March 21, 2014 4:31pm PT by Ashley Lee
Ansel Elgort to Release Electronic Dance Music Record 'Unite' in April (Audio)
Ansel Elgort is already about to be the next big thing in film, but the actor of Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars is also on the verge of making a scene in music. The 19-year-old New York native is also an electronic dance music producer and is releasing his first record, Unite, on April 16, between his two young-adult films.
"It's just one record, not a whole album yet, luckily," Elgort told The Hollywood Reporter at Thursday night's Divergent screening in New York City, presented by The Cinema Society and Marie Claire. "My alter ego's name is Ansolo, and I just make club music, progressive house. My style is clubby and groovy -- you can jump to it, but you don't just have to just jump to it. It's not just really bass-heavy and hurts your ears; you move with it, and it sounds kind of tribal."
Unite will be released by U.K. DJ Tom Staar's label -- an exciting yet daunting milestone for Elgort's music career. "The scariest part about it is, you do one track that sounds a certain way, but if it does well, people expect that sound from you, so then you have to keep making that same sound," he explained. "But as a musician, you like to branch out. I have five other originals after this one: three of them sound the same, and two of them sound like a different guy made them."
Elgort mentioned that the bigger EDM artists who have recently encountered a noteworthy shift in their sounds are Daft Punk, who won Grammys for their Random Access Memories refocus, and Skrillex, who just dropped a surprise album last week with a not-so-dubstep sound. "As an artist, that's really cool, but as a consumer, it's like, 'That's not why I bought this album,'" he said of his own mixed reactions to the two projects. "That's what's scary about being a producer -- people expect a certain thing, and if you don't keep doing the same thing, you could lose your fans, but then you're pigeonholing yourself."
He continued with a pun, "It's important to be a divergent musician and do a little bit of everything, except you have to make sure your fans are aware of it, and that you string them along the right way."
Elgort's previously-released tracks include remixes of Lana Del Rey and Felix Cartal with Clockwork, and he hopes to collaborate with other musicians on his own work in the near future. "I don't do that much sampling. I create all my own sounds. I have a few tracks that I've sent out to some vocalists; hopefully we get some vocalists on some of my tracks soon. Or if not, I'll sing on them," he said.
So what tracks would he imagine Shailene Woodley's Divergent character, Tris, listens to? "Tris would have a combination of some crazy badass music: high-tempo EDM stuff that makes you want to move and go crazy, and some sappy ballad because she's super emotional. She's probably have a big Michael Brun remix of some euphoric song to cry to a little bit, and then a really hard, freakin' Martijn Garritsen [aka Martin Garrix] song to get pumped up to."
As for his character, Caleb? "My character has a very interesting arc as he goes along. There are some questionable decisions. The audience will probably hate him eventually, and hopefully love him again. Oh, man. He probably would just have audiobooks."
Hear a sampling of Ansolo's music below: