Anton Zaslavski, also known as Zedd, was born in Russia and moved to Kaiserslautern, Germany at the age of three. Zedd has been immersed in music since he was a young child. He began playing classical piano at the age of four under the guidance of his musical parents. At the age of twelve, he started playing drums in a band with his brother. A few years later, he discovered the French electronic duo, Justice, and was captivated by electronic music ever since.
How did he get started?
Zedd’s eclectic musical background is definitely responsible for his quick success as an Electronic Dance Music (EDM) DJ. As a young teenager, he performed with a German post-hardcore/metal trio called Dioramic while composing and producing rock songs in the band’s studio. Yet his musical taste shifted in the following years after he was introduced to the electronic French duo, Justice. “I just thought it was really great-sounding, from a sound design aspect,” says Zedd. “Musically, it was just really interesting, and I had no clue how to do that.”
In 2009, Zedd began producing his own electronic music and was quickly recognized by fans and critics alike. He won two Beatport remix contests, the Armand Van Helden/Strictly Rhythm Remix Contest and the Fatboy Slim/Skint Remix Contest, after he released his first single, “The Anthem.” He gained even more recognition in 2010 with his remix of American electronic DJ Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.”
However, a true turning point in his career occurred in 2011 when Zedd sent a message to Skrillex himself on Myspace. He asked the soaring star to listen to his original music and immediately, the DJ was impressed. Skrillex eventually took him along on tour and signed him to his OWSLA label, opening the doors to Zedd’s ever increasing success.
Shortly after, Interscope Records heard of Zedd’s impressive productions and wanted to get their hands on his raw talent. He went on to release a number of official remixes for popular artists such as Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, P.Diddy, Swedish House Mafia, and Skrillex himself under labels mau5trap, Interscope, and EMI. His remix of Lady Gaga’s “Marry the Night” appeared on the deluxe edition of the superstar’s latest album Born This Way and his remix of “Born This Way” appeared on Born This Way: The Remix.
In 2012, Zedd signed a deal with Interscope Records and released his first single, “Spectrum,” which shot straight to the top of several charts, including the U.S. Billboards, iTunes, and Beatport Worldwide. Shortly after, he released his debut LP, Clarity, along with a couple of more singles, including ‘Shave It Up’ and ‘Slam the Door,’ which both held the top spot on Beatport’s charts for several weeks.
The following year, Zedd released a deluxe edition of his LP with a bonus track called “Stay the Night,” featuring Hayley Williams of American rock trio, Paramore. The hit soared to the top of the charts throughout the U.S. and Europe. Within the span of three years, Zedd has performed in numerous festivals, including Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, and Coachella, among others. In 2014, the twenty-five year old won his first Grammy for his most famous track, “Clarity.” The prodigal electronic musician is definitely off to a good start with his musical career.