We’re here with Isabelle Rezazadeh (REZZ) at Ascend Boston, pre-set and the crowd already can’t get enough of her. We snuck away to kill some time, put some finishing touches on her new look, and talk about her exciting plans for the next couple of months, as well as her career, life, music and everything in between.
ASHLEY FELDMAN: Thanks for being here with me, Isabelle. I think everyone is looking forward to getting an inside look at your rise to fame. You’ve had enormous success since the launch of your career just about 2-3 years ago. Grabbing the attention of Skrillex’s imprint Nest HQ, which may have helped land your EP, “The Silence is Deafening,” on deadmau5′s Mau5trap imprint. Tell us a little bit about this release?
REZZ: I’m super hyped on that. Especially because deadmau5 is the one that has the final say of what goes on his label. People might not think he is involved but he always has the final say. So, whenever I have a release on his label I feel so proud because I know he approved it. I mean, he is the reason I started making music in the first place. I think we also bonded over the fact that we’re both from Niagara Falls, which eventually led to a bus tour together and so on.
AF: How did you get discovered?
REZZ: I had a lot of guidance and support from producers like Skrillex and Jauz. Eventually deadmau5’s label found me which caught the attention of deadmau5 himself and I started performing at shows with him. One thing leads to another and random opportunities keep popping up. I think that’s the thing people don’t realize, you don’t really get famous overnight, things build upon each other and the fan base grows. The main thing that happened though was getting hooked up with a booking agent from AM Only. You get the right connection and you go from sitting in your room to touring the world. I’m happy with where I’m at. I lived such a normal youth so now I feel more humble and grounded going into all this.
AF: Within the few years that you’ve been on the scene and being somewhat of a newbie to the DJ lifestyle, what are some of the most helpful lessons or tips you’ve learned in order to keep your focus and stay sane in your personal life?
REZZ: You have to keep reminding yourself that making music is for fun. I should never feel pressured or forced to make it, but at the same time it’s something I always do. Honestly, I stay sane by producing music; I’ll start to lose my head if I’m on the road too much and not dedicating enough “studio” time. If I have 4 days off, I won’t do anything else but make music. It’s about balancing it all out. Another thing that helps me is changing up my DJ sets, to keep myself excited. I’ve been doing a lot of that recently.
AF: So what is that process like for you, of sitting down to write a song?
REZZ: I have this inspiration in my head and it all comes out really naturally for me. I’ll sit down at my computer and start making sounds and before I know it, I have a track put together. I’ve been thinking lately that I want my sets to be heavier, more bassy, ya know? I want people to leave and say “holy shit that was crazy.” Whether they hate it or they love it I want my show to be nothing like they’ve ever experienced before. I want them to remember it.
AF: BillBoard Dance just named you an Artist to Watch in 2016, congratulations! With that being said, what should we watch out for? Any cool projects or collabs on the way?
REZZ: Well first of all, everyone should check out my new goggles, haha. [Boston’s] the first performance I’ll ever be using them. But, I have another EP that is gonna be coming out on Mau5trap, and some other vocal collaborations. You know I get sent so many demos that I normally don’t take the time to check them out but I had this one producer reach out to me on Twitter. I loved the track so I finished off the project file and changed up the arrangement. I’ll be playing it tonight, so look out for “Alien.” Hopefully we’ll have some more good stuff coming your way in the future.
AF: You posted a video on Facebook the other day featuring your custom made LED goggles. Not only are they dope af but they give you a distinct, out-of-this-world image. What’s the story behind the alienesque frames?
REZZ: Being super inspired by deadmau5 is a huge reason behind all of this. I remember when I first saw deadmau5 perform years back, I was in absolute shock and amazement. His brand, so to speak, was so weirdly suitable and matching to his vibe. I felt hypnotized by his music and I wondered why no one had utilized the idea of hypnosis in their image. So, I wanted to incorporate that into mine. As for the goggles, I wanted to make my character come to life and do something that felt uniquely me. I think when you combine visuals and sound, there is magic that happens. I feel like I’m dressing up for Halloween every time I put them on. But this decision was all me, I came up with the idea on my own.
AF: Seeing as this music scene has predominantly been a boys club, there is an increasingly growing market for female producers and DJs. Do you feel a responsibility to set an example or encourage other women to pursue careers as DJs as a budding role model in this scene?
REZZ: If they want, they totally should and not feel discouraged. Honestly, I never felt discouraged. I didn’t sit there and think “I’m a woman and this is going to be difficult for me,” I was confident in the music and my vision, I didn’t take my gender into account. I would tell others to work their ass off, the most reputable way to go about this career is production. There are a lot of DJs, both men and women, in this industry who get a lot of attention just because of their looks. That goes for sports too. But at the end of the day, your fans are going to respect you based off of your skill set, using that talent as your reputation.
AF: I think a lot of the time an artist’s sound reflects their personality or a vision they try to emulate. You’ve been referred to as the new Queen of the Dark Techno scene, speaking to your edgy persona. What place does this come from that brings this to the surface?
REZZ: Yes, I make super dark music, that’s undeniable, but I wouldn’t call it Techno. It’s rhythm driven but more bass heavy. Those who are notorious for Techno like Nicole Moudaber would hear my music and be like “What is this? This is not Techno,” you know what I’m saying? My sound is more industrial and weird. Labels are just labels and people can call it what they want. But I wouldn’t put myself in that category.
AF: Coming up on your 2016 REZZurrection Tour, you’ll perform alongside some pretty notorious acts at Spring Awakening, Mysteryland, Paradiso and more, among a handful of hotspot venues. What are you most looking forward to?
REZZ: I’m definitely looking forward to Red Rocks with Zeds Dead, Mysteryland, Paradiso I’m really excited for, hmm…Shambhala, it’s less mainstream, more underground, Dubstep acts. The crowd there will be pretty passionate about the music and not so much about just partying, which sadly I think a lot of this industry has turned into, but don’t get me wrong, there is a solid fan base and numerous shows, festivals etc. that still emulate that back to basics vibe.
AF: Anything else you’d like to add?
REZZ: Follow me on Twitter over anything else…@officialrezz. All my fans that know me, know that’s the place to follow me at.. I’m constantly tweeting the dumbest shit but it’s a good time, people seem to appreciate my honesty and humor.. I respond to everyone who mentions me, I always see the tweets! But, hit that follow on Instagram too, also at @officialrezz. My Soundcloud will be linked there.
AF: You know, I think it’s so important to be different and have a unique style and you’ve really nailed that. I can’t wait to see how you grow and what you do in the near future. Thanks for taking the time, REZZ!