd reaction formed the basis of the track. The resulting track The Book Of Love is extraordinary: soulful, uplifting, and rich with emotion, with an ethereal vocal floating over punchy 4/4 beats and an instantly hooky piano line. A true rave anthem for the ages.
UK-based artist Zak Joshua first broke through on the electronic music scene when his debut solo track Figure It Out was uploaded to renowned tastemaker YouTube channel Selected. It has since gone on to accrue over 5 million views with a subsequent official release updated with new vocals and a fresh sonic polish in 2019. This set the wheels in motion for a re-evaluation of Zak’s goals as an artist, and a renewed ambition to make his mark on the dance scene at large.
Zak Joshua’s recent releases range from the accessible vocal house stylings of I Don’t Wanna Wait & Let’s Take It Back (both released on the up-and-coming label House Essential Records) to the melancholic lo-fi sounds of Let The Light In. The latter received heavy support from superstar Martin Garrix, featuring as the first track on his prestigious online radio show and across a number of his personal playlists.
In 2020 Zak launched his own label NEMESIS92, named after his father’s rave promotion outfit.
Frankie Salt interview with Zak Joshua
What have you been up to to keep busy over the recent difficult times?
Hello! At first, I spent a couple of months recharging, getting good quality rest and sleeping! As time went on, I took the chance to write lots of new material, read some books, and get back into video games, which I used to love when I was younger. I also went through an ‘Anime Phase’ halfway through the pandemic, binge watching shows like AOT & Death Note!
How did you stay positive when gigs were getting postponed or cancelled?
I was lucky that I also have a salaried job in music, and my employer utilised the furlough scheme here in the UK, which was a godsend, as it meant that despite losing a large amount of income from cancelled shows, I still had enough to survive and pay rent throughout the lockdown. I was able to focus on looking after myself and trying to make the most of it, whereas a lot of my peers in the industry had to take extra jobs, so for that I am grateful.
Now that bars, pubs and restaurants are reopening, what are you most looking forward to?
Spending time with friends and family! Even in the last few weeks, as lockdown has eased here in Britain I’ve managed to get out and see a few friends that I haven’t seen for 2 years! I forgot how great it is to be able to pack your bags and spend a weekend away in another part of the country, enjoying the moment and enjoying other people’s company. Hopefully it stays that way!
What is on the horizon for you musically?
I have lots of new material planned for release towards the end of the year, ranging from mainstream vocal house to more melancholic melodic techno. I just want to keep learning my craft, experimenting with new ideas and building a name for myself in the scene.
If you could travel anywhere in the next year, where would it be?
I would love to spend a few months in a major music city like New York or LA, working on new material and taking in the atmosphere. I had planned to do that in 2020 but the pandemic put an end to that idea; Maybe next year, fingers crossed!
Please share your latest track/ creation here…
My latest release, ‘The Book Of Love’ was released on 13/08/21, on my own label, NEMESIS92. It features samples of crowd noise from a legendary Rave of the same name that my father organised in 1992. I made it as a tribute to him and all of the other unsung heroes of the early rave scene.