K.I.A., also known as Shinjuku Zulu, never takes a straightforward approach -- not with his worldly music nor with the convoluted presentation of it.
The Canadian producer, born Kirby Andersen, began in Calgary, where he graduated in 1988 from the city's university with a degree in English literature. From there he followed his urge to travel and moved to Tokyo, where he found substatial inspiration in Japanese culture and its wonderful ironies -- ancient temples amid a forward-looking highly technological society. He eventually returned to North America, ended up in Toronto by way of Los Angeles. He began work on what would become his debut album, Shinjuku Zulu (2000), which he released under a moniker of the same name on his upstart Neuphoria Recordings label. The release drew from numerous styles of music, most of them either categorized under the electronica or world genres, and freely mixed these styles together, not only throughout the album but also throughout the course of a given track. Moreover, the album featured numerous guest vocalists as well, adding yet more ecclecticism to the mix. The release earned him notable praise from the Canadian press, and the producer switched his name to K.I.A. for his second release, Adieu, Shinjuku Zulu (2002). ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi