Zedd and Lady Gaga have collaborated on many hits together over the years

Zedd and Lady Gaga have collaborated many times over the years, but the producer recalls being starstruck the first time he met the entertainer.

“As somebody like me back then, an up-and-coming producer living in Germany in my parents’ basement making $20 a month, you would take any opportunity to speak to Lady Gaga,” Zedd — who partnered with Marriott Bonvoy to host a production and songwriting master class at Interscope Records on Friday — told PEOPLE exclusively at the event.

Zedd, 29, was nominated for three Grammys this past weekend for his hit “The Middle” (with Maren Morris and Grey) and credits Gaga, 32, for opening up “so many opportunities” for him over the years.

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“I think working on music with Lady Gaga, the most important lesson that I learned back then — because that was the biggest difference of the biggest superstar and literally the most unknown bedroom producer possible — was at the end of the day, we are all the same,” he says. “We’re all just people.”


At the master class (which was held in partnership with Universal Music Group), Zedd shared behind-the-scenes anecdotes about what goes into producing his chart-topping hits.

Other Marriott Bonvoy master class moments have been led by Chromeo, Jerry Rice, Dwyane Wade, Laird Hamilton, Bode Miller and more.