Zedd Tells the Inside Story of His Biggest Hits: Watch

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Courtesy of GQ
Zedd in a video for GQ.

If anyone still thinks DJs and producers aren't real musicians, sit them down with this quick clip from Zedd and GQ. The mind that made "Break Free" doesn't appreciate that stereotype, and he proves his studio chops by breaking down each of his biggest hits. It turns out he's been writing and recording his own songs since he was 5 years old.

"When I was growing up we didn't really have much, so when we got a keyboard, that is what we had," he says. "My parents would work all day, and my brother and I would just sit and write music and record music."

He talks about how "Clarity" helped "shape" his career, establishing him as a vocal-centric dance music artist. That famous song was originally written and recorded by Zedd's frequent collaborator Matthew Koma for another song on Zedd's album called "Lost at Sea," but when the producer played it over the "Clarity" melody, he "got goosebumps." He explains how they landed on a female singer, and the rest is history.

Zedd moves through his catalog, breaking down the process of his biggest hits from across his last five years. He spares no details as he goes behind the scenes on "Spectrum" and "Stay the Night," all the way through "The Middle" and even his recent remix of Shawn Mendes' "Lost in Japan." Watch the full interview with GQ below.

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