Music by VICE

Watch Zeds Dead Explain Why DIY Mentality Is So Vital to Their New Album

The Toronto duo explain the origins of their artistic lineage in this new mini-documentary.

by Presented by Smirnoff Sound Collective
Oct 4 2016, 6:17pm

Although no one would mistake Toronto duo Zeds Dead for a pair of fledgling producers in search of an identity, they're about to take a potentially risky leap into the unknown with a bid to significantly reposition themselves as artists. The wager hinges on the release of Northern Lights, their new album due October 14 on DeadBeats, an independent label they launched in March of this year. If all goes well, they'll be able to reinforce the DIY approach they've used since the beginning and simultaneously preserve their relationship with a massive international fanbase.

As a member of their management company says in the clip, starting a label in 2016 doesn't necessarily make economic sense, but as this latest film from Smirnoff Sound Collective makes clear, there are more factors at play in Zeds Dead's decision making than just money. Tracing their artistic lineage all the way back to the cultural and ethnic diversity of their hometown and the scene-building of their Bassmentality club night, the clip makes it clear that while we might expect the duo to follow the conventional career trajectory, they've got legitimate reasons to forgo the usual route. While they forge this autonomous path, they're also hoping to inspire some local youth to have hometown pride in the process—check it out above.

Photos by Yannick Anton