A Sit Down With DJ Zaxx

08:41 Oct/17/2017


Greg Zaccagnino, better known simply as Zaxx, is the latest rising star in the electronic music scene. In a very short time he has transformed from bedroom producer who was looking to create a track people would hear around the world, to a DJ who has taken the electronic music community by storm. Gaining massive support from the likes of Tiesto, Hardwell, Afrojack and Tritonal, it is no surprise that he has sure taken the right track to attaining his goals. I first heard of Zaxx after he remixed The Chainsmokers‘ hit track “Roses”, and was blown away by the track. He didn’t stop there, as has also remixed other tracks from artists ranging from Sander Van Doorn to Alice Deejay and Seven Lions to W&W.

 Zaxx maybe young, but he has quickly built up a sizable fanbase and has already played in front of a sea of dancing feet and bobbing heads. It is clear he is driven and motivated by one simple truth, his genuine love for music. It is perhaps the most important characteristic of any musical artist, especially a DJ whose job description requires them to find, curate and share the best tracks the world has to offer. He is unfazed by the status quo, and let’s his passion for music lead him in everything he does.

 

"Don't release anything until you're ready. Success won't happen overnight and never give up".


 

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Please introduce and tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Greg Zaccagnino, people usually assume my first name is Zach because of my DJ name, but I’m just a 17-year-old kid from Staten Island, NY who loves making music.

How do you write your tracks?

If I’m making a new song or starting up a new track, I always start with the chord progression or the melody. I’ll mess with a bass line then think of notes that can complement it. I usually go from there. I focus on the melodies, then I go to the kicks and all the drums.

Which music aspect is most important to you in your live sets or live production?

In my live sets I like to make people feel like they’re in some kind of nostalgic euphoria, which is why I play a lot of classic remixes, most of which I’ve made myself. There’s just no better joy than hearing a song you really love live.

Which artists in the music scene do you learn from or enjoy watching when you play big events?

I’ve learned a lot from artists that aren’t even in the dance scene and a lot from some that are. One important thing I’ve learned from watching these guys is that the key to being successful and being happy is to do this for yourself- to make the music you love and be happy doing it.

You’ve been making music in an array of genres, from festival trap to house, what’s your favorite to make?

 I like to make everything. That’s why when I make a track, I’ll have one drop different, then another drop different. So I always try to incorporate shit. Now in all my new music, it’s all like nothing you’ve ever heard.

As a DJ you always have to have the dopest tracks. How do you find them?

What I do is I go on SoundCloud. I follow a handful of artists that I really like and check out what they’re doing. Then there’s the bigger artists that I like and see what they’re doing as well. I see what they ‘liked’ or ‘favorited’ and I’ll just peek through it. The point was so the people went “This song is so good, but I can probably only hear it here. It must be an exclusive song, I wish I knew what it was because it’s sick!” 

So you’ve basically grown up with the EDM genre, music influences, EDM wise, non-EDM wise, who do you listen to?

My main influences are definitely, in EDM is Martin Garrix, he was one of the first dudes to support me as well. We started chilling, and whenever he’s in New York I always hangout with him, and he just gives me great advice. I dunno, non-EDM I listen to everything, classic rock, everything. It obviously varies, but Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith.

Who are your biggest musical inspirations and why?

My biggest musical inspirations have to be the Smashing Pumpkins, they have a very distinct sound and made unique music since they first began and it landed them as being one of the most popular bands in the last 20 years. I’m inspired by any artist who can be original, fresh and still sound good.

If you could play one festival in the world, what would it be and why?

Either Ultra or Tomorrowland for sure because I feel like they’re the two most groundbreaking festivals.

Do you have any advice for other DJ?

My greatest advice is to honestly never give up or get discouraged. There are millions of kids who want to be the next big artist and that’s why this game is so difficult. If you don’t worry about shows, don’t worry about the other nonsense, and just focus on your MUSIC, I promise you will see results.

https://soundcloud.com/wearebigbeat/signal



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