EDM.com Spotlight

EDM.com Spotlight

11 Classically Trained Musicians Turned EDM Producers


Grant Kwiecinski has an extensive background in jazz saxophone, and it has been the most vital aspect of his EDM career since his earliest productions at the age of 14. His jazz and funk-influenced music showcases his immense talent in the studio, and his live performances prove that he can truly rock the brass pipe.

Big Gigantic

From one sax to another, Dominc Lalli of Big Gigantic also takes his self-taught skills on the sax into the EDM world, alongside his partner and drummer Jeremy Salken. Both of these guys have honed their crafts through yers of classical training, and they have taken the live experience aspect of EDM to all new heights.


Brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence of Disclosure were born into music, as both of their parents hail from classically trained backgrounds in music. Their father was a guitarist in a rock band, and their mother was an accomplished singer, but what many don't know is that despite their years of training in classical music, they still got kicked out of music school for pursuing their music careers.

Clean Bandit

The deep house/electronic group Clean Bandit blur the boundaries between classical and electronic, utilizing bass guitar, key boards, drums, cellos, violins, and vocals in each of their tracks. The English quartet has received quite a lot of success lately with their singles "Rather Be" and "Real Love."

Any other classically-trained artists worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments!

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Like any genre of music, it truly takes an intelligent mind to utilize a tool or instrument and string together notes (or digital blocks in EDM's case) into beats. Despite the trend of artists hiring ghost producers to create their work, many of the most catchy and recgonizable tracks with a generic drops has been made from scratch into something compelling. Although genres like classical music and blues may appeal more to those classically-trained than those who prefer more modernized instruments, the dynamic between composer and performer is the still same.

Granted, EDM often isn't as intricately created as classical, but there are still quite a number of musicians that you know and love that started their craft the exact same way as any composer or pianist would: practice, practice, practice. The composition of good electronic dance music needs talent, and many DJs and producers today have studied music in college in addition to being classically trained. From those that were born into musical families to the self-taught, EDM has a long list of classically-trained producers and djs. Here are just a few of them -


At the behest of his parents (his father being a guitarist and his mother a piano instructor), Zedd started playing classical music on the piano at age of four. By the age of 12, he started playing drums in a band with his brother, and in his late teens he was introduced to electronic music world when he discovered French electronic duo Justice. From there, he taught himself how to produce electronic music in 2009, and has received a Grammy for Best Dance Recording for his song "Clarity" featuring Foxes since then.


Although you might have been surprised to see his name on our list, Borgore is quite a talented, classically-trained musician. Beneath all of his wobbles, epic chords, and crazy bass lines, the man learned the drums and piano at a young age, and applied both to his early metal band Shabira and current producer careers. Take a look at his exceptional piano-playing ability below. 


3LAU has proven his musical abilities by putting out a beautiful and acoustic version of his single "How You Love Me." Justin Blau was not only classically-trained on the piano, but he was trained on the guitar and in vocals as well.

Andrew Bayer

Andrew Bayer was destined to be a musician since he sat at the piano at the age of three. He attended Berklee College of Music for three years where he passed classical assessments and flourished in music synthesis, building him the wealth of knowledge that has allowed him to be classed as a true "musician's musician."


This ambassador of bass started out on the guitar, saxophone, and piano, and further got himself a degree in music production from the Leeds College of Music in the United Kingdom. It's easy to see that this background in music has served him well in his career, as he has commonly referred to as a pioneer in heavy bass music.

Gareth Emery

Gareth is a man of many talents - professionally trained in classical piano as well as holding a degree in Politics. The uplifting and melodic tracks that Gareth Emery is best known for is no doubt a result of his classical knowledge of music. 


Before EDM’s biggest twins were offered modeling careers at a prestigious Melbourne modeling agency, they studied classical music throughout their entire school career, playing the piano or singing in the choir. At one point, the classically-trained musicians were accepted into the Opera Academy of Australia - an offer they later turned down in order to focus on more digital music and studio time.