Actor Ansel Elgort making waves as music DJ
US movie actor Ansel Elgort making waves as his music DJ alter ego Ansolo
He's a well-known face among young adult film fanatics, thanks to starring roles in The Fault In Our Stars and the Divergent movie franchise.
But cinematic fame did not mean US actor Ansel Elgort, 21, has had everyone falling at his feet when it came to pursuing a music career.
His sonic alter ego is Ansolo -an up-and-coming progressive house music DJ.
He was in town during the F1 weekend to spin at the dance music festival Road To Ultra, which attracted an 11,000-strong crowd and featured his influences - DJs Alesso and Skrillex - in the line-up.
Both his heroes watched Ansolo's Sept 19 set at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.
But other musicians were harder to convince.
Elgort, who is as disarmingly charming as he appears in his movies, spoke to The New Paper before his gig.
He recounted having to "chase" after New York busking group Too Many Zooz to get them to play the live instruments for his current single, To Life. The brass-driven band play at the subway stations in New York City, the city that Elgort grew up in.
He said: "I had already written a track but I wanted to do something different and add some old-school elements.
"Then I met these kids on the subway playing saxophone, trumpet and horns and they were getting a lot of attention.
"In New York, if you can get people to stop at rush hour, it means you're really good. And they did just that."
So Elgort approached Too Many Zooz, whose performance videos in subway stations have gone viral. He e-mailed the trio, but did not get a reply.
It was only after a month, when he tweeted Too Many Zooz, that a meeting was set up, which turned into recording sessions.
The result? An exuberant track with an organic feel that is different from many other electronic dance music (EDM) offerings and stands out in a saturated market.
MTV.com described it as being "perfect for bar mitzvahs and EDM festivals".
When it comes to his own music tastes, Elgort cites an eclectic mix - and sings snippets - of Broadway musicals like 42nd Street, the late American composer George Gershwin and rapper Eminem.
He even tried to mimic Skrillex's trademark dubstep sounds during this interview with M.
Even though he's relatively new to the EDM scene as he debuted just last year with the singles Unite and Totem, Elgort is already making waves.
After a blast through several South-east Asian citiesthat included Bali, Taiwan and Japan last week, he performed at the prestigious Tomorrowland Festival in Georgia, US, over the weekend.
Elgort was first introduced to house music and dubstep through listening to Skrillex about five years ago.
He would DJ at house parties before landing his own gigs at lounges in New York City.
"It was a disaster," he said, cringing.
Attendance was so sparse, he had to get his friends to help bump up the numbers.
But the days of relying on pals to pack a place have gone.
Ansolo's Soundcloud account boasts a healthy 66,500 followers, amassed primarily thanks to his music.
Plus, Elgort is also enjoying a flourishing acting career - he is now filming the latest Divergent instalment Allegiant - but is quick to disagree with anyone who says that music is simply a side project.
"I take everything I do really seriously. So making music is just as important to me as any-thing else," he said.
"Calling music supplementary would make it seem less important or imply that I put less love into it. But that's not the case.
"I make music every day - and I juggle that with the rest of my loves."
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