Just a couple of years ago, Zedd was picking up $50 a gig opening for Skrillex in clubs. As his Hotstar cover photo vividly illustrates, he’s doing a bit more than that now.

Zedd, born Anton Zaslavski in Germany to two classically trained musicians, plays several instruments, composes his own music, and toured as a drummer in post-hardcore/metal trio Dioramic. But when he’s not producing for the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and hanging out with Herbie Hancock, he’s wowing with his live show.

Photo: Rukes.com

“We took him out with Skrillex and now he stands on his own two feet,” AM Only’s Lee Anderson told Pollstar. “Zedd’s now stepped out of his shadow a bit and getting respect he deserves on his own.  It’s been a lot of work to build, but we’ve been working our asses off on Zedd for two-and-a-half years to get him to this place.”

Part of the strategy for building Zedd includes putting him not just on the bills of the massive EDM festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and HARD Summer, but into lineups of more rock-oriented events like Lollapalooza, Coachella and, most recently, Outside Lands.

Photo: AP Photo

“We had a huge set at Outside Lands, playing at 5:30 in the afternoon, against The National and Bob Weir sitting in with them – in San Francisco,” Anderson said. “I was like ‘oh shit, we’re gonna get killed.’ There were about 45,000-plus people in the afternoon at a non-dance festival.

“He stands out that way. Strategically, we always wanted to put him into a diverse pop/rock-driven atmosphere and have him stand out, as opposed to be another DJ between two other DJs.”