Grammy-winning electronic producer Zedd is known for dynamic, electro-house tracks and a glitchy, pulsing production style. He first broke through in 2010 with a remix of Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" before parlaying that buzz into mainstream success with his 2012 album debut, Clarity. Buoyed by the single "Stay the Night" with Hayley Williams, Clarity reached the U.S. Top Ten and earned him a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. His sophomore album, True Colors, spawned the hit "I Want You to Know" with Selena Gomez and landed at number four (plus number one on the dance charts). Along with his own work, he has remained an in-demand producer, collaborating on tracks with a bevy of pop luminaries including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande. In 2018, he paired with Grammy-winning country singer Maren Morris and L.A. electronic duo Grey for the Top 40 hit "The Middle." Born Anton Zaslavski in 1989 in Saratov, Russia, Zedd grew up in Kaiserslautern, Germany, where he started out on piano at four years old. Classically trained, he eventually moved on to drums and by the early 2000s was playing in the German deathcore outfit Dioramic. Along the way, he discovered electronic music and in 2009 began experimenting with producing his own tracks. It was around this time that he adopted the stage name Zedd (inspired by the non-American pronunciation of the letter z), and quickly built his reputation by posting tracks to Beatport and remixing songs by well-known artists, including tracks like Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," Armand Van Helden's "Witch Doktor," and others. Zedd also began releasing his own singles and EPs, and in late 2012, delivered his first full-length, the club-worthy Clarity. Included on the album was the song "Spectrum" which shot to the top of the U.S. dance chart. One of the follow-ups, "Stay the Night" featuring Hayley Williams, also garnered attention, reaching number two on the British pop charts and cracking the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. The title track, featuring British pop singer Foxes, won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording in 2014. That same year, Zedd scored another hit with Ariana Grande's track "Break Free." In 2015, he released his sophomore LP, True Colors, which presented more stylistic diversity, dipping into rock and hip-hop influences. The collection featured Selena Gomez, Troye Sivan, and Logic among its guests, and topped the Billboard dance/electronic chart. An international tour in support of the album followed. In 2017, Zedd issued the single "Stay," featuring Canadian singer Alessia Cara on vocals. The following year, he collaborated with country sensation Maren Morris and electro duo Grey for the single "The Middle," which topped Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs charts and landed three Grammy nominations. 2019 saw Zedd team up with Katy Perry for the single "365" and later with Kehlani for "Good Thing." The song "Funny" featuring Jasmine Thompson arrived in July 2020.
© Matt Collar /TiVo
© Matt Collar /TiVo
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Dance - Released March 4, 2015 | OWSLA
Dance - Released January 1, 2013 | Interscope
In the span of a few years, Anton Zaslavski was inspired by Justice to make electronic dance music, reached out to Skrillex and remixed "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," became an in-demand producer of remixes and original material, and signed to mainstream label Interscope. His remixes for the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga, combined with production for Justin Bieber's Believe and singles like "The Anthem," "Shave It," and "Spectrum," made the German musician, still in his early twenties, a rising star in EDM and pop. Zaslavski's rapid ascent says more about his talent and creativity than the lack of skill and imagination required to make dance music. He was the drummer in a metalcore band, but he has definitely found his calling here. Clarity's lone pre-Interscope track is "Shave It," retitled "Shave It Up," made more musical with an all-strings coda, and yet shortened to a brisk 3:11. The song's grand and extended conclusion makes an early-in-the-album statement, however ostentatious, that Zaslavski can compose circles around the majority of EDM producers and do so in a concise fashion. He also knows how to construct an album. This plays out like it was developed and arranged for the sake of repeated listening rather than a quick fix for listeners in need of a rush. That said, there are plenty of peak moments that reflect the immediacy and desperation of adolescent relationships, like the stadium-ready title song (featuring Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes) and the fully developed modern pop of "Spectrum" (fronted in a boyish, bright-eyed manner by Matthew Koma). The instrumentals tend to be relatively restrained, but most of them are more attractive than the songs featuring big-name vocalists Ryan Tedder and Ellie Goulding. Zaslavski's not quite in a field of his own yet. "Stache" shamelessly displays the producer's indebtedness to key Justice influence Daft Punk -- it might as well be subtitled "Aerodynamic 2K12" -- but he's getting there. Anyone who appreciates well-crafted dance-pop should probably keep up with him. © Andy Kellman /TiVo