Zhana Roiya Gets Dirty on the Dancefloor
Written by Jamie Booth | Photos by D’Andre Michael
Zhana Roiya returns to the dance floor with “U Sexy Mutha U,” the follow-up to “Lick Me Up,” her smash Billboard #1. Written and produced by Barry Huffine and Stevie F (the producer behind many of Madonna’s early hits), “U Sexy Mutha U” is a high-energy retro pop record infused with gospel house.
“I drew inspiration from KC and the Sunshine band for the track,” explains Roiya. “I’ve always loved how they made songs that made ya stop what you were doing with a hypnotic and infectious hook. I wanted to capture that essence in the song.”
At first listen, the mainstream radio potential for “U Sexy Mutha U” is obvious. Zhana Roiya’s soaring vocals turn the song into an anthem that club fans will want to sing at the top of their lungs, simply because it feels good to do so. The song stirs a wide array of emotions from silliness to sexiness. It is hopeful, yet at the same time, takes no prisoners.
“We wanted to create a song that was catchy and that anyone could relate to,” explains Stevie F. “What’s more universal than desire? There’s a time in everyone’s life where their eye catches someone with a crazy sex appeal that really revs up their motor; someone they can’t stop thinking about who they want to be with.”
“I had been wanting to work with Zhana on a project for years” reveals Huffine. “Everyone in the Dance Music scene knows how she’s able to deliver a lead vocal that’s on point with sweet harmonies that are simply amazing”.
Matt Consola of Swishcraft Music, the label releasing the single, agrees. “If club fans had any idea how many massive club hits Zhana’s been on through the 90’s and 2000’s, under various names, it would blow them away.”
He is rolling out some exciting remix interpretations of “U Sexy Mutha U” from top talent, including 15-time Billboard Dance #1 remixers Dirty Disco (David Bowie, Smash Mouth, Clean Bandit), Bearlin Records super producer Jose Spinnin Cortes (Offer Nissim, Amuka, Suzanne Palmer), London-based Circuit mega producer and label owner GSP, and former Paisley Park/Prince engineer turned producer Larry Peace. There are also versions by Nu Disco award winner Lucius Lowe, Spain’s Italo-Iberican pioneer OBTUS (aka Julián Guarque) as well as DJ/remixers Max Grandon, Guy DeGiacinto and the team of Alberto Ponzo & Fabio Campos.
“Finding the right remixers is often the hardest part of putting out a dance single,” Consola continues. “All too often, labels release a slew of remixes in various genres just to try to force their way to every different type of dance floor, from Deep House to Tech House, EDM, Nu-Disco, and Circuit. While that’s all part of trying to make a dance hit, few songs lend themselves to so many genres.”
Luckily, ‘U Sexy Mutha U’ does, and each mix on the package offers an interpretation that takes the original into new and exciting territories. “The dance floor needs a song like ‘U Sexy Mutha U’ because global current affairs are so dark and bleak,” says Consola. “All this division is taking a toll. We need uplifting music we can escape into. Like the great Inaya Day says, sometimes you need to ‘Take Your Problems to The Dance Floor,’” he laughs.
“Believe it or not, I first heard the hook of ‘U Sexy Mutha U’ in a dream,” adds Roiya. “As soon as I woke up, I recorded it on my phone and waited for the opportunity when I could lay down the vocals in studio. I know in my heart that ‘U Sexy Mutha U’ will be a song to define the year ahead.”
“U Sexy Mutha U” releases to iTunes and all music streaming services on February 9th. For more information, visit http://swishcraftmusic.com.