Zedd on his genre-bending hit songs and collaborations with Alessia Cara


Over the past decade or so, electronic dance producers have stepped out of small clubs all around the world and into the spotlight, as the music they make has become the stuff that makes it to the top of the charts and the masses can’t seem to get enough of. 

One name that keeps popping up with hit single after hit single is German producer and artist Zedd. The talented young musician has six top twenty hits in the U.S., including c’s “Break Free,” his Grammy-winning track “Clarity,” and most recently, a new single entitled “Stay,” which is still growing in popularity everywhere. 

Zedd took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about his new single, who he’s been listening to, and why he may or may not make an album. 

CEEK VR: You have a new single out with Alessia Cara who has always low-key been one of my favorites, so I'm really happy to see this song blowing. What's the plan to keep “Stay” climbing? 
Zedd: Well the video is obviously a big part. We've worked on it for quite a long time now. We're very impatient, so happy it's finally out. We performed it at Ultra and we did a performance at the JUNO Awards. It's still climbing at radio, which is awesome! It is in the trailer of the movie Everything, Everything, and there's a couple other pieces that are going to happen over the course of the next three weeks. So, hopefully we'll keep rising. There's not a whole lot more spots to go, so any spot that it will rise, I'll be really happy for.

CEEK VR: It looks like one of your biggest hits here in the United States, so that's massive. 
Zedd: I think it is, yeah. I actually think it is. Like I said, it's still rising, so there's a good chance it could potentially become my biggest song, at least in terms of the numbers. It hit number two on iTunes in the U.S. I don't know if I've ever had a song at number two on iTunes. 

CEEK VR: Is this going to be on an upcoming album that you're preparing, or is it just a one-off? 
Zedd: That's is honestly a really good question that I don't really know how to answer yet. My plan for this year was to kind of do the opposite of what I did last, which was working on an album and then releasing everything at one time. This time my plan is to just make music and try to release it as soon as I can to make it fresh and let people hear it not three years after I finish it. I'm going to release song by song. I have a couple collaborations that I've worked on that I will release soon. Eventually I could imagine making an album and maybe including a couple of those songs that I'm releasing right now onto it, but I'm not 100% sure yet. 

CEEK VR: Was there anything in particular that made you want to shift from the typical album promo cycle to this new plan of putting music out as you make it? 
Zedd: Yeah, well I think that the listening habit of people has changed a lot. I was a little bummed when I worked on an album for so long and then people tended to just listen to the singles. That made me question how much worth there is in spending so much time and letting people wait two years if they end up mostly just listening to the three singles. 

So, I thought, "What's the way people listen to music?" Playlists seem incredibly important in today's world, specifically with Spotify. You're not gonna get playlists of 10 of your songs. They're going to pick one, maybe two, but you're not gonna get the other ones up there. 

So, how much worth is there in waiting so long just to surprise people with eight extra songs from something. I'm not sure what the worth in that is. I know that there's a big worth in me making albums because I love doing it and that enables me to create songs that aren't singles, and people don't judge every single song. They kind of look at the whole thing at once which is awesome. 

And that's why I think I will eventually make an album. But, while I'm making the album, I think I will keep releasing music just to always have something out there. 

CEEK VR: What are you listening to now that people should go and check out? 
Zedd: I always mention Grey. I think those are incredibly talented and gifted musicians. Khalid is an artist that I've been getting into lately. We also have a song together. This is one of the moments where I would need my computer, I could name you a lot more than that. 

CEEK VR: You have a song coming out with Khalid? I’m looking forward to that one. 
Zedd: I do, Yeah. We just started working on it very recently and he recorded the vocals, and now I have to finish the production of the song. But that's something that we have together. It's going to be really cool. And I don't even know what genre that it is. I think it's kind of far away from what I do and kind of far away from what he does. In a sense, kind of like "Stay" was. I've never made a song like "Stay" before and Alessia has never, but together we ended up doing something we couldn't do by ourselves. That's one of the coolest things about collaborations, is that you can get to these places that you can't by yourself. I think this song with Khalid will be another one those slightly genre bending songs that we couldn't do by ourselves. I also made a song with Iggy Azalea! 

There's also an artist called Sigrid from, I believe, Norway. I don't know if you've ever heard of her, but she's incredible and has a phenomenal voice and I believe she's gonna be a big star in the next year. Yeah, those are a couple of recommendations.

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