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2Z: The Rock Band with a Youthful Sound, Passion for Unity, and Potential for International Success

2Z (TuZi) are a 5-member rock band under GOGO2020 and Morph Management from South Korea that made their debut on January 14, 2020. The band consists of Bum Jun (범준), Zunon (주논), Jung Hyun (정현), Ji Seob (지섭), and Ho Jin (호진).

2Z were promoting their EP, We TuZi, by attending various music shows within South Korea, but what drew my attention to them was their pledge to raise awareness regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. As a Black person who is a fan of Korean music and appreciative of Korean culture, that really stood out to me, especially since they were one of the first ones to speak up.

According to an interview that 2Z did with Ashlee Mitchell for Teen Vogue, fans reached out to 2Z to use their platform to speak up about the Black Lives Matter movement and they did exactly that. Bumjun, the leader and drummer for the band even said, “Before the issue, we knew that the news of George Floyd was a heartbreaking moment for all people across the world and a rapid movement of protests was taking place across the world. We believe that there is no value in the world that can exceed the value of a human.” That's a wonderful reflection to make and it proves that social change can happen when society mobilizes together.

Obviously, celebrities and those who are in the limelight are human beings too and we shouldn't solely rely on them to know everything that's going on in the world, especially if they aren't well-versed in the ins and outs of social activism, but it's also their responsibility to use their following and platform for good. When instances of global human rights crises are taking place, using platforms to unselfishingly further bring awareness indicates compassion and good character. So, I really appreciated the stance 2Z took regarding this international movement and how they have continued to talk about the importance of unity even AFTER their initial display of support.

Outside of that, I genuinely enjoy 2Z's music, as well. I've always enjoyed listening to rock music ever since my parents put me on to Lenny Kravitz and my sister exposed me to the likeness of The Killers, Green Day, and Jimmy Hendrix. Everything from classic rock to pop rock and all of the subgenres in between have always resonated with me, so getting into 2Z wasn't difficult at all. Their music reminds me of that of Phoenix, Bad Suns, Jet, Two Door Cinema Club, Yogee New Waves, and Guess Who.

2Z's songs are guaranteed to keep even the most casual rock music listeners engaged and interested as their music transitions between classic rock & roll, alternative rock, and pop. Their tunes touch upon various emotions and stories with the lyrical depth found throughout their freshly crafted catalogue. When you mix 2Z's notable sweet-toned and harmonious sound with the band’s passionate approach to melodies via guitar and drums, you end up with the masterpiece that is 2Z's current discography.

They recently released 'Let's Go For It' on July 31, 2020 and 'Not Without U' on September 17, 2020. What I found to be really interesting is how internationally friendly and accessible they are to Non-Korean listeners, as well. They already have lyrics readily available and translated in English, Spanish, German, Indonesian, Polish, Filipino (Tagalog), and Turkish. Additionally, Hojin, their main vocal, speaks English so it helps ease the communication process for those who are interested in their content, but don't understand Korean.

I actually sat down and watched 2Z's entire 2 hour and 30 minute 'We 2Z Live Contact' concert that they live streamed on Youtube and it was such an enjoyable and relaxing experience. The time went by so quickly and despite the fact that I'm not fluent in Korean - it still felt like an inclusive for all of the viewers, whether they were in the audience in South Korea or watching from home. While watching the concert, I was able to do other things (like aimlessly scroll through Twitter), so if you're looking for an opportunity to listen to 2Z's music and watch them perform all in one go, this is 'Contact' live performance is just the right thing for you.

This, along with the fact that they are always making an effort to communicate and stay in touch with their international fans draws me to wonder about the potential success of a group like 2Z on an international level. People always talk about what it would be like if a Korean pop group makes it big on an international level, but rarely do they talk about the potential impact of a globally recognized rock group.

There are already several popular rock groups consisting of people of colour, however - groups like ONE OK ROCK really stick out to me since they are known as one of the most popular rock bands from Japan. From performing at the Warped Tour in the United States of America to collaborating with other international stars, and so much more, ONE OK ROCK are musical legends and deserve all of the international recognition and success they've been given. Their ability to experiment and take daring risks with their image, music, and approach reminds me of the possibilities 2Z can achieve in the future as well with their unique musical identity within the music industry.

In conclusion, I'm excited to see more of what 2Z have planned for the future and I hope that all of their efforts to channel their passion into their work bears great results. Like most new acts, they are starting out with humble beginnings and a smaller-size fan community now, but if they continue on the path they are going, there's no doubt it will lead to fame, international recognition, and fortune for them.

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