Zedd started with music in his daily routine from early childhood on. Born Anton Zaslavski in Russia and raised in Kaiserslautern, Germany by two classically trained musicians, he began playing the piano at the age of four and built up his knowledge of the Classical repertoire throughout his childhood, at times writing a song a day. At age twelve, Anton learned to play the drums and, soon after he began performing with the post-hardcore/metal trio Dioramic. As a preteen he was already composing and producing numerous rock songs in his band's own studio. As the aughts progressed, Anton's awareness of other genres widened, and in 2009 his interest in producing electronic music was piqued after hearing the French electronic duo Justice. With his gift for musicality and background in instrumentation, composition and production, the move into the realm of electronic dance music was seamless. A musical prodigy from the start, Zedd is already a powerhouse beyond the EDM realm. His originality and momentum will unquestionably propel him into the ranks of superstars.
For Jessie Ware singing is the easy part. Uncannily beautiful vocals have been pouring out of this London native since she was a kid. It’s the path from Girl With That Voice to full-fledged pop star – as she’s become back home in England in the last year - that’s proved trickier. In the wake of ecstatic advance American press, Ware prepares to release her US debut, the If You’re Never Gonna Move EP on January 15th followed by her full-length, Devotion later in the spring. As she turns her full attention to the States, that transition from one identity to another is still very much on her mind.
Oftentimes even the brashest of British artists lose their mojo a bit when confronted with America. Not Ware. Now that she’s gotten a taste for pop stardom, she’s going big. "I want to be a pop star, in the classic sense, like Annie Lennox, or Sade, or Whitney," she says. But behind the hoop earrings and shoulder pads are still signs of that pragmatic girl who thought she’d spend her life writing about other people. “The whole timeless thing, it’s quite ambitious,” she muses. “Mostly, I just want to make things I can be proud of if it all goes tits up.”
Twenty One Pilots
In its purest form music acts as a conduit of self-expression that's free from the conventions of society and that spirit of fearlessness lies at the core of twenty | one | pilots, a group whose musical vision is completely their own. Over the past few years the duo of frontman Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun have built a hardcore following that seems primed to reach a fever pitch with the release of their Fueled By Ramen debut Vessel.
Sounding so unique was never an obstacle for twenty | one | pilots early on, in fact it has been a trait that has endeared them to their fans. "I don't think there are a lot of bands that can play a hardcore show one night or a hip-hop show the next night and know that it will work," Dun explains, adding that the band's live performances have always been integral to the act. "We want our fans to leave all of their problems at the door and immerse themselves in the music, the moment, when we perform live," he adds. "In the end it's a giant release for everybody."
ROBERT DELONG, raised in the suburbs of Seattle, headed south to Los Angeles with a toolbox of Wii-motes, keyboards, and drums to develop a live rock show that CMJ Magazine claims worthy of “an 8-bit warrior, seamlessly creating danceable electro beats with his Wii Remote and Sega Genesis controller on par with the Chemical Brothers.” Having performed his genre-bending songs since 2010, DELONG uses MIDI interfaces, a full drum set, drum pads, keyboards, laptops and game controllers, looping his music live to fuse electronic dance beats with striking melodies and lyrics with emotional heart. As DELONG started playing more and more shows, most recently playing the Silver Lake Jubilee in Los Angeles, The Starscape Festival in Baltimore, Maryland and opening for STRFKR, he immediately caught the attention of critics and fans alike. DELONG has also received radio play from influential rock stations such as KCRW and KROQ, where DELONG’s “Happy” (also to be featured on Just Movement) peaked at #4 on the latter’s Local’s Only show. “Global Concepts” was also recently added to SIRIUSXM’s Alt Nation programming. In November, he’ll join The Faint on several of their west coast dates and round out his year with main stage slots at SnowGlobe in Lake Tahoe December 30 and Sea of Dreams in San Francisco December 31, with dates TBA in between.