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The Five Most Eye-Rolling Things Ansel Elgort Said in His ‘Rolling Stone’ Interview

Spoiler alert: He wants to be like Avicii

Ansel Elgort, a.k.a. Shailene Woodley’s brother (the Divergent series) and lover (The Fault in Our Stars), is also a DJ who goes by Ansolo. He performed this weekend at New York City’s Electric Zoo: Transformed, and there he gave an interview to Rolling Stone about his burgeoning career. Citing Avicii and Skrillex as his major inspirations and calling his new EP — “disco that will also have my groovy, clubby sound” — “something new,” Mr. Elgort might do well to listen to DJs that started making beats before 2005 if he wants true dance music fans to take him seriously outside of his acting career. One essential ingredient for success he does have in spades is confidence, as you can see from some of his choicest answers below.

1. On dance tracks being different and interesting

With a piano, everyone’s heard what a piano sounds like, but with dance music, every month there’s a new track with a sound that everyone’s like, “What is that sound? How did he do it?” That’s so exciting to me. That was like Avicii and Skrillex early on, and now it’s all these other guys.

2. On being incredible at everything he does 

I was in school for acting. Obviously, I’ve had such amazing success, and I’ve been so lucky to do so well in that. But I was always making music. It’s something I loved doing since I was 12. Now I’ve come this far in music. With this new track, “To Life,” every DJ I’ve played it for is really excited by it. To me, it’s the best thing in the world when Axwell and Ingrosso or Steve Angello are playing my record.

3. On live sets versus DJ sets 

Now I’m the one who will actually be DJ’ing. I’m not playing the headlining slot yet, but with the energy and kids here, I’m so stoked. There’s playing other people’s music, then playing your own music, music you’ve spent so long in the studio working on. It’s a new sound, and if they like it and are excited by it, that’s the same thing Avicii and Skrillex did to me years ago.

4. On being taken seriously as an actor trying to be a DJ

Our goal is really to make sure we weren’t abusing me as an actor to get slots. The last thing I want to be is a joke or to not be credible. I want to enter the music industry and be respected as a musician, not just as a celebrity trying to become a musician. So I played a lot of shows but was always opening. I didn’t headline until I knew that I had a fan base.

5. On his new EP with Island Records

For “To Life,” there are a lot of real instruments in the track, which is a great way to mix nostalgia and this new thing. I’m going to try to get disco-inspired musicians and people playing great bass lines. The next EP will be like a new version of disco that will also have my groovy, clubby sound. It’s something new.