GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Arizona -- Artists are always looking for new ways to get your attention, launching promotional contests and stunts meant to make sure fans know they've got an album or project on the way. But Zedd may have rewritten the playbook because he’s embarked on one of the most ambitious rollouts we've ever seen.
If you’ve been following the DJ wunderkind online, then you know he's been hosting surprise listening parties, at various locations across the country, for his album True Colors, which drops May 18. But Zedd literally took things to new heights for the ninth event in this promo tour -- and MTV News was lucky enough to tag along. The EDM superstar loaded 50 fans onto a fleet of private helicopters in Las Vegas, where we were all flown out over the desert to the Grand Canyon.
Once there, overlooking the gorgeous backdrop, Zedd previewed the fifth track off his album, “Done With Love,” which represents the color teal. In his introductory remarks, Zedd described the song as one of the most impressive off True Colors from a production standpoint and the most advanced work he's done. So why did we fly to Arizona to hear it? Well, for Zedd, the setting you choose to listen to music is just as important as the song itself.
“Not every song is made to be listened to in a club,” he explained. "For me, in my mind, every song has a color. I wanted my fans to be in a place that represents the color and the emotion I feel when I listen to the song."
The fortunate fans who've gotten to experience this firsthand have to go through a scavenger hunt first. Those selected are given transportation to a secret location, where Zedd himself introduces an album track. Fans get to meet and chat with the star afterward. Past events have been held at The Stanley Hotel (the place that inspired “The Shining”) in Denver, Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
“What was great for me to do was talk to my fans one on one," Zedd told MTV News. "I never get to do that,” he added. "When you only have 50 people, you really get a chance to talk to them and find out who they are."
It was also important to give back to his supportive fans by letting them hear his music first. “I make the music for me and for my fans," he continued. "It's not really made for someone who listens to the song once and writes a review. My fans know my music best and they’re the best people to listen to it first."
When he was deciding where to hold the listening event for the debut of "Done With Love," the DJ knew he wanted it to be really big. "I wanted it to be the most epic event, and the Grand Canyon is the most epic event. It’s the most epic event we could think of."
Unfortunately, there’s only one more stop left on the True Colors tour, so trust us, you don’t want to miss out! Follow @zeddtruecolors for live updates.