He’s 25 with a Grammy, worth millions, producing the most viral songs in the industry — and just getting started …

To become one of the biggest artists in the world it takes years of hardships, right? Paying dues, yes? Surviving on a Ramen lifestyle backed with a struggle weak hearts wouldn’t dare step to? This all seems to be protocol while inching oneself upwards in the quest for artistic royalty.

So how in the hell does one young, subdued gentleman go from playing drums in a metal band in Germany to working with the likes of Lady Gaga, The Black Eyes Peas, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez — all in under half of a decade? There’s something there. Zedd has something there.

At 4-years-old, Zedd, then known as Anton Zaslavski, began playing piano under the guidance of classically trained parents. Not long after, at 5, he began writing songs for them — sometimes one a day — with the piano being his favored instrument. Later, around age 13, he joined his brother’s metal band, Dioramic, and eventually became interested in electronic music 7 years later when he was 20, after hearing a set from the French electronic duo Justice. From there, legendary status …

Now at 25, with a Grammy and VMA Award already in hand, Zedd is now two albums deep, most recently dropping the critically acclaimed “True Colors.” His signature classical undertones — often fluttering with piano-laden inlays, showcasing a power in traditional musical upbringing — cut to the core of listeners, especially on his monster tracks like “Spectrum,” “Stay The Night,” and  “Clarity” — songs that are completely unavoidable for everyone living in a globalized society.

But as an artist trapped in the gray area between the label-driven pop world and the “freemium” modeled EDM world, Zedd has had to pick and choose his battles — maintaining a structured relationship with both worlds, while branding himself for monetary and chart successes. While labels and streaming services squabble over the industry’s treatment of compensation, using Taylor Swift’s unwillingness to stream on Spotify and her open letter to Apple Music as fodder, Zedd maintains there’s a workable approach, smack dab in the middle.

“I’m on both sides,” he says about the Swift vs. Spotify debate. “I absolutely agree with most of what Taylor said. As a musician who loves to write albums it’s kind of a bummer to see everything going to streaming, considering people only listen to a song at a time, or (on) playlists where 1-2 of your songs appear on shuffle — because people don’t get to enjoy the art of an entire album composition. At the same time I personally use Spotify a lot. So I understand both sides.”

He says there’s a way to get people to pay for a physical copy, no doubt, but the gatekeepers depicting prices need to rein in their reach a bit to make it happen.

“I would love for everyone to agree that the price for a digital copy of an album can’t be worth as much as the physical copy,” says Zedd. “It seems like everybody still thinks that an album has to cost around $10, where in my opinion, people would buy much more music if it was priced reasonably … $4.99 for an entire album. To me that’s a fair price, considering the physical will often cost around $9.99 – $14.99.”

He’s fortunate enough to have the backing of Interscope Records — an arm of Universal Music Group — for his albums. It’s able to reach a massive audience base and has resources available at whim. Many artists don’t see it that way. Prince recently told a group of journalists he equates signatures to labels to “slavery” — a perspective Zedd doesn’t vibe with.

“Absolutely disagree,” he says. “It might be modern day slavery for him, but it’s definitely not modern day slavery for me. I get to make whatever music I like and deliver my label an album that they will put out.”

The scope of his reach and the comparative ease of being signed to a label, Zedd says, negates all of the bad things that come with signing contracts to big companies.

“My label actually helps me reach my collaborators and feed me with new talent (and) interesting voices,” he continues. “I’m not exactly sure what the slavery aspect is. Of course you lose a little bit of control, no question at all, but you also get a lot of help in return — so I guess I would say it depends on what kind of deal you sign.”

His latest release on the imprint embarked on an elaborate campaign, revolving thematically around the “True Colors” title. It took 50 fans from various cities around the nation to a lauded destination point — from Lake Pleasant, AZ to Alcatraz Island in California and even had an event here in Colorado at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.

"I would love for everyone to agree that the price for a digital copy of an album can’t be worth as much as the physical copy"

Every city was awarded a private pre-release listening party to one track off of the new album, which coordinated each with a certain hue — designated by Zedd — because he says when he hears music, it sounds like colors.

“I hear color in all the music I write,” says Zedd in the album’s press release, “and for this album I wanted to really focus in on that concept and take it to a new level.”

With the album drop behind him and the upcoming True Colors Tour on the horizon, Zedd claims the only production secrets he holds now lie in the effects of the show’s productions. He wants to make this the craziest tour he’s ever been a part of.

“[There’s] no real secrets,” he says of his show at the 1st Bank Center on Sept 10. “Obviously now that my album is finished, the True Colors Tour is my number one priority. I’m working on making this the best tour in the world, making edits, creating looks for the live show, coordinating visuals, et cetera.”

And at 25, with so much already behind him, where he goes from here is anyone’s guess — but as he’s shown, sometimes it just takes genuine talent and a supportive upbringing to be on the top of a creative industry’s game. If this is him just getting “comfortable” in his career, the world has a whole lot more Zedd to look forward to.