Niagara Falls contestant on Big Brother Canada far more than a DJ


Published March 2, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Dan Szabo, who grew up in Niagara Falls, is a contestant on the upcoming TV show Big Brother Canada. But the DJ is also a noted electronic dance music creator and producer. (Photos: Dan Szabo)

When Global TV announced a new crop of houseguests for season 11 of the popular TV show Big Brother Canada yesterday (March 1), a Niagara Falls native, Dan Szabo, made the cut into the final 16 contestants.

The bio offered by the producers was short and sweet, saying that Szabo (who now lives in Toronto) was a 28-year-old DJ, adding, “With a carefree attitude and good looks to match, Dan plans to charm everyone in the #BBCAN11 house. His strategy involves being part of a large alliance that allows him to make big moves without getting dirt on his hands.”

While Szabo certainly is a popular DJ, it turns out he’s also far more than that.

He’s also an accomplished music producer and viral sensation who goes by the name ZABO and his dance music has made him an international presence in both the USA and China.

His music has been used extensively on TikTok and the Chinese equivalent, Douyin. In fact, his single Breathe was the top electronic music song on TikTok in 2021, having amassed over 13.5 million plays on Spotify while another song Drown has been streamed internationally over one billion times across all platforms.

In a July 2022 interview with electronic dance music website, iEDM, Szabo talked happily about the burgeoning popularity of his music on different social mediums.

“It’s really great to see that my music is reaching a wider audience! As artists/musicians, we love when other people can enjoy or relate to the music we make,” he said.

“As for everyone using my music in TikToks and Instagram reels, it makes me so happy every time I see a new one. People are really creative in the different ways they use my music!”

Growing up in Niagara Falls, Szabo was introduced to electronic music at an early age by his neighbor. He was so enthusiastic about it, he ended up studying audio and recording technology at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology in London, Ontario.

After several years of formal education and informal music education programs, Szabo began developing his music persona ZABO, focused on a heavy electro and big-room sound. However, after moving to Toronto, he re-branded to a more bass-dominated sound.

Asked by iEDM what fed his muse, he noted, “I’ve gotten inspiration from many different genres. Anything from 80s metal to dancey pop songs. Sometimes, it can be something as small as a bass progression that gives me an idea of something I can do in a song of my own.”

“In terms of electronic music, I’ll hear certain sounds in some songs that I want to experiment with and play off of to see if I can make something similar work in a song of mine.”

So, yes, absolutely, Szabo’s a DJ and a popular one but he also creates and produces a lot of the music he plays. That’s a double threat in the electronic music scene.

If you want to cheer him on, Szabo and the other 15 houseguests fighting it out for $100,000 in the Big Brother Canada Manor can be seen on Global and StackTV starting March 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Dan Szabo, left, at work as a DJ-music producer and on the right, as a contestant for Big Brother
Canada. (Big Brother Photo: Global TV)


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