Making it: interview with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

by Jackie Willson

This summer electronic music  festivals  and DJ’s are taking the world by storm and Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike seem to be playing a key part in all of it.

Originally from Belgium, these brothers are passionate and extremely appreciative of all their success and it is obvious that their talent and drive are making them two of the most popular DJ’s worldwide. With hits immediately climbing to top of the charts, collaborations with the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Lady Gaga (to name a few), and becoming the “kings of Tomorrowland”, Vegas and Mike seem to be on the right track.

We got an opportunity to interview the brotherly duo and ask them a few questions about their loving fans, the many festivals they will be attending this summer, and how to separate the good, the bad, and the trendy in this music industry.

Jackie Willson: How was your experience at Digital Dreams? Anything in particular that stood out for you?

Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike: The whole night was a blast, it was a bit in-and-out for us because our travel schedule was so hectic and we literally flew in and out either end of our set, but as soon as we walked through the doors we could just feel the energy pumping, it was really easy to get our game head on and get into the groove of the party.

JW: When Mammoth was released, you hit number one right away and stated that it was “all because of your fans”. What do you think helped you build such an amazing fan base? How do you continue to keep their faith and support?

DV&LM: We’ve worked really hard over the past three to four years establishing ourselves on the road and with our music. We’ve been pretty relentless to be honest, especially with the music because we’ve had track after track come out and each one has been bigger than the last. Mammoth was definitely the breakthrough point for us as far as finally getting that Beatport #1, we had a couple of tracks before that that almost got there as well so when we finally did it, it felt like it was a long time coming. But with each track, with each tour that we’ve done, we’ve collected more and more fans along the way and we’re always talking to them over Facebook and Twitter, we’re always excited to share with them what we’re doing and to make them part of our journey.

I also think that our act is very unique, it’s not just a DJ standing behind decks but also the element of Mike MCing really lends itself to the bigger stages and the festival circuit which are our favourite places to play. The bigger, the better. We really connect with people when we’re playing and there’s a huge flow of energy between us and the dance floor, sometimes it gets a little crazy! But put all that together – the continuous music, the big performances, constant touring and, of course, our association with Tomorrowland, we’re always in the minds of fans because we’re always there, always working, always putting ourselves to the front as much as possible.

JW: What is your favorite part about collaborating with other artists? What is the most difficult part about it (if there is one)?

DV&LM: Favourite part – definitely getting to bounce off new ideas and getting a different twist on the way you thought the tune might go in the beginning. Difficult part – trying to make a track when everyone is in different parts of the world! It’s kind of back and forth over the Internet which isn’t as ideal as having everyone in the studio together.

JW: Tomorrowland is in a mere few weeks. You will be playing there for the fifth time and you’ve said that you are planning “a shitload of surprises” – can you give us any hints?

DV&LM: Well if we told you, if wouldn’t be ‘a shitload of surprises’ would it [smiles] It’ll be big, it’ll blow your mind, it’ll be epic Tomorrowland, trust us on that.

JW: Electronic music is blowing up all over the world. Some would say it’s becoming a trend and it’s hard to separate the good from the bad (or the talented from the untalented). What do you think makes a DJ successful and timeless?

DV&LM: Talent. Yeah there are a lot of producers out there but to be honest, there have been for the last ten years at least. Everyone’s acting like it’s a new trend but ever since the CDJ1000s came out and music went digital, it’s been a lot easier for everyone to get into DJing and producing. It’s like anything that becomes really popular, of course there’s going to be a load more music coming out, but people’s ears don’t change just because there’s more to listen to. People still have taste and they know what they like, so as long as there’s quality then that’s what people will go for. It just takes you more time to filter through the crap to find the quality stuff.

Photo courtesy of the artist