Deathcore to Super Bowl LVI: How EDM icon Anton Zaslavski went from A to Zedd
Super Bowl LVI is all set to witness the epic finale between The Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, February 13 at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. While Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J Blige, and Kendrick Lamar will take over the stage as the headliners, renowned EDM DJ Zedd will make sure the crowd stays cheerful before the game kickstarts.
Zedd, whose real name is Anton Zaslavski, has been roped in as the pregame DJ with an intention to keep the excitement alive before the two teams lock horns at the much-awaited Super Bowl LVI. Interestingly, the 32-year-old musician, who hails from Russia, was not even aware of the Super Bowl before he moved to the US. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, he said, “Then I realized living here that it's pretty much the biggest thing there is. I started watching it for the performances because I literally didn't even know the rules of football, but I loved how much artists would put into the performances, the halftime show." Speaking of his set for Super Bowl LVI, Zedd shared, “There's definitely a possibility that I'll mix in some of the songs that will for sure make some of the players take their headphones off” adding, “I'm gonna have to crank the volume a little bit higher. I think my plan is to play a lot of classics, obviously a lot of my new songs, maybe something that isn't released yet.”
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Zedd was born Anton Zaslavski in 1989 in Saratov, Russia, and he grew up in Kaiserslautern, Germany. His father is a guitarist and school teacher whereas, his mother is a piano teacher. Zedd, whose name is derived from the first letter of his surname, is reportedly a classically trained musician. He soon moved to playing drums in the early 2000s and before he knew he was playing the same for the German deathcore band Dioramic. However, he soon left the outfit after releasing a few singles while shifting his focus to electronic music around 2009. Whilst experimenting with the genre, he first remixed Skrillex's ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’, Lady Gaga's ‘Born This Way’, Armand Van Helden's ‘Witch Doktor’ among others.
Zedd quickly realized his potential thereby making a name for himself on Beatport and Soundcloud. By late 2012, Zedd started dropping his own singles and EPs and soon released his debut full-length effort called ‘Clarity’ under Interscope Records. One of the songs on the album called ‘Spectrum’ shot him to fame after it peaked at number one on the US dance charts. ‘Stay the Night’ featuring Hayley Williams is another single he is best known for. The track cemented his position in the world of EDM.
The song reached number two on the British pop charts and cracked the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. And, Zedd arrived in the scene when he won the Grammy for Best Dance Recording in 2014 for the title track of his album. Zedd’s collaborations with global artistes picked up pace as he then joined hands with Ariana Grande for the track ‘Break Free’ that got him all the attention he needed. Even if Zedd is known for electro house, he did not shy away from stepping into progressive music, dubstep, and even classical music.
Taking his career to next level, Zedd dropped several tracks with some of the top global artistes like Selena Gomez, Troye Sivan, and rapper Logic. In 2017, he told Hypebeast about working with rappers despite being an EDM DJ. “I’ve worked with Logic and Iggy Azalea before. I love a lot of rappers. I’ve always loved Macklemore and wanted to work with him. Kendrick Lamar is one of my favorite rappers of all time. Because I’m a very melodic person I really like to focus on melody and chords, there needs the right moment in the song for me to work with a rapper. So I definitely would want to work with rappers as long as I have a song that fits it”, said Zedd.
He released an LP called ‘True Colors’ in 2015 where he dabbled into rock and hip-hop. In 2017, one of Zedd’s career’s best singles called ‘Stay’ was released where Canadian singer Alessia Cara showed her magic on the vocals. Zedd scored three Grammy nominations after he joined hands with country singer Maren Morris and electro duo Grey for the single ‘The Middle’ in the following year. The song proved to be a smashing hit soon topping the Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs charts. In 2019, Zedd released a track called ‘365’ with Katy Perry and a song called ‘Good Thing’ with Kehlani. In 2020, Zedd released ‘Funny’ featuring Jasmine Thompson. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Zedd enjoys a massive net worth of $50million. In April 2021, it was revealed that Zedd pocketed a fat pay cheque of $250,000 for each gig for Las Vegas residency at the superclub Zouk.
Super Bowl LVI will commence at 6:30 pm ET/3:30 pm PT. The coverage begins at 12:00 pm ET. The action can be caught live on NBC and can also be live-streamed on Peacock, NBC Sports App, and NBCSports.com.