In European parlance, “zed” is the last letter of the alphabet. (In the mid-’70s, I became a fan of a British band known as Fischer-Z. It wasn’t until I heard the name pronounced on a respected import music radio program during my college years that I was schooled to the fact that the band was actually Fischer-Zed.)
German Progressive/Electro House DJ Anton Zaslavski, whose profile has risen to stratospheric levels as Zedd, is the latest to appropriate the caboose of the alphabet for his moniker, perhaps indicating that he is the be-all-end-all in EDM culture, perhaps just an allusion to the initial in his surname. (He also tacked on an additional “d” for style points.)
Musically inclined toward piano at an early age, Zedd broke from his classical training at 12 to become the initially untrained drummer in his older brother’s Muse-ish Metalcore band, a position he held for nine years.
After finding inspiration in a Justice CD, Zedd started experimenting with Electro production as a hobbyist; he wound up winning a couple of remix contests on Beatport, which led to his first original song, “The Anthem,” hitting Beatport’s Top 20. After remixing for the likes of Skrillex, Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas, Zedd’s “Shave It” premiered on Skrillex’s YouTube page and became the second release on his fledgling OWSLA label.
Last year was Zedd’s biggest so far; he signed with Interscope, released the album Clarity (which spawned a huge hit with the title track), co-produced the song “Beauty and a Beat” for Justin Bieber and is a producer on Lady Gaga’s forthcoming album, ARTPOP.Regardless of the implications of his professional name, there doesn’t seem to be any immediate end in sight for Zedd.
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