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Electronic hitmaker Zedd wants to perform as well as play

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013

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When it comes to performing live, Zedd wants to be "different form a normal DJ show, just playing records and having some lights."

"I approached this tour more as a concert, less as a DJ set, I guess," explains the Russian born electronic artist (real name Anton Zaslavski) who now keeps homes in Germany and Los Angeles. "Before I would ever play a song I rehearse it with my team and find the right lights and the right visuals for each song, so it's like you're watching a movie and listening to your favorite song at the same time.

"And I'm not playing any clubs like every other DJ is playing. I'm going to rock venues, and every day I'm looking at the posters at these venues and it's all rock artists and bands -- and me. I liked that. At a club it's not really about your show, where this way I'm playing to 2,000 die-hard fans or so and I get to play more of my own music and not just songs people will like."

At this juncture, however, Zedd has material that fits both criteria. He's hit the charts with the title track from his latest album, "Clarity," and with "Stay the Night," his new single with Paramore's Haley Williams. The latter -- which appears on an upcoming Deluxe Edition of the "Clarity" album -- he says, was rescued from the creative scrap heap after initially being consigned to the creative scrap heap.

"The first draft of the song was probably made before 'Clarity' existed, but it just never was right," says Zedd, 24, who's also produced several tracks for Lady Gaga's upcoming "Artpop" album. "A long time after "Clarity" was out I was in the studio making new music and I picked up that idea again and wrote a new song around it, and that time it did work.

"Hayley was all the way at the top of the list of singers I thought would work on (the song), so we reached out to her and, surprisingly, she loved the song and said she would like to try it, which I really didn't expect. It's not like she does a lot of collaborations. Luckily it worked out; she did an absolutely incredible job with it. I couldn't be happier."

Zedd performs Friday, Sept. 13, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are sold out. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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