Born Joel Zimmerman on January 5, 1981, masked EDM hitmaker and celebrity DJ Deadmau5 rose to prominence when his track “Faxing Berlin” found its way onto the playlist of legendary DJ/producer Pete Tong‘s radio show.Deadmau5 soon became an important figure in the world of progressive house music, with his songs appearing on more than 15 compilations (including In Search of Sunrise, Vol. 6: Ibiza).
A native of Toronto, Canada, he released his work through his own label, Mau5trap Recordings, and scored a number of awards in 2008, including a Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year. He released Random Album Title that same year, along with the first volume of the remix-collecting At Play series. The year 2009 saw the release of the singles collection It Sounds Like, along with the mix album For Lack of a Better Name, while the studio album 4 X 4 = 12 followed in 2010.
The year 2011 saw the release of the DVD Live @ Earl’s Court and a compilation of Remixes. Two 2012 singles, “Maths” and “The Veldt” with Chris James, landed on that year’s >Album Title Goes Here<. The cleverly titled album also featured appearances from producer Wolfgang Gartner and vocalists Imogen Heap and My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way.
Deadmau5’s next full-length, while(1<2), was released on Mau5trap/Astralwerks in June 2014. Named in reference to the programming language used to loop indefinitely, the double album contained the singles “Avaritia” and “Seeya,” featuring guest vocals from Colleen D’Agostino, as well as remixes of How to Destroy Angels’ “Ice Age” and Nine Inch Nails’ “Survivalism.”
Being in Limelight
The Mau5 may have fallen in the rankings this year, but he still clocks in as the Highest Live Act in the chart. His ‘Album Title Goes Here’ album was nominated for a Grammy, but it was for his outspoken beefs with various other prominent music figures that he continued to make the most headlines this year.
Most recently, Deadmau5 waded into a row between DJ Michael Woods and Justin Bieber after Bieber demanded that Woods play hip-hop in a Singapore nightclub. The Mau5 wrote on Twitter: “Dear @justinbieber , would you please grow the fuck up already? In the meantime, put a shirt on, and stay away from nightclubs”
Predictably, he received a barrage of abuse from ‘Beliebers’ back on Twitter. Deadmau5 has also allegedly been embroiled in litigation with Las Vegas high roller Don Johnson, who apparently offered Deadmau5 $200,000 one night in 2011 to play ‘Living On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi during his set. The Mau5 obliged, but then Johnson — despite dancing onstage uninvited at the club when the Mau5 dropped the incongruous hair metal cut — wouldn’t pay up. That saga continues.