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EDM Lounge Interviews Zedd

Quickly leaping from obscurity to the spotlight, the German Electro House artist Anton Zaslavski is not afraid to experiment with new sounds and cross musical boundaries. From glitchy head-nodding beats to massive uplifting dance-pop records ("Spectrum"), Zedd may be the frontman for the new face of dance music, where genres evolve and morph as fast as the beats themselves, and to get the top you've got to keep up. I had the pleasure to sit down with Zedd for a few minutes at Electric Zoo this past weekend to ask him about his own inspirations, successes, and how it feels to be at the top of his game.

So Zedd, how did it just feel to perform on the NYC Electric Zoo stage?

It felt amazing - it was great. I just got in here literally a couple minutes before I started my set because I had a very late flight so I got here and got right on stage. Yeah and it was super packed, it felt amazing.

As a classically trained musician, what initially inspired you to make the cross over from piano and drums to Electronic music?

One of my biggest inspiriations was Justice, because when I heard that album Cross it made me want to try to do something new and it made me want to try electronic music, and then I just started doing it for fun. That was the main inspiration that brought me to this scene.

You're one of the kings of Electro House, but you still maintain a wide variation of sound in your releases. What do you see as the future sound of EDM?

You know I would have never thought something like Trap music would have been big for a moment and also Moombahton was also kind of unexpected for me so there can be new trends every day and it's changing so quickly so I don't know. I really have no clue - I couldn’t even guess.

Coming from Germany, where dance music has already been popular for quite a while in the club scene, what do you feel the biggest differences are between the EDM scene that has risen in the U.S. and the one back in Europe?


I think that the scene in America is ahead of Europe, and a lot ahead of Germany. Because for instance, in Germany a lot of YouTube is blocked and you can't watch any videos on Universal Music Group - all those big artists you can't really watch. And the dance culture in Germany is a little different than that in the states because its more focused on the dancing and they don’t really care about the DJs. I want people to pay attention to what I’m actually doing. I see myself as an artist and that scene really isn’t there in Germany.

Did you know when creating "Spectrum" it would become such a big hit?

No, absolutely not. I made the song and then decided I loved it and wanted to put it out as a single so I called my label and told them I wanted it out right now. But I hadn’t released music for a little while, and "Spectrum" is obviously a little different than what I put out before, so I didn’t know how my fans would react. But I really didn't care because I feel if you think only about what your fans think, not yourself, then you're trying too hard to be someone people like - and that's not me. So I just released it and it's by far the biggest song I've ever had.

And how does it feel to have guys remix it like A-Trak, Armin van Buuren, and Arty

It's a big honor. I've asked for remixes before and it's really hard to get people to remix your song, especially the names you named because they're super busy and always touring, and most of the time they're not cheap as well. There's always a financial factor, but they were all super excited about the song and they were like yeah we want to remix it.

What is it like to be signed to Interscope Records as a dance music artist who was making Legend of Zelda remixes just a little over a year back? (We loved that remix).

It feels great. I feel like at Interscope I have a team that is able to help and support me achieve my goals, and I have a lot of time to concentrate on my music now because I can go to them with what I need and want and they take care of it while I'm working on music. But yeah I think it's great - it's a big step. It’s a major label and I'm honored to be one of its artists.

When working on new projects do you like discovering new or unknown talent and vocalists to collaborate with?

It's the best feeling, it's incredible. My passion is finding people no one knows. I did it with Heather Bright who no one knew who she was, and now everyone wants to work with her. I also did it with Matthew Koma, and I have a lot of other artists on my album who are going to blow up. I work with big artists too though like Ellie Goulding, but it's a ton of fun finding new talent.

What do you currently have in the works, and what are your future goals as an artist?

Well my biggest project is my album which is coming out October 9th and my future goal set is up in there. I don't really plan too far ahead I'm just going to release my album and then go from there.

Interview by Brooke Forman

Photo Cred: Jordan Loyd