Zedd: Life moves fast

23-year-old Anton Zaslavski has come a very long way in a very short amount of time. Just over 12 months ago, Zaslavski released his breakthrough single Shave It and the guy who goes by Zedd started getting a whole lot of attention. Before then, his biggest victories had been some Beatport chart-climbers (one was his original The Anthem and another a remix of Skrillex’s Scary Monster and Nice Sprites) and a commissioned remix for Lady Gaga. But with the support being newly-signed to OWSLA gave him, Shave It catapulted Zedd – alongside fellow Skrillex protégé Porter Robinson – to one of the leading names in dance music’s new generation of producers. Not bad for a guy who only starting producing in ‘09.

Now, Zedd’s just released his debut album Clarity on Interscope (who were quick to snap him up) and is a couple of weeks out from touching down for his first ever Australian tour with Stereosonic and Foreshore. In the lead-up, we caught up with the man on the fast track to the mainstage.

You and Porter Robinson have quite a close friendship and do a lot of work together. What’s the advantage of working with someone who’s also your friend?

From my perspective it’s just a lot more fun to work with people you’re friends with than with people you possibly don’t know. I just played a tour with Alex Metric and Kill Paris and we’ve never met before, but we became great friends. So now whenever there’s another chance to tour with those guys, I’d love to. It’s just a lot more fun and a lot easier to be on the road with people you know.

Guys like you and Porter are being looked to as the future of dance music. Where do you see the genre heading from here?

That’s a good question. I don’t really know, to be honest. For my part I try to stay away from planning too far ahead of time. I mean, of course I plan, but I’m not like “my next album will come out in exactly 19 months”. Who knows, everything changes so fast. No one really knows what will happen in the next six month. I just try to stay as open as I can.

I guess it’s exciting to see this new generation of really talented producers, like you and Porter, coming through at the moment. It makes me wonder how long the current crop of superstar DJs, the Tiestos – the guys who are really big but are getting pretty old – how long they have left. Do you think the clock’s ticking for them?

Well you know I think it depends on what they do in the future. I do think that we get more and more away from “hey, there’s a big guy, he was big 20 years ago so he’s gonna play the headline slot”. Now, we’re more towards “well, the kids want to see this guy, he’s 16 and he has new songs coming out every month, I think he should have the headline slot”. I think we’re gravitating towards a time where it does not really matter if someone was big 20 years ago, if you’re not staying current, if you’re not putting music out, you’ll get irrelevant pretty quickly – or at least quicker than you would have before. Talking about Tiesto, he still puts out a lot of music so he obviously stays very relevant. But for DJs who live off their big name or status from a long time ago, it will be harder and harder for them to stay relevant.

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