Zimmerman grew up blue-collar, the son of an auto plant worker dad and artist mom. He's a computer nerd and avid video gamer whose mastery of today's digital tools helped him chart EDM's modern evolution.
He started making music as a teenager and began self-releasing tracks in the mid-2000s, including debut album "Get Scraped" in 2005. He formed his own label, mau5trap, and evolved into an in-demand club act and remixer, releasing six albums and club-thumping singles such as "Move For Me," "Ghosts 'n' Stuff," "Sofi Needs a Ladder" and "Professional Griefers."
"He's very talented, he's very focused and he works his ass off," Napoleon said.
The Rolling Stone article detailed how he assembles music for his shows, programming and editing two hours of music (his own and others'), then reassembling it live onstage.
"The best analogy is a go-cart course," he told Rolling Stone. "Obviously, it's programmed, and some bits have to be performed a certain way. But the better you get at it, the more fun you can have."
He's also been known to create new songs live, including last spring's "The Veldt," made during a 22-hour Facebook live stream.
On Dec. 15, he tweeted a marriage proposal to tattoo artist and reality TV star Kat Von D. She tweeted her acceptance.
Zimmerman has been credited for popularizing EDM and helping shift the focus from the Europeans who once dominated it to the growing crop of North Americans who are leading it now.
"When he came out, he took a ... sledgehammer and just opened it up," Napoleon said. "Everything cracked, water started stealing through the cracks, the water melted the ice and now we've got what we have. He broke all that open."
Doug Pullen may be reached at email@example.com; 546-6397. Read Pullen My Blog at elpasotimes.com/blogs. Follow him at @doug pullen on Twitter.
-- What: Audible electronic music festival, with deadmau5, Chris Lake, Audrey Napoleon and DJ Sebern. -- When: 9 p.m. Saturday. -- Where: Judson F. Williams Convention Center. -- How much: $57.50, plus service charges, at the Plaza Theatre box office; through Ticketmaster, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000; and at the convention center box office on Saturday. -- Information: 231-1100, visitelpaso.com, facebook.com/smgeventofficial.
Audrey Napoleoncontinues marchto domination Saturday's Audible concert will be DJ Audrey Napoleon's second El"Paso stop since her debut here at the Sun City Music Festival. The first time she came back, "I did not expect such a reaction from the fans. I was overwhelmed by how excited everyone was," she said, taking a break from Christmas shopping in Los Angeles. She's promoting her debut EP, "Ornamental Egos," and a remix bundle of the single "Poison"; has rolled out a fashion line; performing tons and shows; and, in general, is going full-steam ahead in her campaign to become "the Lady Gaga of electronic music." "Sometimes I think things aren't moving fast enough, but when I step outside the bubble I'm in ... I can see what's going on and how quickly I'm actually moving," she said. Napoleon is the rare woman in the male-dominated world of electronic dance music. She's working on her own world-dominance plans. She'll spend January writing her debut album. "It's not the easiest thing to do on a MacPro -- I love it, but you have to have a proper studio," she said, noting that she'll do her own vocals. She's got three songs in the new Shia LaBeouf movie "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman," which will debut next month at the Sundance Film Festival. And she's drawing from the movies for her next stage show, which, she teased, will include "ravens and mal feasance ... and Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds.' "
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