Payment options

Jon Zdanis

Artist Biography

Real Name: Jon Zdanis
Genre: Deep House

Jon Zdanis started collecting music at the early age of 6. Buying his first 45 rpm with his weekly allowance after hearing Paul Stanley's (KISS) solo track being played on the radio. It was at that point that music became his life and going to the clubs was just a mere 8 years away.

"My brother took me to a club in Daytona Beach called Spectrum when I was just 14 (1984). They never checked ID's then so I was pretty safe!"

It was there that he was introduced to the New Wave sounds of Bronski Beat, Yazoo, Cabaret Voltaire, Stephen Duffy (Tin Tin) and others. By the time he was 16 he was attending the legendary nights at Visage in Orlando all the while collecting vinyl the whole way through.

After graduating High School he enlisted into the NAVY never knowing that he was going to end up in a war. But while stationed in Orlando for schooling he stumbled upon a club called AAHZ at the legendary Beachum Theater, never knowing that the club and music itself was going to influence him the way it did.

"AAHZ was a stepping stone to help me become the person I am today. The vibe was of no other vibe, the people and the place created such an atmosphere that it felt like home. The funny thing was that while I was in school and going to AAHZ I never knew my brother was going there too, we never bumped into each other!"

After school was over he took a two week leave and decided to go to a club called Brassy's where he was introduced by his brother to the resident DJ and friend Andy Hughes (AGH).

"When I met Andy I had no idea that he was going to be such an influence on me with my DJ career later on down the road."

It wasn't until he came home from his first trip from the Gulf War that he was given a tape called Brassy's 9-6-91 that changed his mind about becoming a DJ.

"I burned that tape into the ground with my walkman! That tape was permanently cased into my walkman for at least the next year, sure I had gotten other Brassy's tapes but 9-6-91 was just the cream of the crop. It had tracks like Ben Chapman's Erotic Animals and Electra's Autumn Love on it and when I listened to that tape and saw the picture that was being created in my head I knew that I wanted to do DJ'ing. The feeling that I got was something that I wanted to be able to create on my own and be able to give that feeling to others. Creating an atmosphere such as that with music was what I wanted to do!"

After finishing his career in the NAVY he set off with his brother to learn how to DJ. Together they went through the struggles of not having any money and not being able to afford any equipment, they purchased two old belt driven turntables and a cheap Radio Shack mixer to start off their DJ career.

"The day before I got out of the NAVY my apartment was broken into and I had all of my savings stolen which was a little over $7000. Being broke and having to move back in with your parents was a great way to start off a career as a DJ. It definitely didn't help when it came to meeting the ladies."

During this time he was still going to the Beachum and Brassy's, The Edge, The Abyss and also MARZ where he met Chris Fortier who has become another long time friend and who was also going to have a huge influence on his DJ career.

"Listening to Chris and Andy do marathon sets at MARZ was just a phenomenal experience. I never thought anyone could play as long as those guys did, I mean 8 plus hours was a long DJ set at that time!"

In 1993 after only 6 months of practicing religiously he gave a tape to a DJ at the Colisseum, which was a night club in Daytona Beach. It was then that he was given a chance to play in front of a crowd of about 500 people with the laser lights going on in a smoke filled old movie theater. He later would play there more and more all the while honing his DJ skills.

In 1994 he was asked to play at a club called Madhouse on a weekly basis where he played along side some of the most influential DJ's of that time period. Some notable DJ's are D-Xtreme, Kimbal Collins, Apollo, Chris Fortier, AK 1200 and Rich Rosario to name a few.

After Madhouse he played mostly around the Daytona Beach area with a few Orlando jobs (Firestone) here and there until he landed a job at Sol-Rays playing Progressive House upstairs where he would rotate with his brother, Steve Wilson and Stretch.

"We were still a bunch of nobody's just having fun with the music but the funny part was that the club was a total breakbeat club and they decided to open up the top floor so we could play Progressive House. We would clear the downstairs area and everyone would be upstairs listening to us. We really didn't have any restraints as far as what we could play or anything, we would just play!"

In 2006 he gave up playing in the clubs and DJ'ing all together.

"I wasn't happy with the music anymore and the direction it was going in. There was nothing wrong with the Progressive House genre it was just me looking for something to do something different."

It wasn't until a couple of members of Mercury Server (BureOne and Ribbario) pushed him enough to sit back down and make them a set which was titled Morning Light.

"Morning Light was just OK as far as a set went. It wasn't until Ribbario sent me a message when I asked for feedback that said "You can do better" that really opened my eyes."

While trying to think of a way that he could reinvent himself as a DJ he came across a set that BureOne posted that changed his whole outlook on Deep House.

"The set was called Midnight Express and it took me by surprise. I was never a big fan of Deep House as I always played Progressive but there was some elements in that set that stood out for me, mostly the atmospheric and the lush sound is what did it for me."

He set out to research more Deep House tracks and then decided to do a set that was called Misty and has stuck to the Deep House genre ever since.

"Deep House has allowed me to finally create that atmosphere that I really like. It has the flexibility to create both a happy and sad environment and still allow me to have fun playing it. I play now mostly for myself and if others enjoy what I play then that is a bonus. I'm not about going to to the club and playing to earn a buck anymore, I'm going to the club and playing to have fun. I felt that I had lost that ability to have fun when I was playing progressive and trying to earn a dime and with Deep House I believe I have found that again!"

Currently Jon is doing projects for both Chris and Andy, digitizing there vast collection of old promo tapes as well as all of the Brassy's tapes and everything in between. You can find most of Andy's promo sets on Mercury Server and on Facebook. You can also hear one of Chris's tapes from the Mercury Server 8th Birthday thread (1992 mix tape). He has also decided to step into the production ring and has several tracks that he is currently experimenting with.