Toronto based producers and DJs, Julian Dzeko and Luis Torres, better known as Dzeko and Torres, along with Dutch producer Timo Romme better known as DJ MOTi are all exceptionally talented in their field and are all part of Tiesto’s Musical Freedom label. Having showcased their talents over their careers they have become a part of this prestigious label and after a crazy week in Miami for Ultra and Miami Music Week, they sat down with me in Webster Hall before playing for the Brite Nite One Year Anniversary.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me tonight. How do you guys like New York so far?
Julian & Luis: We love it, we landed at 5PM and it’s a really nice day out.
Alright first of all could each of you tell me about how you got into electronic dance music?
Julian: Well I got into it first out of the two us, I think around when I was 11 or 12? I used to listen to the radio and more Eurodance because Eurodance was really big in Toronto so I got really into it.
Luis: Yeah same thing I mean Eurodance was really always a pretty big thing in Toronto but the first time I got introduced to trance or house music was grade 8 and I was in my computer class and my friend was like “yo you like Eurodance?” and I’m like “yeah” and he told me to “check out this house music”. So we went on Kazaa or Napster or whatever it was at the time and started listening to house music and I fell in love with it.
Timo: For me, I don’t know, dance music has been around for quite some time in Europe and I think I really started listening to house music when I starting clubbing around when I was 15 or something but I listened to dance music way before that.
Question for Julian and Luis, when and how did you guys meet?
Julian: We actually met through an online forum. When I was like 14 or 15, we met each other and yeah we became friends.
Could each of you tell me when you started DJ’ing and what/who are your influences?
Julian: The first time I ever really got into knowable DJ’ing was maybe 11. I downloaded this program that I used to mix songs together I was seriously like only 11 or 12. But I think my biggest influence would be going to my first Tiesto concert and I thought “Holy shit, wow this is crazy” and I used to promote at concerts and I’d be waiting out there trying to give them a CD, that’s how I sort of got into the whole thing.
Luis: I started after him actually, I remember Julian came home one day and told his mom and his dad “I want to get DJ equipment” and we were friends and I started going to his basement and DJ’ing that was pretty much it.
Timo: Yeah I started mixing when I was really young because before where I’m from we all listened to hardcore so I had two BoomBoxes and a speaker set and we’d just use cassettes and put them together and press play.
Luis: Wow that just reminded me when I was in elementary school from grade 4 to 8, I used to always be the guy who would bring the BoomBox for the dances and my friend Bobby would burn the CDs and then I would set everything up.
How does it feel for you guys to all be playing for the Brite Nites One Year Anniversary, two weeks after Ultra?
Julian: It’s kind of crazy, we’re performing with all Musical Freedom artists tonight as well and we’re really excited to all play.
Luis: Great Ultra, great Miami Music Week so we’re all excited to play all the new music we have.
Timo: The first time we met was in Miami and now we’re all like family.
How does it feel to be artists on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom label?
Julian: It’s a dream come true, I would say. Like I said Tiesto was my biggest influence and he’s the king of electronic music. When you start of as a DJ or a producer you always well I always looked at Tiesto and thought “oh my god I need to be on his label”.
Luis: And the coolest thing about it is his label that he always talks about too is that it literally is Musical Freedom. We release like progressive stuff, MOTi releases like hard stuff, anything that he likes is coming out, if he likes it he’ll support it.
Question for Timo how did you come up you with your DJ name?
Timo: Well my first name is Timo and I thought it sounded cool when I moved the first two letters.
Question for Luis and Julian, a lot of your songs feature vocals, how do you guys go about finding the right vocalists for the songs?
Julian: To be honest, I think finding a vocalist is a DJ or producer’s hardest job. It’s very hard to find the right singer, it’s not even just the singer it’s also about how they write the lyrics for the track. Everyone no matter how big of a producer, everyone still has this same problem.
Luis: It’s hard to find a good vocalist and also one that’s easy to work with. Because there are a lot out there who are good but just a pain in the butt.
Timo: It’s easier to find a good songwriter, someone who can write the lyrics well and find the singer later.
One last question, who are some great up and coming artists that you guys can name off the top of your head?
Luis: There’s a lot of really good guys actually, one I can think of off the top of my head, there’s Kaaze, he’s actually from musical freedom. We also have a friend of ours from Australia, a little young kid, only I think 16. His name is DJ Wil K, super talented DJ and producer as well.
Julian: There’s a guy also from Toronto, Hunter Siegel, he’s really good. Also Moska too.
Timo: Kevin G, who is my neighbor.
Thank you guys so much for the interview it was a pleasure! You guys are going to kill it out there!
All the best,