Edmond Huszar (born 1989 in London, Ontario), better known by his stage name OVERWERK or Overwerk, is a Canadian DJ, producer and graphic designer. Active since 2010, his style is often described as electro or complextro, and according to LA Weekly his music combines "dramatic, orchestral passages" with "serrated synths and dive-bombing basslines." Since 2011 he has released four EPs and several singles, designing the album covers himself. His 2014 single "Exist" was given a 10/10 score by Beatsmedia, with Vibe Magazine naming the track one of their "Top 10 Dance Music Releases Of The Week."
OVERWERK is also known for his official remixes of songs such as "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit. "Rather Be" went on to win the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. He has toured Canada, much of Europe, and the United States, opening for artists such as Avicii and headlining festivals such as the 2012 Escapade Music Festival. He won the 2014 New Canadian Music Vista Prize, and his songs have appeared in commercials for brands such as GoPro, Gucci, Lamborghini, Chrysler, Vogue, and Fortune Magazine. He has also created the song Pressure for The Sims 4 videogame.
Edmond Huszar was born in 1989 in the small city of London, Ontario, where he was raised. He first began learning to play music in elementary school, when he discovered a talent for drums and rhythm. He started making music on his computer one day while bored, mixing music that was popular at his high school.
Around the age of fifteen he became interested in DJing and in the tenth grade, he and a friend rented their own DJ equipment for a school dance. From that point he DJed all his school dances, remixing popular songs into club edits. At one point he had over 200 remixes in high school he'd made on his computer, of songs such as “A Milli” by Lil Wayne. At age 17, he went to a Daft Punk show in Toronto, which he states "changed my life for sure." After learning to DJ he began teaching himself how to produce. In highschool he began selling CDs of his work as a hobby, also designing the album covers.
After graduating highschool in 2008, one of Huszar's first professional production projects was for The Girls Can Hear Us, an electro-rap duo based in Ontario. In the summer of 2010 he began releasing original music under the alias Overwerk, or OVERWERK. About his name, he has stated "I had named my graphic portfolio 'overworked' because I’m always working on so many projects." Work was changed to 'werk' in tribute to the techno group Kraftwerk. As in high school, he continued to design the covers for his albums and releases.
OVERWERK self-released a number of remixes in late 2010 and into 2011, including Wolfgang Gartner’s "Space Junk," which EDM Sauce praised as "a huge improvement on the original." By spring of 2011 Overwerk had also released a number of original singles, and he was periodically collaborating with Andy's iLL, a death electro producer he had met on Soundcloud.
OVERWERK's debut EP, The Nth º, was released for free on Soundcloud and Bandcamp on November 30, 2011, and includes six of his original mixes. Stated iEN Live in a positive review, "the intense commotion of the EP manifests incessantly through the oscillation of unexpected changes in velocity and melody." He toured Canada after the release of his first EP, and he performed at the Escapade Music Festival in July 2012 in Ottawa, headlining with artists such as Avicii, Afrojack, and Zeds Dead.
His sophomore EP, titled After Hours, was released on November 28, 2012, featuring original tracks such as “Signal,” “Last Call," “Relapse," and "Daybreak," the latter of which had already been featured in a popular GoPro commercial. The EP received mixed to positive reviews, and Electro Jams wrote that the EP "uniquely blurs the lines between intense electro and melodic house."
By March 2013 he had released several more remixes, including Chromeo’s “Night By Night." That summer he toured Canada and France, at one point opening for Avicii in Toronto and performing for audiences of over 4,000 people. He also won the Symphonic Distribution 2013 Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award.
OVERWERK released his EP Conquer on November 27, 2013, as a free download. The lead single, "Conquer," had been offered as a free download in October, with three other tracks added for the EP release. New Canadian Music wrote that album includes "four gritty, rumbling bass tracks, four-on-the floor groove machines that are clearly indebted to French house pioneers, Justice."
In January 2014 OVERWERK released an official remix of the track "Rather Be" by UK electronica quartet Clean Bandit. Featuring Jess Glynne and released by Atlantic Records, Vibe described the remix as "a gritty electro spinoff that has been crushing dance floors everywhere." "Rather Be" went on to win the Best Dance Recording category at the 2015 Grammy Awards in the United States. He won the New Canadian Music Vista Prize on March 31, 2014, where he was voted by fans in place of other artists, and was awarded $10,000. On June 6 he was featured in a Reddit AMA ("ask me anything") film.
In June 2014 OVERWERK announced he would be undertaking his first American tour in July, having up to that point only traveled Canada and much of Europe. At the same time he announced a new single, and "Exist" was released on June 24, 2014 on the record label Fabrik. The track was packaged as part of a two-track EP which featured both an original mix and an extended club mix. OVERWERK had originally thought of the concept for "Exist" as a music video, but as of July 2014 the video was still pending, with Overwerk stating that "hopefully the video will get people thinking about things they don’t usually consider."
Both versions of the single were largely well received. BeatsMedia gave "Exist" a perfect 10/10 score, and Vibe named the track one of their "Top 10 Dance Music Releases Of The Week," calling it a "sonic masterpiece." Recipitation described the original mix of the single as being "more in line with his electrifying debut album, The Nth°," stating the song had more done with "flowing chord progression and dynamics" than his other recent work. The review further described the song as "crunchy electro house and even complextro."
Around 2012 OVERWERK began licensing his original tracks for commercial use, and his songs have since appeared in over 100 commercials and promotional videos. His track "Daybreak" was used in a clip for GoPro’s Hero3 action camera in 2012, which as of 2014 had been viewed on YouTube over 32 million times. Other brands that have used his music include Gucci, Prada, Lamborghini, Red Bull, Vogue, EA, Fox, Chrysler, Air Tahiti, and Fortune Magazine.
OVERWERK's first official tour of the United States took place in the summer of 2014, with the first show at the Seattle atFoundation Nightclub on the 4th of July. Twenty other stops followed, including his first show in Los Angeles and shows in Boston, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Oklahoma City, and southern states such as Georgia. During the tour he also performed periodic dates in Canada, including the Veld Music Festival on August 2 in Toronto. The last show of the US tour was in New York City on August 16.
OVERWERK said that in his youth he listened to "happy-hardcore, hardstyle, jumpstyle, euro-trance, hard dance. Sometimes I go back to those genres to get some inspiration. A lot of the time I go back to artists that really make me feel good like Abba or Queen, maybe some older disco stuff." He often uses sounds reminiscent of film soundtracks, stating that one of his artistic goals is connecting the audiophole music listener with the dance music festival scene.
VICE Canada wrote that the "complextro wizard’s unique style of sound is upbeat, energetic, and explosive." Reviewers often comment on OVERWERK's use of classical music, and according to Thump, his EPs "are populated with complex structures and baroque, near-classical themes." Digi10ve wrote that "his genre-blending style" combines sounds such as glitch and French electro," and similarly, Your EDM described his sound as unique "orchestra-electro-glitch." Magnetic Mag further described his style as "French electro with some progressive house elemements." OVERWERK's style has been compared to artists such as Mord Fustang and Deadmau5, and LA Weekly described his sound as "two parts Justice and one part Hans Zimmer." MMIBTY compared him to Wolfgang Gartner, with his "eloquent mixture of rhythmic chainsaw bass synths and high-pitched bleeps."