is taking over NYC...one iconic landmark at a time. On May 19th, 2015 the electronic dance producer took over the Empire State Building
with a one of a kind performance and visual experience. Last month, the 26 year old returned to New York for another historical, career milestone: a headlining show at Madison Square Garden. We recently sat down with the 26 year old Russian-German superstar (who's real name is Anton Igorevich Zaslavski) in the hours before taking over the arena with the intense, immersive audio-visual experience he's serving up on his True Colors Tour
"Back then our production was a table...you could see our legs!" We're talking about one of Zedd's first tours in the US, which was actually with another monster of the EDM world, Skrillex. The two would do their own change-overs and would sometimes perform in front of 5 people...which is obviously an extreme cry from the shows they're doing today.
In Zedd's case he's teamed up with the visual artist Beeple
on the tour, projecting intense graphics and animations across an array of video walls measuring 40 feet tall by 80 feet wide. "I'm still always amazed by [Beeple's] visuals and by his creativity. I don't know where he gets his ideas but every single visual is so unique and different and just tells you a story without even hearing anything."
Harking back on the early days of touring though is not the only time Zedd would feel nostalgic during our conversation. I suppose being on the precipice of such an incredible accomplishment would have anyone thinking about their journey to the moment. His started when his parents taught him to play the piano at the age of 4. "From classical music to jazz and funk...that kind of music was really my first musical memories." Of course, like any angsty teenager, he'd rebel a bit, finding his way into rock and metal and hardcore bands (much like his good friend Skrillex). "Then I discovered electronic music and started producing it myself...and now we're here!"
This background is so evident in the rich, dramatic depth of his new album, True Colors
. Essentially, Zedd is a modern day composer, crafting intricate arrangements out of a lifetime of musical inspirations. "When I showed my dad my new album he said he liked it better than my old one because it does remind him more of [artists like] King Crimson and George Benson. Because there are a lot of similarities. I think if I had not listened to those bands I would make completely different music".
That music is not as easy to categorize as simply slapping the old "EDM" tag on Zedd. "It's kind of interesting," he explained. "A lot of people say you're EDM, the next one will say you're electro, the next guy will say you're pop." Perhaps that's why he appeals to so many different types of music fans...perhaps that's why Zedd is able to make another massive mark on this city of ours.
Whatever the reason(s) for his rise, it is clear Zedd wants to create an experience that his fans will remember. "We work really hard to make this show stand out and be something different," he explains. "Ultimately, I want [the fans] to go home and tell people that it was the best night of their life". Mission accomplished