There’s a new name dominating the darker side of electronic music right now. her name is REZZ
Meet Isabelle Rezazadeh – REZZ to you and I – in the last year, the 20-year-old Canadian has released on Mau5trap and Nest, she’s just about to close off Ship2Ship, her North American tour with Destructo and Justin Martin, and in March she will be performing at CRSSD alongside the likes likes of Gesaffelstein, to whom she’s been called the French techno dark lord’s long-lost sister. For someone who has been producing for just over two years, her success is almost shocking.
I met up with REZZ in New York at her hotel before the Ship2Ship show at Brooklyn’s Output. To meet REZZ in person – an outgoing, chill and personable spirit no taller than 5’5” – you’d never think she was the producer behind the intensely dark and creepy production that is best described as techno-meets-dubstep.
Here are seven reasons why REZZ is original, exciting and a great addition to the ever sprawling, mutating phenomenon that is bass music… And why she’s fit to headline California’s newest goldenchild festival, CRSSD.
She was discovered without trying to be…
“Before I started releasing music on Mau5trap and Nest, I was releasing music independently and giving it away for free – tons of it. I would post my music in this group called the Toronto Rave Community and it just so happened ATTLAS [a fellow artist on the Mau5trap imprint] was in the group. He sent my music to Mau5trap’s manager, and that’s how my EP The Silence is Deafening came out. I was so surprised a song like ‘Edge’ was released on Mau5trap, because it’s so heavy. Same thing with Methodology. I have been shocked with how open minded they’ve been with my music because it’s…different.”
Her music is definitely “different” – but in a good way…
Listening to REZZ, you get the sense she has effectively carved out her own sound: Techno-step? Dark and dubby? It’s hard to describe, but it’s the kind of music that transports you into a twisted, hypnotic trance, where your dark side surfaces in an almost pleasurable way until you snap back to reality, wondering where your psyche drifted..
“I don’t even realize how different my music is because it’s so natural for me to create it. People are like, ‘Yo this music is weird and kinda fucked up,’ which is why I’m even more surprised big labels are accepting it. I’m realizing how inspired I am by Zeds Dead. I love anything that is slow but that you can get real heavy with.”
She fell into producing but picked it up quickly…
“I always had a curiosity to produce. My friend helped me install Abelton on my computer but I never did anything with it until I saw Deadmau5 at HARD Day of the Dead in 2013. And I remember seeing Pretty Lights when I was 16 open for Skrillex. I’ll never forget the people in the crowd; they were there just to soak up that weird, slow heavy music Pretty Lights was dropping. It inspired me subconsciously – when I turned 18, that’s when I realized I was inspired to create that kind of music, as opposed to just listening to it.
“I had time off. I was just finished high school and I wasn’t getting any shifts at my job (at the Hard Rock Café) and I thought, ‘Ok what am I actually doing with my life? Maybe I should pick up a hobby other than partying.’
“I noticed myself immediately starting to make music and while other people were struggling with completing projects, I made music very quickly – I’d finish a song and post it the next day. I just created songs I liked; I didn’t care if anyone else liked or agreed with them.
“I believed in my sound and created a vision almost immediately. There were many defining moments but I feel like my whole life led up to this.”
Her sound has been compared to great musicians and producers before she even knew who they were.
“People always ask if I’m inspired by bands like Nine Inch Nails and my answer, unfortunately, is ‘No.’ I LOVE them now because people started comparing my music to Trent’s. People have also said that about Gesaffelstein and my answer is the same – I started making music before even knowing who he was. I later got inspired by him when people started making the comparison.”
While all true artists strive to create their own sound, it doesn’t hurt to be compared to names such as those…
“I have tons of people who tell me my music sounds like no one else’s and other people who make comparisons, and they don’t mean it in a bad way. Being called the ‘female Gesaffelstein’ is the biggest compliment ever. I just know that the more I continue to produce, the more apparent my own sound and style will become.”
She is set on playing her own music, whether you like it or not…
“Before a set, I sometimes think, ‘Do I play a full REZZ set to this crowd?’ But I’ll never forget one time I was with Skrillex and he specifically said, ‘ALWAYS play your music live. Always, no matter what.’ It was one of those things that stuck in my head.
“Sometimes I’ll mix it up but typically I try to step outside my comfort zone and show the crowd who I am – for what I am – and whether they like it or not, they’ll remember it.”
Most producers will tell you how passionate they are about their music, and then there are artists like REZZ who simply embody their passion…
It’s so clear REZZ is so assured of herself, her music, and the direction of her career that you don’t even need to ask standard questions like, ‘How did you know you were meant to produce music?” or the more taboo,“Have you been treated differently for your age or gender?”
“My whole life has been this weird upward spiral of awesome shit, and you can imagine it’s reaching peaks right now. I started producing music mostly out of curiosity to see what could come of it because I was pretty sure I could make some cool stuff. My vision became clear very quickly, and now that vision is just getting bigger and bigger.
“I’m excited to make more music, have more collaborations, and one day have this ridiculous, two- hour set where everyone is in the same zone and when it finishes, everyone is like, ‘Whoa. What even was that?’ People tell me I set that vibe in a club now and it’s just going to be even bigger in a couple years. It’s still very early stage – we’ll remember this conversation.
“I’m still trying to figure it out where [my ability to create dark music] stems from. All of this has happened so quickly it’s hard to understand its origins. It’s been the most insane ride of my life.
“A few months into producing I remember being in my room and being so happy. Because I knew I found my passion. It was such an obvious – almost tangible –realization of ‘this is what passion is!’ And I knew this was it. I got super ambitious at that point. That moment is when I realized, ‘This is what I’m going to do with my life and no one is going to stop me. And that’s been my mindset since.”
She’s on the roster for one of the most anticipated lineups for a North American festival: CRSSD…
California newcomer festival CRSSD may be her biggest gig thus far, and she has good reason to be stoked:
“Honestly I’m just baffled [I’m getting to play at CRSSD.] I was looking at the lineup and I can’t believe I’m including in festivals like that. There are some icons playing at CRSSD – not just anyone gets booked.”
Those “icons” include heavy hitters such as Cirez D, Gesaffelstein, Jon Hopkins, Odesza, Claude VonStroke and many more. Join them at CRSSD, San Diego Waterfront Park, March 5-6.
Follow REZZ: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud