Nick Walker
placeholder
May 18, 2015 04:25 PM

European EDM producer Zedd broke onto the Billboard charts with “Clarity,” his 2013 crossover single with Foxes. Ever since, he’s made a name for himself both on the festival circuit and as a formidable force in mainstream music, snagging of-the-moment pop artists as featured guests on his songs.

PEOPLE caught up with the German-Russian DJ – born Anton Zaslavski – whose sophomore full-length, True Colors, drops Monday. (Gearing up for the album’s release, Zedd threw listening parties for fans at notable landmarks across the country – PEOPLE had exclusive access to his San Francisco party at Alcatraz!)

Here’s five things you need to know about the 25-year-old rising star.

1. He’s worked with basically everyone in pop music.
Zedd’s made a name for himself as both a headliner and a behind-the-scenes man: Artists like Paramore’s Hayley Williams (“Stay the Night,” 2013) and rumored girlfriend Selena Gomez (current single “I Want You to Know“) have served as feature guests on the producer’s radio hits. Plus, he’s written and produced with OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder – and he even coproduced “Aura,” a track on Lady Gaga‘s ARTPOP album. (Mother Monster also released a version of his song “Stache,” with her vocals over the track.)

2. His friend circle is impressive.
It only takes a quick gander at his Instagram account (@zedd) to tell the guy’s got an insane group of friends. He’s posted shots with everyone from fellow EDM stars Calvin Harris and Skrillex to Taylor Swift and Jared Leto.

3. He’s putting some roots down in the States.
Zedd was born in Russia and raised in Germany, but he recently moved to the West Coast.

“I just moved to L.A. permanently. For the first time, I feel like I have a home here,” he tells PEOPLE. I would say home is L.A., but my heart is still where my family and friends are, which is Germany.”

4. He’s recognized much more often these days – and sometimes at inconvenient times!
“At Holy Ship, which is a festival on a cruise ship, I had to go to the bathroom, and I had to get to the show, and there was no time for me to go back to my room. So, I had to go to the public bathroom, and someone recognized me there and started a conversation while I was peeing and wanted to take a picture. And it was not the best time to take a picture!”

Even with his newfound fame, the producer says he’s not recognized that often in his home country. “When I’m home, I’m not [recognized] a lot. Airports and restaurants are the types of places I’m recognized most.”

5. He’s living his dream.
“All I wanted to do my whole life is make music, and there is a lot of music I love to listen to, and now I am able to reach out to those people and collaborate with them, which is exciting, all I wanted to do. So the more music I make, the better my chances are to work with more people I love.”

For more on Zedd, pick up the May 18 issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

You May Like

EDIT POST