Zedd Is The DJ Making A Name For Himself

Zedd Is The DJ Making A Name For Himself

DJ and producer Zedd is making huge waves, and he's lifting his peers and fans up in the process.

DJ and producer Zedd is making huge waves, and he's lifting his peers and fans up in the process.

Photography: Ian Morrison

Styling: Anda & Masha

Text: Paul Schrodt

This story appears in the pages of VMAN39, available on newsstands now. Order your copy now at vmagazineshop.com

Zedd is the furthest thing from just another DJ. The 28-year-old Grammy-winning musician and producer, born Anton Zaslavski (he doesn’t care which you call him), is humble and soft-spoken, and that’s apparently how he’s always been. “I consider myself a polite person, and I’d want to be treated with respect as well,” Zedd explains.

Whatever Zedd’s doing, it’s working. The Russian-born artist, who grew up in Germany before coming to the U.S., achieved his biggest hit to date with “Stay,” featuring Alessia Cara. The track was his first number-one single on Billboard’s Top 40 chart, and may become the precursor to a new album. Zedd has made a habit of collaborating with distinctive, young female singers, starting with “Clarity,” his breakout 2012 single with Foxes. He happened to meet Cara at a recent awards show, and subsequently asked her to be on “Stay.” It was the kind of organic meeting-of-minds he prefers. “My strategy is always to make sure that the singer is comfort- able,” he says.

He had a particularly fortuitous run-in with Kesha that started with a Twitter conversation and led to her first released recording in three years, a remix of his “True Colors.” It helped open the floodgates for support of the pop singer amid legal battles alleging sexual assault against her for- mer producer, Dr. Luke. She was finally able to put out an album last year that spawned the hit “Praying,” and Grammy nominations. “I’m super happy. I don’t take any credit in it,” Zedd says. “But it can be really easy for a small gesture to achieve something really big. It’s not like your gesture or your move is everything in the universe—you’re just a little part of it—but maybe your action will inspire someone else to do something.”

ZEDD WEARS JACKET BOSS

Credits: Grooming: Nicole Del Rio, Photo Assistant: Morgan Pharoh, Location: Black Chapter NYC.

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