This week’s cover Billboard is none other than one of our favorite producers, Zedd. In the full cover story, Zedd speaks on a number of topics, ranging from his opinions on American President Donald Trump, to reaching out to Kesha last year, and even his relationship with Selena Gomez.

Perhaps most poignant are the testimonials from artists like Julia Michaels, Jared Leto and Hailee Steinfeld who have nothing but high praise for Zedd, real name Anton Zaslavski.

Check out some of the highlights from the story below, and read the whole feature here.

On Trump:

“No matter how big the scandal is, no matter how insane a [Trump] tweet is, it just keeps going. You feel powerless, and that’s terrible to me. Take that to a bigger scale and you end up in North Korea, where people are slaves of their own country,”

On urging other artists to speak out against Trump:

“They don’t want to lose fans. I understand where they are coming from, but I disagree with that being a good reason not to speak up.”

On not fitting the stereotype of bro DJ:

“As you can tell, the music I’ve been making is very far from the bro-y side of things,” he says. “But I’ve never made bro-y music, in my opinion. I don’t think I’m good at it.”

On reaching out to Kesha to make music during public struggles:

“It was just a therapy thing,” says Zedd, “making music with someone to help them feel better.”

On what it was like dating Selena Gomez:

“Reporters were calling my parents. People were hacking my friends’ phones. I was pissed. [Though] I kind of knew what I was getting myself into,” he says. “She is one of the most talked about people in the world, but I had no idea how much that would change my life.” He won’t say if he’s dating anyone currently.

Some top artists who have collaborated with Zedd open up about what it was like working with him:

“Oh, he’s definitely a perfectionist,” says Liam Payne, though “it felt like I was [recording] with a bandmate or friend.” Hailee Steinfeld, who worked with Zedd on the top 20 Hot 100 hit “Starving,” agrees that he’s a “perfectionist,” but adds, “Most importantly, he cares about the people in the room.”

“I’ve never met somebody so particular in the studio,” testifies Julia Michaels, who worked extensively with him on his 2015 album True Colors, and also calls him “an awesome dude.” “He’d make me sing [lines] in, like, three different keys, over and over and over.”

Or as his friend Jared Leto, who collaborated with Zedd on a to-be-released 30 Seconds to Mars song (and has also taken him rock climbing), puts it: “He is a relentless worker and really puts in the time. He is not someone who just shows up and takes selfies all day.”


Image & Story via Billboard