Zedd in Los Angeles at the 2014 premiere of Divergent
2 September 1989|
Saratov, Saratov Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Anton Zaslavski (Russian: ?;[a] born 2 September 1989), known professionally as Zedd (; derived from the first letter of his surname), is a Russian-German record producer, DJ, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He primarily produces and performs electro house music, but has diversified his genre and musical style, drawing influences from progressive house, dubstep, and classical music.
Zedd grew up and began his career in Kaiserslautern, Germany. In 2012, he released "Clarity", which propelled him to mainstream success, reaching the 8th position on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning him a Grammy for Best Dance Recording at the 56th Grammy Awards. Subsequent well-known songs include "Stay" with Alessia Cara, peaking at number 7, and, as a featured artist, "Break Free" with Ariana Grande, peaking at number 4.
Anton Zaslavski was born on September 2, 1989 in Saratov, Russia. He grew up in Kaiserslautern, after his family moved to Germany when Anton was three years old. He is a classically trained musician, the son of two musicians. His father, Igor Zaslavski, is a guitarist and schoolteacher, and his mother is a piano teacher. He began playing the piano at the age of four and drums at twelve years old. He has an older brother, Arkadi and a younger brother, Daniel. In 2002, Zaslavski began playing for the German deathcore band Dioramic, signed by Lifeforce Records. Zaslavski's interest in producing electronic music was piqued after hearing + by the French electronic duo Justice.
After leaving Dioramic in 2010, Zaslavski, also known as "Zedd", won two Beatport remix contests in 2010; his first original release, "The Anthem", entered the Beatport Electro house chart in the top 20.
His remix of Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" also entered the Beatport Electro House chart, peaking at number 2. He has since produced remixes of well-known artists, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas, Periphery and others. Zaslavski creates his music using the Cubase suite of music production applications, and uses plug-ins such as the Sylenth1, Nexus, SynthMaster 2.6, and Omnisphere synthesizers, and the Kontakt sampler.
In 2011, his single "Shave It Up" (then known as "Shave It") became Zedd's first release on OWSLA. Zedd went on to release "Slam the Door" and "Shotgun" with OWSLA before departing to release his debut album in 2013.
In 2012, Zedd signed with Interscope Records and released his debut single from the label, "Spectrum", with vocals by Matthew Koma. It shot to the top of Billboards Hot Dance Club Songs. He then produced the Eva Simons song, "I Don't Like You", which was also released on Interscope. He also produced and co-wrote the third single "Beauty and a Beat" with Max Martin for Justin Bieber's third studio album, Believe.
On 12 October 2012, Zedd released his debut studio album, Clarity, with "Spectrum" as the album's lead single. "Clarity", featuring British singer-songwriter Foxes, was released on 1 February 2013 as the album's third single. It charted in the top 10 of Billboard Hot 100, sold 2,238,000 copies, and was certified platinum, making it Zedd's most successful single to date. The song also became the #1 most played on American radio on 10 September 2013. Zedd concluded 2013 with his first worldwide tour, selling out venues across 5 continents.
Zedd worked with Japanese singer Namie Amuro and produced her promotional single, "Heaven" for her album Feel. Zedd would later work with her again in 2015 for her album, genic, although none of his songs were actually featured on the album.
"Stay the Night", featuring Hayley Williams, was released as a single on 10 September 2013, as part of the deluxe version of Zedd's album. The song met similar success, although it was criticized for its lack of uniqueness and less powerful lyrics compared to "Clarity". It ranked in Billboard Hot 100's top 20, and certified platinum as well.
In 2013, Zedd produced "Aura", "G.U.Y.", and "Donatella" on Lady Gaga's 2013 album, Artpop. On 26 January 2014, he released the single "Find You" featuring Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant, which is included on the soundtrack for the film Divergent.
On 3 July 2014, Ariana Grande released a song with Zedd entitled "Break Free", which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. The song was nominated at the Teen Choice Awards in the category of "Break-Up Song". On 18 December 2014, Moment of Clarity, a documentary about Zedd and his 2013 world tour, was released through his YouTube channel, with Sandra Bullock, Rachel Weisz and Julia Roberts.
After taking a six-month break, Zedd announced the release of his second studio album, True Colors. On 23 February 2015, Zedd released his collaboration featuring Selena Gomez, "I Want You to Know". The song was co-written by Zedd, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, and Kevin Drew. The song was nominated for "Choice Party Song" at the Teen Choice Awards and made it to #1 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Songs and peaked at number 17 on Billboard Hot 100. The song was certified platinum in the US for selling over one million copies.
Zedd released his second single, "Beautiful Now" featuring Jon Bellion, on 13 May 2015. The album, True Colors, was released two days later. The album peaked at number 1 on Billboards Dance/Electronic Albums, and has ranked at other various international charts. The third single from the album, "Papercut", featuring Troye Sivan, was released on 17 July 2015.
On 22-23 May, he headlined the Counter Point Music and Arts Festival along with The Roots and Widespread Panic. Along with Eric Prydz, Zedd headlined the first day of 2015 Spring Awakening Festival.
His second world tour, the True Colors Tour, ran from August to November 2015 and visited Asia, North America and Europe. Zedd was included in the line-up for Coachella 2016. In 2017 he organized a benefit concert for the American Civil Liberties Union, prompted in response to US President Donald Trump's executive order to "suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, refugees or otherwise". The line-up included Daya, Halsey, Macklemore, Tinashe and Skrillex. On 26 February 2016, Zedd released the single "Candyman" alongside Aloe Blacc. On 15 July 2016, singer Hailee Steinfeld and producer duo Grey released a song featuring Zedd titled "Starving", which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 and No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart.
Zedd released a collaboration with Riot Games for the 2016 League of Legends eSports championship, Worlds, titled "Ignite" on 26 September 2016. He followed up the release of the song with a "Finals Remix" a month later. On 15 December 2016, Zedd released a remix of DJ Snake's hit song "Let Me Love You".
On 23 January 2018, Zedd released his single with Maren Morris and Grey, "The Middle", which was raised to No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Songs radio chart and peaked at No. 5 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Zedd was tapped by National Geographic to make a song inspired by the upcoming miniseries One Strange Rock and released a video to the song, also titled "One Strange Rock" on his YouTube channel on 9 April 2018.
The accompanying music video was later released 23 August 2018