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With Gaga’s Help, Zedd Transcends EDM World

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(Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

(Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

Annie Reuter
Annie Reuter
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Long before he produced tracks for Lady Gaga, Skrillex and the Black Eyed Peas, EDM whiz kid Zedd played in a metal band called Dioramic – a past that isn’t lost on him.

“I don’t always want to stick with a small amount of fans that like electronic dance music,” he told Radio.com. “I want the metalheads to love my songs and be able to go to my shows. I want older people that probably have never heard electronic music before to at least be able to find something interesting because my music is… you can play on a piano. That’s what I sometimes do.”

Zedd explained that this is why he does acoustic versions of tracks: “To show that there’s a whole other layer that you probably don’t hear because the kick drum is loud.”

He’s slowly but surely making himself a household name outside of the EDM world, thanks in large part to Lady Gaga. He explained how his first remix for Mother Monster, “Born This Way,” came together right before her 2011 album of the same name came out.

“I heard the song and it was a big challenge because it was very difficult for me to find new chords, which I love to do,” he said. “I try to take what we have and view it from a different angle and that was very difficult to do. It took a while, but I found a way to do that and everyone was really happy with the remix.”

Zedd’s remix was so well received, Gaga’s label wanted it added to the album’s official remix edition, Born This Way: The Remix, which includes remixes from RedOne and Mutt Lange, among others. The only downfall: The label told him at the very last minute that they wanted to include his “Born This Way” remix, so he worked 16 hours straight the night before it was due in order to finalize the track.

“It was literally 24 hours before they had to submit it,” he said. “In the middle of the night they were like, ‘Hey, you have 16 hours left. Can you do this?’”

Clearly, the hustle paid off. Zedd is also producing tracks from Gaga’s upcoming album, ARTPOP, expected out this year, and her fans have made their way to his originals.

“By working with Lady Gaga, her fans open up and a lot of them like my music and go to my shows.”

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