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Why Zedd is “definitely surprised but incredibly thankful” for the success of “The Middle”

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Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for dcp“The Middle,” Zedd‘s collaboration with country star Maren Morris, is a massive hit, and so is “Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha‘s collaboration with country stars Florida Georgia Line.  Meanwhile, The Chainsmokers have just released a single with country star Kelsea Ballerini.  So why is this pop/country thing so hot right now?  Zedd says frankly, he never thought of it like that.

“I would not have even said that it’s a hot thing if you hadn’t mentioned it, to be honest with you,” he tells ABC Radio. “I never thought about mixing pop and country.  I just loved [Maren] and thought she’s awesome for the song, but I guess there is a lot more examples than just that!” 

“I don’t know why that works well,” he continues. “I think anything new, fresh, exciting, different is always welcome for everybody.”

As for why he thought of working with Maren in the first place, Zedd says, “Maren was the right person because she had the best voice. I mean honestly, it was that simple.”

“Some people were asking why I put a country singer on my song — that’s nothing that ever goes through my head,” he explains. “I go for the best voice, and she’s incredibly talented, an absolutely incredible human being, and that’s why she’s on the record.”

Zedd admits, though, that he’s surprised at just how popular “The Middle” has become.

“I always thought it’s a huge song and I thought it’s a hit, but I didn’t think it was gonna be a song that literally every single person knows!” he laughs.  “So, I’m definitely surprised by how far it went, but I’m also incredibly thankful.”

Zedd’s latest collaboration is straight-ahead pop: He’s teamed up with Shawn Mendes to create a remix of Shawn’s song “Lost In Japan.”

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