Meet MTV’s latest Artist To Watch: electro-house pioneer Zedd.
Russian-German EDM prodigy Zedd might be soft-spoken, but his electro-house concoctions are the musical equivalent of an atom bomb (minus the danger). Drawing influence from dubstep, prog-house, and complextro, Zedd’s worked behind the scenes with multiple musicians before coming into his own as a solo artist — and let’s just say his résumé’s not short. To date, Zedd’s remixed The Black Eyed Peas, Justin Bieber (he co-produced “Beauty And A Beat” with Max Martin), Skrillex, AND Lady Gaga. And speaking of Lady Gaga, Zedd’s producing her hotly anticipated ARTPOP album, and the two are so tight that Zedd even planned to do eight dates on her now-canceled Born This Way Ball tour (maybe next time, bbs). All canceled tour dates aside, when Mother Monster name-drops you, you’d better listen up, and fast.
Learn more about Zedd after the jump.
Now signed to Interscope Records, Zedd’s most recent release is 2012’s Clarity, a rich collection of EDM, dub, and house-pop jams, featuring a bevy of collabs exploring genres that travel well beyond the electric fence (see what we did there?). The LIZ-assisted “Hourglass” opens Clarity with a “tick-tock” sound before moving into a bell-tower chime, prepping the track to transition into a full electronic breakdown. Zedd’s gift for transition is on full display as “Hourglass” clicks into “Shave It Up,” a dancehall-ready track with enough Skrillex-friendly *SKRONKKK* dubstep to fill a 700-person space. Another defining feature of Clarity is its rotating roster of musical guests: the album’s title track opens with elegant vocals by Foxes, aka Louisa Allen, while “Spectrum,” Zedd’s defining bass-tinged single, features pop singer Matthew Koma (that’s Carly Rae Jepsen‘s boyfriend, FYI).
Though he has yet to plan a full-blown headlining tour, EDM fanatics can catch the MTV Artist To Watch at the Masquerade Motel with Swedish House Mafia this weekend, then at next week’s SXSW where he’s been nominated for a Breaking Woodie at the 2013 mtvU Woodie Awards, followed by the Ultra Music Festival in Miami later in March. But before any of that can happen, Zedd’s going straight into our “get pumped before and after work playlist.”
+ Check Out Zedd On His Musical Process.
+ Watch Zedd perform “Clarity” live.
+ Watch Buzzworthy’s Q&A with Zedd.
Photo credit: Nick Walker/UMG