Zeds Dead

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Zeds Dead
HARD Summer 2015.jpg
Hooks (left) and DC (right) performing as Zeds Dead at HARD summer in Los Angeles on August 2, 2015.
Background information
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active 2009–present
Website facebook.com/zedsdead
Members DC

Zeds Dead is a Canadian electronic music duo from Toronto, Canada. Dylan Mamid, also known as DC, and Zachary Rapp-Rovan, also known as Hooks, rose to prominence releasing original music and remixes from 2009–10 before becoming a staple on the international touring circuit thereafter. Today, they are known for their exploration of a diverse variety of genres that combine aspects of UK garage, house, electro house, hip-hop, glitch, drum and bass, and more.


Beginnings (1988–2006)[edit]

Mamid and Rapp-Rovan were born and raised in Toronto, Canada. The duo were introduced through mutual friends in 2004 when DC asked Hooks to paint a graffiti mural in his garage. They quickly discovered a mutual love for hip-hop and at the same time were both starting to produce music. They began to collaborate under the moniker ‘Mass Productions’.[1]

Mass Productions (2006–2007)[edit]

In the summer of 2007 Mass Productions independently released their first and only official release, an LP labeled Fresh Beetz. The album was heavily influenced by 1990s hip hop.[2]

Mass Productions did not garner much attention outside of the local scene. Zeds Dead re-released Fresh Beetz as a free download in 2012.[3]

Formation of Zeds Dead (2009–2010)[edit]

DC and Hooks both began to take an interest in electronic music, and began producing dance music under the name Zeds Dead. The group initially found a niche audience on MySpace.

Zeds Dead self-released their first track together, "Journey of a Lifetime", for free.[4] They played their first live set at The Social in Toronto on June 11, 2009.

Bassmentality (2009–2013)[edit]

In 2009 Zeds Dead founded a weekly party called Bassmentality in the basement of the Toronto bar 751. The party was intended as a venue for new DJs to play, unrestricted by concert promoters. In the summer of 2010 Bassmentality moved from the basement of 751 and into Toronto's Wrongbar.[2][5]

Bassmentality featured weekly performances from its founders, Zeds Dead and The Killabits, as well as rotating slots of local and international acts. Over the four years that the event existed, it hosted early performances from several now-acclaimed artists such as Skrillex,[6] Borgore,[7] Nero, Camo & Krooked,[8] Bare Noize,[9] and Bar 9, among others.

In 2011 Zeds Dead released the track "Bassmentality" with The Killabits, named after the event.

Early touring (2009–2010)[edit]

Zeds Dead began their first official North American tour in December 2010, playing over 40 shows in Canada and the United States.[10] They made their European debut in June 2010 in the UK, playing a string of dates around the electronic music festival Gottwood in Wales.[11] The Graveyard Tour in 2011 was the first tour of its scale for Zeds Dead. From September to December the duo played over 50 dates across North America.[12]

International touring and releases (2011–present)[edit]

Victor EP[edit]

The Victor EP was released in March 2012 on Mad Decent's Jeffree's label.[13] The album was a collaboration between Zeds Dead and Toronto-based artist Omar LinX. It featured Omar's rap vocals over seven Zeds Dead tracks. DatPiff called the album "[a fusion between] nostalgic 90s sample-based hip hop [and] futuristic bass [with] cinematic soundscapes."[14]

The music video for the single "You and I" was shot throughout North America during the Living Dead Tour and received over 13 million plays on YouTube.[15]

The Living Dead EP[edit]

The Living Dead EP was released in July 2012 on Ultra Records and was the second collaborative album with Omar LinX released that year. A music video was released for the title track on July 12. The video featured actor Peter Greene who played the character Zed in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, the film that inspired the duo's name.[16]

Hot Sauce EP[edit]

The Hot Sauce EP was released in January 2013 on Diplo's Mad Decent label.[17] The EP was noted as a breakout album for the group.[18][19] The first single, "Demons", had a music video made directed by Benjamin Millepied, the dancer who choreographed Darren Aronofsky's 2010 film, Black Swan.[20] The video reinterprets Michael Jackson's "Thriller". The single was also featured in the video game Saints Row IV,[21] and the film Step Up: All In.

Zeds Dead received a cease and desist order from the hot sauce manufacturer Tabasco regarding the album's original artwork. Tabasco believed the artwork to be overly similar to their branding. Zeds Dead was subsequently forced to remove all original art and promotional videos for the album.

Somewhere Else EP[edit]

Zeds Dead released the Somewhere Else EP in July 2014 on Mad Decent. The album contains collaborations and features with Twin Shadow, D'Angelo Lacy, Omar LinX, Big Gigantic, Bright Lights, Sean Price, Perry Farrel, and Dirtyphonics.[22] Somewhere Else charted on several Billboard charts upon release, including the Billboard 200.[23]

Prior to its release, the single "Lost You" featuring Twin Shadow & D'Angelo Lacy was intentionally leaked online by Zeds Dead through a Craigslist missed connections ad in which users were sent a short clip of the video upon responding.[24] In May 2015 the video for "Lost You" received an MMVA nomination for best EDM/Dance video and won the award for Best Post-Production.[25]

2 Night Stand Tour[edit]

In 2015 Billboard exclusively announced Zeds Dead's 2 Night Stand Tour, and plans for a new album in 2016. The tour aimed to take the duo off the festival circuit and place them in historically significant venues in major North American cities for two nights each.[26]

A portion of the proceeds from the 2 Night Stand tour went to benefit the Florida rehab clinic Recovery Unplugged.[27]

On the Austin stop of the 2 Night Stand tour, Zeds Dead attached heart rate monitors to four fans during their set and analyzed the results. The test concluded that there was a clear rise in heart rate during the performance and a correlation of heart rate peaks during key points in the set.[28]


On March 1, 2016 Zeds Dead announced they had launched their own record label, Deadbeats, alongside the release of a new track "Back Home" featuring Freddie Gibbs.[29]


The band name comes from a quote in the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction when Butch Coolidge, played by Bruce Willis, steals a chopper from a rapist named Zed, after Butch's enemy-turned-ally shoots Zed. When Coolidge gets home, his partner asks him where he got the motorcycle. When he tells her he got it from Zed, she asks "who's Zed?" He then replies with "Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead."


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details
Northern Lights

Remix albums[edit]

Title Details
Somewhere Else Remixes
  • Release date: May 12, 2015[30]
  • Label: Mad Decent
  • Format: Digital download

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Dance
US Indie
US Heat
US 200
  • Release date: January 23, 2012
  • Label: Inspected Records
  • Format: Digital download
11 15
Victor EP
The Living Dead
  • Release date: July 24, 2012
  • Label: Ultra Records
  • Format: Digital download
Hot Sauce
  • Release date: January 29, 2013
  • Label: Mad Decent
  • Format: Digital download
13 34 6
Somewhere Else
  • Release date: July 1, 2014
  • Label: Mad Decent
  • Format: Digital download
4 18 2 136
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other productions/releases[edit]

  • Zeds Dead – Journey of a Lifetime
  • Barletta – Panther (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead – Summer Grime
  • Fenech-Soler – LA Love (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead – Dark Side Dub
  • Radiohead – Pyramid Song (Zeds Dead Illuminati Remix)
  • Noob & Brodinski – Peanuts Club (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Blue Foundation – Eyes on Fire (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead ft. Omar Linx – Wakeup
  • Foo Fighters – The Pretender (Zeds Dead Ruckus Remix)
  • Massive Attack – Paradise Circus (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead – Here Comes The Boom
  • The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead ft. Omar LinX – Out For Blood
  • Zeds Dead – 1975
  • Zeds Dead – White Satin
  • Zeds Dead – The Twilight Zone
  • Jason Falkner – Only You (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead – Coffee Break (samples Aretha Franklin's cover of Dionne Warwick's I Say a Little Prayer)
  • Sabi – Wild Heart (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Dragonette – Volcano (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Jeuce – Kiss (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead and the killabits – Bassmentality
  • Zeds Dead – Ruckus The Jam
  • DJ Vadim & The Electric – Toot Toot (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Sebastien TellierDivine (Danger Remix) (Zeds Dead ReRemix)
  • The Roots – Dear God 2.0 feat. Monsters of Folk (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Colin Munroe ft. Pusha T- The Fight of My Life (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Household Goods (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Marina and the Diamonds – Lies (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Bon Iver – Woods (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • The Prodigy – Breathe (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead – Ratchet
  • Zeds Dead – Ratchet (meow version)
  • Zeds Dead – By Your Side
  • Nina Simone – Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead ft. Memorecks – Jericho
  • Zeds Dead x Greta Svabo Bech – Shut Up & Sing V2.0
  • Zeds Dead ft. Major Lazer & Elephant Man – Turn Around
  • Son Lux – Flickers (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead – Ruckus the Jam
  • Zeds Dead – Hadouken
  • Broken Bells – Holding On For Life (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead x Hunter Siegel – Loud
  • Zeds Dead ft. Twin Shadow & D'Angelo Lacy – Lost You (peaked at #53 on Canadian Hot 100)
  • Omar LinX – Dosey Doe (Co-produced with Pro Logic)
  • Jack Ü – Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza) – Zeds Dead Remix
  • Zeds Dead & Oliver Heldens – You Know
  • Zeds Dead X Megalodon – Wit Me Dub
  • Zeds Dead & LOUDPVCK - Flies
  • Zeds Dead ft. Murs - One Time
  • Tazer & Tink - Wet Dollars (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Omar LinX - Red Light Green Light (Zeds Dead Remix)
  • Zeds Dead X Diplo ft. Elliphant - Blame


Much Music Video Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2015 Lost You featuring Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy Best EDM/Dance Video Nominated
Lost You featuring Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy Best Post-Production Won

Juno Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2015 Lost You featuring Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy Video Of The Year Nominated
Zeds Dead Breakthrough Group Of The Year Nominated


  1. ^ *Please enter your name. "Exclusive Interview with Zeds Dead". Webcache.googleusercontent.com. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  2. ^ a b Freyman, Falyn (2013-08-02). "Zeds Dead's Hooks on Their Early Days: "We Made Our Own Scene" | New Times Broward-Palm Beach". Browardpalmbeach.com. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  3. ^ "18 Zeds Dead Tracks from Before They Became Zeds Dead". RaverRafting. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  4. ^ Biography by Andy Kellman. "Zeds Dead | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  5. ^ "Get to know a DJ: Zeds Dead". Blogto.com. 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  6. ^ "Bassmentality - Bassmentality added a new photo.". Facebook. 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  7. ^ "Bassmentality - Bassmentality + Embrace PRESENT:...". Facebook. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  8. ^ "Bassmentality - Bassmentality added a new photo.". Facebook. 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  9. ^ "Bassmentality - Bassmentality added a new photo.". Facebook. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  10. ^ Mao!. "Zeds Dead Grave Yard Tour (Playing Sd & L.A. This Week) And New Mad Decent Release!". Tilt Mag. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  11. ^ "RA: Gottwood Festival 2010 at Carregewlyd Estate, West + Wales (2010)". Residentadvisor.net. 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  12. ^ "The Graveyard Tour: Zeds Dead". AM Only. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  13. ^ "Zeds Dead / Omar LinX - Victor (File, MP3) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  14. ^ "Zeds Dead & Omar LinX - Victor Mixtape - Stream & Download". Datpiff.com. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  15. ^ ""You and I" (Zeds Dead & Omar LinX) (Official Music Video) | Zeds Dead". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  16. ^ "Zeds Dead & Omar LinX - The Living Dead (Official Video) (Ultra Music)". YouTube. 2013-03-02. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  17. ^ "Zeds Dead - Hot Sauce (File, MP3) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  18. ^ "Zeds Dead – Hot Sauce EP". Salacious Sound. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  19. ^ "dc_zedsdead comments on We are Hooks & DC of Zeds Dead. A us A". Reddit.com. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  20. ^ "Zeds Dead - "Demons" (Official Video) Directed by Benjamin Millepied". YouTube. 2013-03-02. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  21. ^ [%= data.comment.created_on %]. "Saints Row 4 tracklist revealed, features 109 tracks". Polygon. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  22. ^ "Zeds Dead - Somewhere Else". Discogs. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Zeds Dead". Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Check Out The Full List Of MMVA Winners Now!". Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  26. ^ "Zeds Dead Announce New Tour and Album, Premiere 'One Time' ft. Murs: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Zeds Dead: Using Business for Good on the #2NightStand Tour". Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  28. ^ "DJ duo Zeds Dead attached heart rate monitors on their fans and analyzed the results". Boing Boing. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  29. ^ "Zeds Dead Announces New Label, Releases 'Back Home' Feat. Freddie Gibbs". Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Somewhere Else (Remixes)". iTunes. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 

External links[edit]