Rezz's Crystal Ball: Inside Her Wonderfully Wicked Mind and Plans for New Curated Event, “Hypno Circus”

“Can you see me?” sounds like a rhetorical question. But for Rezz, it’s as tangible as the dark magic in her album of the same name.

Rezz’s tendrils are creeping into the wider consciousness as she claims the mantle of electronic music’s necromancer supreme. She’s no longer a whisper in the shadows—the prophecy of 2017’s breakout debut, Mass Manipulation, is coming true.

“I can’t explain to you how much that matters to me. I want to be influential,” Rezz tells EDM.com in an exclusive interview. “I want people to think that I’m going to go down in history. I will not settle for anything less than that… I’ve been realizing more than anything, I want people to really respect me.”

Grammys and plaques are welcome in her trophy room but true value lies in influence. Isabelle Rezazadeh, the beating heart of Rezz, seeks to place an irreversible hex on electronic music, but not all curses are evil.

“It’s not about external levels of success,” she tells me. “It’s more that I care about people, my peers, artist friends, industry friends and, obviously, fans. I want the realest ones to know that I’m a respected artist [and] the things that I’ve done have influenced a lot of people. That, for me, is priceless.”

My wife and I were indoctrinated by Rezz in 2017. Her performances are ominously and remarkably distinct from anything else on a lineup. The lights go black and the party stops. Her red eyes pierce the abyss and the ritual begins. Whether you are a fanatic or a heretic, it’s impossible to look away as the first note strikes, when paralysis gives way to an irresistible desire to move as if pulled by marionette strings.

A new-age puppetmaster, Rezazadeh’s supernatural ability to weave dance music and horror into a transcending spectacle has earned her immeasurable acclaim. Backstage at a festival in Vancouver in 2021, deadmau5 told me that Rezz was a “shining example” of innovation in a “stagnant pool” of electronic music.

Rezz.

Tessa Paisan

Clock ticking away as she moved her next chess piece, Rezazadeh spent years traveling from stage to stage, rooting herself into the raver’s subconscious and sprinkling breadcrumbs. Now she’s architecting a wicked world of her design by virtue of Hypno Circus, a multi-day, festival-style event akin to a dark carnival of the occult.

“Whether it ends up being a whole festival, who knows, but one thing is for sure. I’ll definitely be having an event and it’s going to be called Hypno Circus,” Rezz says. “Maybe it won’t end up being a crazy Lost Lands scale of festival, but maybe it’s two nights at a really sick venue where people can fly out to the event and have two days. My stage is going to be very circus-branded.”

Peering into her crystal ball, she expects Hypno Circus to be on a scale similar to “Rezz Rocks,” her branded shows at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. She’s yet to confirm a date, but sooner than later, she’ll signal for her birdies to flock home.

“The key is it definitely being two nights,” Rezazadeh continues. “The idea is that people travel to the event. We’ll see what happens. I’m going to talk more about it with my team. It’s definitely a matter of figuring out the location… In a perfect world, I would say next year, but we’ll see what happens.”

Rezz didn’t get this far by being reckless. Many ambitious souls have trapped themselves in entrepreneurial prisons trying to pull off large-scale events. Nearly all first-year independent festivals burn cash—venue rentals, artist fees, stage design, sound production, security, cleanup and competition might as well be the Seven Deadly Sins of event planning.

It’s a Herculean marketing feat for new organizers and a daunting risk for artists staking their reputation on the outcome. This nightmarish burden isn’t lost on Rezazadeh.

“Sometimes I’ve been told by people who have been in the industry much longer than me to not even do that,” she says. “‘Go to the music festivals, make your money and f—ing walk out. Don’t put yourself through that headache.’ I know a few people personally, a few really massive artists who’ve had festivals, and they’ve had very mixed reviews about what that was about. It was apparently really stressful.”

“There are a lot of financial things to consider,” she adds. “Whether I want to take those risks, because it would not be f—ing cheap. That would cost some serious, serious money.”

Rezz.

Tessa Paisan

Hypno Circus will be Rezazadeh’s biggest tool for control, but it’s not her only means of influence. The “Cult of Rezz” can spread her message more potently than ever after the announcement that she’s selling her signature LED glasses.

Another ritual item on every treasure hunter’s list is the “Hypno Dildo,” a Rezz-branded sex toy that sold out in less than 30 minutes. The demand is high but fans shouldn’t expect a successor anytime soon.

“We haven’t really had conversations about the V2 thing yet because it was for fun and also I wanted to see how the people who got the dildos were going to behave with them,” Rezazadeh explains. “I certainly am not trying to create any sort of uncomfortable environment for anyone. I’ve already seen a couple of cases of people bringing the dildos to events. That’s why we made sure to make a very limited amount.”

“Obviously, my intention of selling it was a joke and if you’re going to use it, keep it at home,” she continues. “You can’t control what everyone does. The only reason I’m not fully shown about the V2 yet is because I don’t know if I want to open that situation. We’ll see what happens but it’s certainly not on the conversation radar in terms of merch right now. I have way better ideas. But that was funny as shit and hilarious and I’m glad it happened.”

Rezz’s pursuit of immortality is well underway. However, the green eyes beneath the swirly red lenses are very much human.

Rezazadeh is candid about the toll that touring takes on her. She has previously expressed how she spiraled into depression, insomnia and a hospital visit while embarking on 2022’s “Spiral” tour, the biggest headlining tour of her career.

Those struggles spurred her to scale back road trips and produce her newest project in a home studio. Rezazadeh swells with pride when talking about her latest album, CAN YOU SEE ME?, describing herself as a legitimate fan of the project.

The overwhelming impact of the “Spiral” tour encouraged her to manage her workload better. Performances are more thoughtfully spaced to cater to her physical and spiritual needs and she now has “a pretty decent grasp” on them, she says.

Still, like everyone on this interstellar rock, Space Mom is prone to miscalculations.

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“There was a moment where I was almost about to collapse on stage,” Rezazadeh reflects when discussing a sprint of performances in Australia last year. “Literally. I was on my fifth show in four days and I had just flown with a jet from one city to land and play another show. I was severely nutrient-deprived. Severely dehydrated. Lacking of sleep. Delirious and had to sit in a chair while playing the show. I was like, ‘This is another example of something that I thought I could and I did, but it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t worth it. And I’m not going to do it again.'”

“I feel bad because I feel like international fans are obviously upset because I don’t go there much, but I literally can’t put my health at risk in this situation. I’m not built like some other people,” she laments. “Some other people are truly built differently. I don’t have the same build in terms of being able to function on two hours of sleep. I’m like a psychopath when I do that.”

Many artists are prisoners to touring, feeding the industry’s gluttonous appetite. But Rezazadeh has crafted herself a better reality. She has enacted the law of equivalent exchange, trading an overwhelming travel schedule for bountiful creative expression.

Her latest album is her most fulfilling, her performances are tentpole occasions and she’s assembling the pieces for a wonderfully wicked world all her own. It’s a scary proposition for the lingering non-believers, but their time will come.

Follow Rezz:

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Spotify: spoti.fi/32DV4IY

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