By Jessica Norton
We've seen Ansel Elgort act (and tap-dance) but did you know he's also HUGE in the electronic dance music scene? And, get this, behind the turntables, he goes by the name Ansolo. Like Han Solo -- but with an "An."
So how do I know about Ansel's secret identity? Well, the actor celebrated his 21st birthday at a club called Pacha in New York City and -- brace yourself, TFIOS fans -- I was there. And it was glorious. He even premiered a new, unreleased Ansolo track called "Shadow" -- and I for, one, can't wait to purchase it whenever it hits the Web.
So what was it like to see Ansel spin? Well, allow me to set the scene:
The lights went out and a digital screen projected a scrolling marquee of the ANSOLO logo above the DJ booth. All eyes were focused on Ansel as he appeared in front of the crowd. With a huge smile on his face, he motioned for everyone to put their hands up while cannons of celebratory confetti exploded onto the dance floor.
"New York City, this is one of the best nights of my life!” he screamed into the mic, poised at the turntables among large cardboard cutouts of his face.
The crowd erupted to the sound of his beats, waving their hands in the air and screaming, amplifying Ansolo's mission to "#BRINGBACKTHEGROOVE" (as his Twitter bio declares). And bring back the groove he did -- my friends and I danced until we lost feeling in our feet and could fist-pump no longer. The energy of the crowd stayed strong throughout his entire set and Ansel was LIVING.
Ansel told the crowd that this was the first time a lot of his family and friends had ever seen him DJ as Ansolo -- and his big sister, Sophie Elgort, gave him some love on Twitter:
Ansolo is no stranger to EDM, however. His track "Totem" premiered on the iTunes Top 10 Dance Chart after its release in July 2014 -- and he's scheduled to perform at ULTRA Music Festival in Miami on March 28 and the SOMETHING WONDERFUL Music Festival in Dallas on April 18.
"I've been into music for a really long time," Ansel revealed in a livestream. "I started producing house music and dance music and that really just got me. It makes you happy when you listen to it. It's an underrated music form, but it's also really current and it's what's taking over young people's ears," he added.
Last August, Ansolo was also added to the lineup of New York's prestigious electric music festival Electric Zoo -- and performed at Martin Garrix's Pier 36 show on New Years Eve 2014.
"I don't want to just sell out shows to young girls who like my movie franchise. I want to sell tickets because people respect me," Ansel told GQ after this weekend's gig, "I get tweets every day from people being, like, 'Wow! Can't believe Ansolo is also Ansel Elgort!' and that's really awesome to me, because it shows they would have been fans of my music either way."
Monday (March 16), Elgort also dropped a new remix of Galantis' " Runaway (U and I)." The five-minute dance track opens with isolated vocals that build up to a cacophony of beats -- all together a super vibey, groove-inducing remix.
Who knew Ansel was basically a triple threat? Next thing you know, you'll be telling me Shailene Woodley is aces at the handbells. Actually, you know, that wouldn't surprise me...