He was born Maurizio Colella, but dance music fans know him as EDX. And we'll never know why exactly. Our interrogation-like attempts to uncover the meaning of "EDX" were all shot down by the producer, DJ and executive. We took our best jabs in search of an answer, but they were blocked by the DJ with Floyd Mayweather-like defense as he spoke to us from his home in Zurich, where EDX makes music and heads a boutique artist management agency with DJs such as Nora En Pure and Croatia Squad.
“Only like five people know what it means," EDX says of his name. "It goes way back to like 30 years, and it’s English and Italian slang ... that’s all I can say.”
Colella’s bloodlines come from Italy. Like many Italians, his parents made the short journey to Switzerland to flee World War II. The young Colella grew up in Alps country as a talented athlete, working out five times a week with Switzerland's national under-16 soccer team. But his love for music overtook soccer and he goal-shifted toward beats.
Years later, aboard the Norwegian Pearl for the January 2016 Groove Cruise sale, Colella’s two passions collided in an eight-on-eight DJ soccer battle for the ages. It was a scorching hot day on the cruise ship’s sky deck soccer pitch. Team Dash Berlin was led by Jeff Sutorius and Colella, Team Dada Life was captained by Stefan Engblom, Darude and Michael Woods. Like the great Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo, Colella initiated the offensive attack with surgical precision.
The match escalated when Colella twisted an ankle and was carted off the pitch. But, he returned. The DJs battled when Sutorius scored late to tie the match at 4-4. Then the goalie for Team Dash Berlin, DJ Adam Scott (a trance DJ from New York), lost a tooth and it was decided to end the match in a draw.
“We started as just a fun match and then it got pretty serious, but that was a fun match,” Colella says with a laugh. “Croatia Squad [Alejandro Torres] impressed me — he was really good. A lot of DJs are good athletes; Jeff from Dash Berlin and Michael Woods are talented, but yeah that was too bad about our goalie losing a tooth.”
Colella’s music is ideal for a sunny day on a cruise ship, a boat on Joe Pool Lake, poolside or the beach. His deep house tracks have a warmth and happiness about them that encourage dancing. His productions are proper “first kiss music,” a notion Colella supports and encourages. One of those new smooching tracks is a February release called “Adore Me,” a soft-on-the-palate track that appeals to the masses — EDX garnered more than 100 million Spotify streams in 2019 alone.
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In rhythm with Texas bluebonnets, perhaps love will too blossom on the dance floor with Colella on the controls. He’ll serenade the Deep Ellum Art Co. on Saturday, March 14.
Colella is part of a small fraternity of cold climate-bearing, daydreaming music producers. They come from frigid places but make music for the boat. There’s Kygo from Bergen, Norway, where the hottest summer days are in the low 70s. Sam Feldt’s from Boxtel, Netherlands, where it’s dark, cold and rainy almost every day of the year. And the hottest month in Colella’s hometown of Zurich is July, where the average high is only 77 — which pales in comparison to Dallas’ 110-plus days of hell.
“Here in the cold mountains with a lot of snow we are always thinking about warm places and the sea, and the music helps take us there,” Colella says.
But music has transcendental powers, and not Norwegian sub-zero slicing wind, freezing Dutch drizzle and sleet or Swiss snow and slush can stop the imagination. Conditions at Deep Elum Art Co. will be 72 degrees, with no wind except for a few ceiling fans, ages 18-plus admitted and a strong chance of shuffling.