Elephante's Glass Mansions tour touched down in Los Angeles at the renowned El Rey Theatre on November 9th. The cross-country tour supporting Elephante's recent Glass Mansions release started at the beginning of August and runs through the end of this month. Elephante was supported by talented and versatile young producer ZAXX who despite only being 21 years old, has already collaborated with KSHMR and created an official remix for Seven Lions. Originally from the East Coast, ZAXX recently relocated to the to Southern California so he was surrounded by his close friends at the show and was excited to perform near home. I had the opportunity to connect with the outgoing and cordial young producer after his thrilling, invigorating, and high-energy performance.
SB: How did you first get into DJing?
ZAXX: I first started getting into DJing when I was about fourteen. I used to play a lot of video games when I was a kid. The music in those video games was all electronic music and eventually, I really loved it. It was all I listened to. I started wondering how to make it. I eventually started DJing in my friends' basements. It's kind of cliche but I loved DJing in basements. I always loved music so it just seemed right to start making music. It just came kind of naturally.
SB: How did your career first take off?
ZAXX: I started making music just like anybody else. A few of my songs were noticed by bigger acts like Martin Garrix and Tiësto. Eventually, I got signed to Spinnin' Records. My manager took me out of school. I went on tour with Tiësto and got a residency at Hakassan in Vegas.
SB: Who are your greatest musical influences?
ZAXX: I don't know who my greatest would be but I'm very influenced by a lot of artists. I like The 1975, Porter Robinson, Petit Biscuit, and Bon Iver but I also love Motley Crew and Arcade Fire. I mostly listen to bands. I love The Goo Goo Dolls. Probably more like chill alt-rock. The 1975 is probably my favorite.
SB: Do you have any formal music training?
ZAXX: Not really. YouTube is my training. I had guitar lessons as a kid. I learned how to play guitar recently from YouTube. You don't need formal training nowadays. You just go on YouTube. It's free training.
SB: How did you first start working with Elephante?
ZAXX: We did a festival together in Ohio but I've always known his music from the time I was a little bit younger. It was exciting when he recently asked me to remix "The In Between" so he liked it a lot. We kind of came to the conclusion we should do this tour together so he brought me along to do all the dates with him. It's been awesome.
SB: What has the tour been like so far?
ZAXX: It's been fun. The shows have been sold out. Just really good. Great vibe. It's a good experience for me. I'm very proud of him. He's selling out the shows for his album. That's a big accomplishment if you're an artist. All in all, it's very good.
SB: What was it like to play to the crowd tonight?
ZAXX: Tonight was awesome. It was very intimate. There were a lot of people. They loved what I loved to play. The music I can play can catch people off guard sometimes because it can be slower. A big misconception is that if people aren't dancing they're not enjoying your set. I don't think that's true. If I go to see somebody, I like to sit down and listen. That's just how I am. They loved the music. That was what I was aiming for.
SB: What advice do you give producers today?
ZAXX: Honestly just have fun. The music industry can suck, so just have fun. The music industry will discourage you. You gotta remember if you're making music, you're doing it for fun. People who have fun making their music and have fun doing it at the same time are usually the most successful. Draw your influence from other artists but don't copy them. Use your inspirations to your advantage. It's not impossible because there are so many success stories from people who started out as anything.
SB: What is it like to be a producer in today's music industry?
ZAXX: Being a producer in today's industry is challenging. Nowadays you gotta stay ahead of the curb with your music. You gotta be original in everything you do.
SB: What do you like to do when you're not making music?
ZAXX: I love playing games, eating, finding new music, and playing a show.
SB: Have you had your music featured in any video games?
ZAXX: No, but my music was featured in the show XOXO.
SB: What exciting projects are you working on for the rest of 2018 and beyond?
ZAXX: Now I'm reflecting on what I did before. I'm working on some new and different material as I come into myself. I have a big project coming out with Tiësto. It's a bit downtempo. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. One day I want to have my own tour and sing and play guitar.