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It wasn’t the nightlife, the free drinks, or the clubs that attracted Gazzo to electronic music.
“What got me excited about dance music is the possibilities are endless,” the New Jersey-born artist and producer reveals. “I found that so thrilling. It’s what made me want to dedicate myself to this. Whenever I have my mind set on something, I do it. I’ll stay in on a Friday night to make a song while everybody else is out partying. It never feels like work. This is my life.”
Music officially became his life in 2012. Blessed with a self-proclaimed “stereophile” for a dad, Gazzo never had to venture very far to satiate his own passion for music—instead he could just crank one of a thousand CDs through his father’s “gigantic” speakers. In high school, he went from playing upright bass to electric bass and guitar, jamming for hours on end daily.
By the time Gazzo began college at Towson, he had taught himself how to record and produce on a laptop, diving headfirst into electronic music and uploading his productions to Soundcloud. 2013 saw blogs such as This Song Is Sick, The Huffington Post, Do Androids Dance, Dancing Astronaut, and more take notice in a big way.
Major artists across the spectrum from Rudimental, Jessie J, and Tegan & Sara to Ariana Grande and Dimitri Vegas/Like Mike started seeking him out for official remixes, while he received support from Hardwell, Fedde Le Grand, Cash Cash, and Tiësto. His remix of American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life” racked up over 20 million streams, while his “Centuries” remix for Fall Out Boy received a high-profile sync from ESPN during College Game Day. Seven of his productions hit #1 on The Hype Machine, making him a mainstay in the tastemaker aggregate’s upper echelon, and he also landed at #12 on Billboard Chart Indicator “Next Big Sound.”
In late 2014, SiriusXM’s “BPM” picked up Gazzo’s single “Never Touch The Ground,” which landed in regular rotation. His remix of Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” was then featured in The Chainsmoker’s “YouTube EDM 15 Show,” which highlights 15 buzzing YouTube videos and spins them on SiriusXM. Shortly after, Casablanca Records offered him a deal.
“I try to be diverse and eclectic,” he goes on. “I have signature sounds that are ingrained in the process, of course, but I like the idea of constantly trying to push the boundaries of mixing genres and elements.”
That’s precisely what he does on his 2015 single “Sun Turns Cold” featuring Chase Rice. The track builds from a kinetic, handclap-fueled beat into a shimmering crescendo where country star Rice’s voice rises to divine altitudes. It takes progressive house to another level altogether in the process.
“Once Chase got on that top line, it brought these different vibes together very well,” says Gazzo. “There’s a country edge, which gives it that grit alongside these big room chords. The track itself is about making mistakes, but still possessing the hope that things will change. Music is something that kept me going even when I felt down. You see hope in a hopeless situation or find light in darkness.”
In the end, Gazzo is breaking boundaries on his own terms in more ways than one. “Music is an escape,” he concludes. “Everyone has problems in life. Sometimes, life throws you hills. Other times, they’re mountains. I want my music to give everyone an outlet to express themselves and let loose. For that moment, you forget how difficult life is and just live. That’s what music does for me. I hope listeners feel that even within the club bangers with the big drops. It’s more than just bass.”