We spoke to Zedd about his new HyperX partnership and bridging the gap between music and gaming – CNN Underscored
When Anton Zaslavski — better known as world-renowned electronic music artist Zedd — isn’t producing new tracks or traveling the world playing for sold-out crowds, there’s a good chance you can find him sneaking in a few rounds of Valorant on his computer. The Grammy-winning musician is also an avid gamer, regularly playing top PC titles with his friends and fellow producers while donning his beloved white-and-purple HyperX gaming headset.
After Zedd’s love for HyperX gear turned into a full-blown partnership — mostly thanks to a tweet — the DJ is now the company’s latest brand ambassador, a move that both parties hope will bridge the gap between the music and gaming worlds. To learn more about this collaboration, we spoke to Zedd about his favorite games, his go-to hardware and the ever-growing parallels between his two biggest passions.
When music and gaming collide
Zedd Live at Overwatch League Grand Finals 2019
Before he was creating chart-topping hits like “Clarity” and “Stay,” Zedd was your average kid that loved video games. In fact, they’re one of the main reasons he makes music today. Zaslavski was inspired to start a rock band after discovering the group Feeder via the popular PlayStation racing game Gran Turismo, and would later create an entire song based on Nintendo’s iconic Legend of Zelda series.
“When I think back to my early inspirations in music, a lot of that came from gaming,” says Zedd. “You play and you feel music differently when you’re in a game, and especially when it’s connected to success in a game. So I think music and games just go hand in hand.”
While life on the road and in the studio made it hard to find time to game, Zedd eventually got sucked back into his earliest passion. He’s been outspoken about his love for competitive first-person shooters like Overwatch and Valorant, and has even been seen getting a few rounds in with some of Twitch’s biggest streamers. The globetrotting musician would soon find ways to combine his two passions, performing at the Overwatch League Grand Finals in 2019 and designing his own set of in-game items for Valorant.
But before he started journey with modern PC gaming, Zaslavski had to find the right gear. And luckily, he had an expert on speed dial: Fellow producer and avid gamer Joel “Deadmau5” Zimmerman.
“He’s super nerdy and knows about computers, and he …….