National Geographic premieres its new series, One Strange Rock, on March 26, and has partnered with Zedd to create the ultimate performance video and new song. ET has your exclusive first listen of the Zedd track and a behind-the-scenes look at the music video.
“I got an email basically saying that Nat Geo is looking for a musical piece to be composed by me that doesn't necessarily sound like me,” Zedd told ET when we caught up with him on the set of the video. “It was more about me composing a piece for something that Darren Aronofsky directed, and I’m a big fan, so immediately I saw that name and I was like [yes]… I was really interested.”
The 10-part cinematic event – from yes, acclaimed filmmaker Aronofsky, is hosted by Will Smith. The series explores the wonder of planet Earth.
The 28-year-old DJ says he wanted to capture Aronofsky’s artistic vision through his song.
“I met with an astronaut…I went to a screening with Aronofsky and just wanted to soak in and understand what this all is about, so I can come back and compose something that I think fits best for the image,” he said. “For me, the goal was just to understand his vision and what he had in mind because what I’m doing is really supposed to fit his vision.”
Zedd says the song is drastically different than a typical track he’s released.
“I come from classical music, so this is much more in line with what I used to do 20 years ago," he shared.
Yep. Zedd says he got his start when he was just four years old.
“I wrote a motive just like in classical music that the entire song is based on. It doesn't have a chorus or a verse or a bridge or vocals or lyrics or anything… and you know how Darren oftentimes zooms into things really detailed and showcases it from a different perspective? That's kind of how I built the track,” he explained.
And get this – the video was shot at Bronson Canyon just outside Los Angeles, best known as the Batcave from the popular 1960s TV series Batman.
“Yeah, and it's crazy it's right around the corner. I didn't even know it was here,” he exclaimed. “It was really awesome, I got to play piano, I got to play this piece that was in this cave that was projected with images from the documentary and it was mostly based around fire with water and wind,” he said. “It was really immersive and I was kind of just in the middle of this changing environment which was really beautiful and, you know, combined with the music, was really powerful.”
One Strange Rock premieres March 26 at 10/9c on National Geographic.
Check out the video below for a first listen to Zedd’s new song.
And keep checking back to ET, where we’ll have more from Zedd on Tuesday – including what he says about a new collaboration with Ariana Grande.