Music News

James Zabiela

Although the club genre prides itself on keeping things au courant, many of the most prominent DJs on the international circuit have been around for ages. That makes James Zabiela, who's 27, among the younger jocks to earn full-fledged superstar status -- although he reached this level with a little help from a famous (and older) friend. A Brit by birth, he came to prominence after his mixtapes turned the heads of folks at Muzik magazine, who named him the winner of the publication's 2000 "Bedroom Bedlam" contest. After Muzik feted Zabiela again in 2001, he signed with Excession, an agency associated with Alexander Coe, better known as Sasha, whose vote of confidence helped to catapult JZ into spinning's top ranks. On his new disc, the entrancingly varied One + One, Zabiela returns the favor, using his name recognition to boost the career of Nic Fanciulli, another next-generation jock on the upswing. Watch out, old guard: The new guard is on its way.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts