Belgian DJ duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike are bringing their party music to the AsiaWorld-Expo this Friday. Ahead of the gig, Young Post caught up with the brothers to hear what they are planning for their HK show, their preference for vinyl over digital, their new single Arcade, and becoming the top act on DJ Mag’s Top 100 list.
What can Hong Kong expect from your performance here?
Dimitri: A lot of energy and atmosphere! We’re looking forward to partying in Hong Kong. We’re bringing some very special new music and a few surprises to get the crowd going!
How do you plan each show?
DV: We don’t pre-plan our shows. We love to see how the party is going on the night and create the right atmosphere depending on the crowd. We’ll spend time in advance of the show preparing our music and working on new ideas and edits but it’s all about having the right music for the night.
Tell us about your pre-show routine.
DV: Normally it’s a nice meal, some relaxing time and then we’re ready to go to the venue.
Mike: When we get there we usually share a few drinks with our tour team before going on stage.
Sometimes you play sets on vinyl. What kind of sets does it work best on and what unique sounds does it offer?
DV: We did a special vinyl only set at our Bringing the Madness 3.0 show at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, which was wild. We sold out three nights, something only the likes of Michael Jackson, Beyonce, U2 have done. I love playing on vinyl whatever the genre, but it’s just that vinyl is a lot harder to carry around these days and it’s also limiting in the amount of music you can bring with you to a show. So it’s easier these days to play with digital files rather than vinyl. I still prefer the sound of vinyl over digital files.
As brothers, how do you balance each other out while producing and performing?
Mike: we know how to give each other space and we also know that we both have a creative process that’s individual to the other’s. We combine our creative ideas to come up with the music and the projects we’re working.
How was Arcade inspired and what was the creative process?
DV: We wanted to go back and do something a little retro. Growing up, we loved arcades, and combining that with our current style to go for something people wouldn’t really expect.
LM: It was fun working on a track with our boys W&W. Always a pleasure!
How did the collaboration with W&W for Arcade come about and who did what to make the single happen?
DV: We’d been speaking about it for some time and kept crossing paths and then we finally managed to get together in LA one time and decided to make it happen for real.
LM: We all put our own touch on the record to give it the flavours fans would expect from each of our from the studio.
What do you think of the Magic Wand remix of Arcade?
DV: It was a really cool twist on the original. Once we heard it we knew we needed to have featured in the remix package.
It’s nearly a decade since you guys started. How has the dance music scene changed? Have you noticed recent trends in people’s preferences?
DV: The scene has matured a lot since we started and it’s positive to see so many new artists and producers coming through. The music is finding more melody and the vocals are having a bigger euphoric feel which the fans are really into right now. There’s a lot of bass music coming through which is very interesting and really catching the fans attention on the dance floor. It’s a great time to be a DJ because there are so many avenues you can take your sets down. People are opening their eyes to lots of new music and events. We’ve got many fantastic festivals these days which brings a lot of variation to the scene.
LM: It’s grown so big and reached so many new fans which is amazing to see. India’s scene is really bubbling up. Dance music is growing strong there now.
A late congrats on being number one on DJ Mag’s Top 100 list, as well as being named Best European DJs, and for Higher Places reaching number one on the Billboard chart.
How have these achievements impacted your career? What do you hope to achieve next?
DV: Thank you. It means a lot to us because it shows that we’re on the right path. We’re happy that the fans believe in us, support us and voted for us. We’d love to win a Grammy, but we need to focus on our album first and see what happens.
What new sounds/techniques are you exploring?
DV: We’re doing a lot of new stuff in the studio. All will be revealed once our new album comes out, it’s going to be something very different and show a lot of new sides to our music.
What are the first steps our readers can take to become DJs?
DV: Set yourself goals and aim for them. People often think it’s an easy profession and while it is a lot of fun, it is also a lot of hard work. You need to be committed and prepared to work hard to achieve your goals. We spend a lot of time on the road and in the studio. This life isn’t for everyone.
LM: Believe in what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to push boundaries.