Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey stopped to speak with Billboard’s Chelsea Briggs on the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, chatting about the success of their collaborative song “The Middle,” the popularity of blending genres in music and to pay tribute to Avicii.
Asked if they knew “The Middle” was a hit from the start, Grey say “yes” with a laugh, but Zedd chimes in to say “that’s a lie!”
“We always thought it’s an amazing and special song,” Zedd continues. “But you never know, sometimes you make a song and you think it’s the greatest thing in the world and nobody likes it.”
Maren Morris, who joined the track a bit later on in its process, tells Billboard, “It’s kind of a gut reaction when you hear something so intrinsically catchy, and in 10 seconds I was like how do I get onto this? How can I be a part of it? I’m ready to go.”
Zedd also touches upon the current trend of genres being mixed together, crediting that surge to streaming. “People being able to just switch straight to the next song if they don’t like it,” he says, “there’s not this barrier anymore because you’re not selling a song to somebody … you can just mix genres however you want. If people don’t like it, they can listen to something else cause, thanks to streaming, they basically own all songs.”
In the video, Zedd also pays tribute to Avicii, who passed away last month. “I’ve played a bunch of shows with him,” he shares, “and we’ve had the same residencies in Vegas and luckily I got to cross paths with him often and lived in the same city, so I saw him frequently and as for everybody, not just the music industry, I think for the entire world, it was a really sad moment and kind of a wakeup call to take these things very seriously.”
You can watch the full interview above, plus check out the group’s performance of “The Middle” at the Billboard Music Awards below.