Qkumba Zoo Q&A

Hi all, this is a page where the band answers your questions. Feel free to ask, comment or suggest.


Owl and Levannah

Hello! Please tell me Levannah’s full name. I would appreciate knowing this!

Robert Koch.

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So I first found you guys when I was like 19 years old in the palladium NYC night club. You performed live there for JR Vasquez. The performance was magical! I was and still am obsessed with your music. Especially child inside, this song has special meaning to my sister and I. My question is, how did you link up with JR and become so popular in the NYC club scene? Your music seemed to come out of nowhere and was a huge success quickly.


  • GreatGatsbyJhb says:

    Hi Richard

    Thanks for the kind words! I am touched that music means so much to you.

    Wake Up & Dream was released in the States in ’96. When Arista was preparing the Child (Inside) for release as a single they obviously organised re-mixes for it. There were some fantastic ones by the Berman Brothers, Anthony Acid and Toxic Twins. But the king of them was Junior Vasquez’s mix. When we first heard it we fell in love with it right there and then. He took what was already a great production (in my very humble opinion… haha), put his own twist on it, and came up with a something fantastic – absolutely worthy of the song. It was his mix that was at the forefront of powering the Child (Inside) to the top of the Billboard dance charts.

    In order to help the single along, Arista organised a promo tour of the states at the time of the release of the Child (Inside) – this would have been late ’96 (my memory is a bit hazy, lol). Because Junior had helped get the song onto the club charts Arista had been able to organise a gig for Qkumba Zoo at the Palladium on the night Junior was DJ’ing. That was the night you saw us. We loved the gig, loved the club, and loved the vibe of the crowd. Bearing in mind we weren’t well known by that audience except through Junior’s mix, we were hellov nervous, but I think we got over that.

    Two other things about that night. It was during that week that the song went to number one and so we were walking on air, not quite believing the reality of it all. And, if I remember, the Palladium had a fire code so Tziki was not able to dance using some of her fire performance. However, the rest of the performance was authentic Qkumba Zoo (including face painting and all of Tziki’s performance equipment).

    So that’s the short version of how we made an impression on the New York club scene and ended up at the Palladium. At some point soon I will actually write a blog about our history, which will describe the events leading up to that. Until then, take care and thanks for the question.


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    Well… I had to ask Levannah to remind me. And the story goes thus. A friend of ours, Janet Foley, was visiting for dinner and her and Levannah were cooking in the kitchen. I think they were discussing the idea of what band name we should choose (we had broken up our old band and were already making our first demos for the new band) when Janet popped out the name: Cucumber Zoo. Levannah told me after, and I am not sure if I was keen on the idea initially but warmed up to it after a time, especially when we changed the spelling to Qkumba. Then I was like, yeah thats pretty cool. That would have been in about ’94.

    There is a longer explanation of much more mythic proportions that Levannah used to talk about floating around on the web, involving butterflies, vegetarianism, fairies and such, if you would like the “interesting” version, lol. But the above is the prosaic account.

    We have tried different spellings to reflect changes in our circumstances: Qcumba Zoo (first iteration, before Qkumba Zoo) and QZoo, but we came back to Qkumba Zoo as, really that is, you know, the name.


  • MikeTyton says:

    I always wondered about the bands name 🙂

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