Interviews

Luca Zuccotti: The Afrobeats Missionary

While many British men stick to the familiar, Luca fearlessly delves into uncharted territories.

Luca Zuccotti
Luca Zuccotti [PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram/@officiallucaz]

Luca Alessandro Zuccotti, best known as Luca Zuccotti, is one of the rising talents of the United Kingdom. He is from New Mills, a town in the Borough of High Peak, Derbyshire, England. Luca Zuccotti started music at about 14 years old and went on a journey through hip-hop and R&B. He tried to rap once a week before transitioning into a singer-songwriter when he found Afrobeats about two or three years ago.

During the 2021 pandemic, Luca Zuccotti discovered afrobeats, initially dipping his toes by covering popular tunes. Buoyed by the enthusiastic response, Luca paused briefly to refine his style and delve into the cultural and historical depths of Afrobeat. His inaugural track, ‘Madda,’ garnered acclaim from BBC Radio 1 and DJ Target, heralding the dawn of a promising musical journey.

Luca Zuccotti’s musical signature is defined by his velvety vocals, irresistible rhythms, and infectious hooks. Renowned for his adaptability, he seamlessly fuses diverse genres to craft a distinctive sonic palette. Luca’s compositions resonate on a deeply personal level, drawing from his narrative and sentiments to forge a profound bond with his audience. Swiftly, his prowess and commitment to the genre captured the admiration of fans and peers alike, including luminaries such as Joeboy, Sarz, Olamide, among others.

Luca Zuccotti
Luca Zuccotti [PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram/@officiallucaz]

Luca Zuccotti is no ordinary figure; his remarkable talent sets him apart from the crowd. While many British men stick to the regular sounds, Luca Zuccotti fearlessly delves into uncharted territories. Upon discovering the electrifying rhythms of afrobeats, he immediately recognised its potential for global appeal. Fueled by a deep-seated purpose, Luca is committed not just to crafting exceptional music that weaves personal and fictional narratives with unmatched melody but also to ensuring that the soulful essence of afrobeats reaches far and wide. His missionary zeal is crystal clear: to shine a light on the beauty of afrobeats, inviting others to revel in its magnificence alongside him. Luca is undeniably a visionary on a missionary journey!

In our interview with Luca Zuccotti, we talked about his journey of discovering and embracing Afrobeats. We also talked about Lukas’ perspective as a non-African artist making Afrobeats. We discussed what makes Afrobeats unique and how it differs from other genres, with Luca Zuccotti citing its spiritual and emotional impact on his creative process. 

Luca Zuccotti and Afrobeats

Talking about his Afrobeats journey so far, he said, “When I first stepped into the sound and the culture, I didn’t expect the response I would get, to be honest, from my first video to even my most recent video. It’s been a very warm welcome from everyone. But yeah, it’s been interesting and educational, learning about the sound, and where the sound comes from.”

Talking about his love for Afrobeats and standing in as a missionary helping to push the African sound around the globe, Luca Zuccotti said, “It feels good to not come from a specific culture or specific background and be accepted the way I have been accepted.“

“I think it shows through my content, my music, and people can see it’s genuine. It’s pure, and it’s not a gimmick. I’m not trolling. I’m not trolling anyone or anything. It’s true, and, you know, true to what I love,” he added. 

The goal is to push Afrobeats as big as possible. I think the world deserves to know about Afrobeats

Luca Zuccotti, 2024.

Luca Zuccotti sounded so cool and passionate about Afrobeats. He was not only calm with his responses; he was always genuine as well. Out of curiosity, this writer inquired about Luca’s view on Afrobeats and why it’s different from hip-hop and R&B, the other genres he has tried in the past.

In his response, “It’s spiritual. Music is massively opinionated, but I feel like the best way I can describe it is especially for an artist, there’s the penny drop moment. I think you go through. Whenever you start as an artist, you’re bound to go through so many different sounds and genres and like, but there’s a moment where the penny just drops and you think, Oh, this is the one and you can’t, and sometimes you can’t necessarily put your finger on it, but it just grabs you, makes you feel a different way, and makes you move a different way. It makes you create differently. And Afrobeats did that to me. Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s just one specific thing with Afrobeats I think it’s just an all-around thing; the way it makes me feel or create differently, I think differently. Yeah, just a beautiful sound.”

Burna Boy this, Beta Squad that

[Burna Boy’s comment on Beta Squad] didn’t crumble my confidence or anything like that

Luca Zuccotti, 2024.

Luca Zuccotti met the self-acclaimed African giant, Burna Boy, at the Guess the Singer edition of the UK YouTube show Beta Squad.  In the video, Luca performed his unreleased (now released) single ‘Back Up’. The footage took the world by storm. When asked how he felt about Burna Boy’s comment on his performance, he said, “The Beta Squad is so unserious. It’s just about jokes, vibes, banter, and good energy. So I wasn’t going there for, like, a serious audition. I knew Burna Boy was going to poke at me. I knew the boys were going to poke at me. So it’s all love. But yeah, it didn’t crumble my confidence or anything like that.”

Linking this to Burna Boy’s comment on Apple Music, he argued that 90% of Afrobeats songs are devoid of real-life experiences and only portray an amazing time, which life isn’t all about. In Burna Boy’s words, “That’s why you hear most Nigerian music, African Music, or Afrobeats, as you people call it, is mostly about nothing, absolutely nothing. There is no substance to it like nobody is talking about anything; it’s just a great time. But at the end of the day, life isn’t an amazing time.”

Afrobeats does not lack substance. If you listen to the likes of Victony, and Omah Lay, you will hear a lot of spiritual stuff

Luca Zuccotti, 2024.

The UK-born Afrobeats missionary, Luca Zuccotti, reacted to this comment. Luca argued that most songs worldwide lack substance. In his opinion, lyrics and the meaning of lyrics are becoming less and less important. In his words, “I think people fall in love with the feeling and melodies of a song. Viral songs going to number one just got off TikTok, and it’s some, you know, no disrespect, but it’s just a stupid song like that. I think it was unfair to specifically put Afrobeats in a category of lacking substance because it’s not just Afrobeats.” 

Going on, he talked about how Afrobeats does not lack substance, “And by the way, Afrobeats does not lack substance. If you listen to the likes of Victony, and Omah Lay, you will hear a lot of spiritual stuff that hits you in different ways. So yeah, I disagree. Personally,” he added. 

Ifunanya: Yoruba, Igbo and visiting Nigeria

Talking about his planned visit to Nigeria, he revealed he couldn’t wait to try the street foods in Lagos. According to Luca, his friends have made it clear that the Nigerian foods in Manchester, England, are in no way close to the foods on Nigerian streets. 

Going on, we dived right into his latest single, ‘Ifunanya’, a single off his soon-to-be-released extended play expected to drop in the third quarter of 2024. Responding to how he gets Yoruba and Igbo words for his songs, Luca said, “The Nigerians in my team. In my DMs, people are telling me every day to try this line. It’s this language. Even in my live videos. I wrote my newest single, ‘Ifunanya’ on TikTok Live. I wrote the second half of the song on TikTok Live, and other people in my life suggested words and phrases to us. So we were just bouncing off of each other in the air. I was with one of my managers, Sonus, who produced that track. So I was with him when writing the second verse of ‘Ifunanya’. So it comes from everywhere.”

2024 and beyond

We talked about his plans for the remainder of the year, as well as his dreams and aspirations. According to Luca, an EP is dropping this year. He revealed the new drop ‘Ifunanya’ is a single off the body of work. He also revealed there would be a couple of features on the project and maybe a second single before the project drops sometime in the third quarter. 

I wrote my newest single, ‘Ifunanya’ on TikTok Live.

Luca Zuccotti, 2024.

“The goal is to push Afrobeats as big as possible. I think the world deserves to know about Afrobeats, and clearly, you know the world is getting to know if they don’t already. And the culture behind Afrobeat as well, I think it’s just as important to me to push people to know that not only is the music for your speakers amazing, but to teach people where it comes from because I think that’s just as important as pushing the sound. Boy, yeah, the sky’s the limit,” Luca Zuccotti added. 

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