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Interview: Rezz

“When I went to shows growing up, I felt hypnotized by music. I wanted my own music to be represented in a more visual way”

Written by
Graham Turner

In just a short two years, 22-year-old Canadian DJ/producer Isabelle Rezazadeh – better known to the world as Rezz ­– has established herself as one of the most hyped up-and-comers in the dance scene. And while her signature light-up googles have become a permanent fixture that have helped endear her to collective memory, it’s her bass-driven music, oft-dripping in sneering malevolence, that really makes her stand out – it’s just so damn different from anything else that’s getting close to the mainstream.

Many are calling her debut album, Mass Manipulation, which dropped a couple of months ago, a game-changer. What we’re really excited about though is Rezz’ Hong Kong debut as she takes to the stage at this year’s Road to Ultra Hong Kong. We catch up with the precocious young producer before she heads to our neck of the woods….

What’s the story with the goggles? They’ve become almost as famous as your tunes!
When I went to shows growing up, I felt hypnotized by music. I wanted my own music to be represented in a more visual way. 

What are your thoughts on dance music and personal brand? It seems like the biggest DJs now have a brand that’s much more all-encompassing than the music they produce…
I think as long as it happens organically and not forcefully, it’s super cool.

Your new album has now dropped in its entirety but you decided to release some tracks in the run-up throughout July, how come?
I did that because I wanted those tracks to have their own time to shine and also to build hype for the album. 

Have you been happy with the reaction? It must be an incredible feeling for you to drop your debut through mau5trap [Deadmau5’ label]. 
Totally blown away. 

It blows us away to think that you’re only 22. When we listen to a track like Synesthesia, it’s really quite masterful in juggling immediacy and space, complexity and simplicity, as if you’ve been doing this for 30 years. How does a song like that comes together?
That song came together in one day, to be honest! Most of them do. When you have a clear vision like me, it becomes easy to finish songs quickly. However, sometimes it can take weeks or longer for me to get that first initial idea. Once I have the idea, it gets finished fast.

Let’s talk about Road to Ultra. How do you feel about playing the fest in Hong Kong?
Very, very excited! 

Have you spent much time in Asia?
Not too much! I've only ever been to Seoul and Shanghai. 

What can we expect from the set?
Lots of my own music.

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