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Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

Poll 2021: Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

5
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Down
3
From: Belgium
 
Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Azteck."
 

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s Top 100 story is well-known by now, rapidly rising up the ranks after their debut entry in 2011 to top the poll in both 2015 and 2019. World events might have stopped their dynamic DJ show for a while, but a decade down the line from cracking the upper echelons of EDM, the Thivaios brothers are still proving they’re adaptable to whatever challenges life throws their way, adopting new technologies and partnerships to keep their brand in the ascendancy.
 
After racking up 50 million views in just 24 hours on TikTok last year, thanks to their track ‘Do It!’, they began 2021 as Belgium’s most streamed artists, recording 520m plays on Spotify. Small wonder then that the big brands came knocking: they formed a partnership with McDonald’s, releasing the single ‘Feel Your Love’ and DJing through the fast-food giant’s app; worked with Coca-Cola curating tracks; and even became ambassadors for the World Wildlife Fund, talking about issues such as the use of plastic. 
 
They continued to explore the virtual spaces opening as computing evolves. Signed up to Prizm, a virtual reality world released within Sensorium Galaxy, they’re set to perform alongside other world-famous names, including Carl Cox, Armin van Buuren, David Guetta and Charlotte de Witte. The duo also appeared as characters in Free Fire, the most downloaded mobile game in 2019, and wrote the theme to its new campaign, ‘Rampage New Dawn’. 
 
Given 2021’s unprecedented time and space, it also welcomed a move into solo projects, a process of individuation that highlighted their contrasting tastes. Dimitri’s debut single ‘Pull Me Closer’ explored a poppier vein of house. After bagging a role in the film Jurassic World: Dominion, he’s also been filming his first leading role in Hazard, a film by Belgian director Jonas Govaerts. To top it off he’s launching a graphic novel, Alien Samurai Dino Warrior, which comes accompanied by the year’s biggest buzz, unique NFTs.
For his part, Like Mike explored his love and rap and trap on his debut album ‘Pain, Love, & What Comes After’, a string of singles, including the recent ‘Silence’ featuring Lil Baby, and ‘W Hotel’ with Smokepurpp and Blueface.
 
Both dropped clothing ranges: Dimitri a Mortal Kombat capsule collection, Mike his Green Room Capsule Collection, available in London’s Selfridges.
 
If that already sounds like a heavy workload, they still found time for a hectic release schedule of high-profile collabs. ‘Reunion’ had them team up with ALOK and KSHMR for another Free Fire theme track, they linked with German hard dance heroes Scooter for ‘I Love Hardcore’, got jiggy with Bassjackers on ‘Drop That Beat’ and even had time to write a Christmas track, ‘Christmas Time’, as part of festive mix ‘Home Alone’, released via their own Smash The House label. 
 
Accompanied by the ultimate highs and lows of life, the death of their father and the birth of Dimitri’s son, London Takis Thivaios, the Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike juggernaut shows no sign of slowing.
 
 
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
 
“It was a great feeling getting back to business again with our headline slot on the magical Island Pāpiliōnem for the Tomorrowland virtual festival. We’re looking forward to doing it for real and in person next time in summer 2022.”
 
 
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
 
“The time off the road gave us a lot of opportunities to spend more quality time with family, which has been amazing. In many ways, it was like a reset for what we want to achieve with our careers. The time away also proved to us how much we miss the shows, how much we miss the fans and the buzz of the scene.”
 
 
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
 
“Ending fossil fuels is the only way to combat climate change. Whatever can be done within our scene to transfer to renewable energy is going to help this urgent quest to combat climate change. Also, the complete removal of plastic waste in the festival scene should be top of the list.”
 
 
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
 
“We actually just focused more time on the gear we already have. The newest bit of kit we’ve added recently would be Pioneer DJ's CDJ-3000.”
 
 
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
 
“‘Donda’ by Kayne West, and if you haven’t heard Mike’s debut album yet, you really need to listen to ‘Pain, Love & What Comes After’.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-06 09:16

Style: 
“It still and always will be about the crowd.”
Best known for: 
“Smashin’ the house!”
Tune of the year: 
“Suark 'Take It Slow’."

Poll 2020: Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

2
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Down
1

Though they’ve been unable to tour as normal, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike still managed to stay in touch with their fans this year via social media. Releasing a plethora of singles, perhaps the most notable was ‘Do It!’, a collaboration with Belgian producer Azteck and Mexican singer/influencer Kimberly Loaiza. It had a staggering 50 million views within 24 hours on TikTok, and the #DoIt dance video trended in Latin America and the US, encouraging fans to submit their own dance challenge videos to the platform. In addition, the brothers released more club-geared tracks such as ‘The Anthem’ with Timmy Trumpet and ‘Clap Your Hands’ with Fedde Le Grand and W&W, while their single ‘Instagram’ reached 200 million streams on Spotify.

Mike focused on his new label Green Room, which allows him to work on solo projects and also shine a light on upcoming artists.
“I’ve been releasing solo tracks for close to two years now, and once I started working on my album project, it felt like the right time to launch my own label,” he says. “I officially launched the label with ‘High Off Love’ at the start of 2020, just before all this COVID-19 chaos, and we’ve been up and rolling ever since. One way that lockdown has been good for me is getting more time to restructure the label, so I can give other artists the platform to bounce from. We dropped an EP back in June featuring D-Wayne, 13 NIGHT, JPK, Asonn, T.I.M, LENN, Mackum Jaime Deraz, and more are coming. My own latest single on Green Room is ‘Excited’ with C Natty.”

Tomorrowland festival residents, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike played the first virtual edition in July, Tomorrowland Around The World. Though they were initially unsure how the event would work, it proved to be a resounding success. “After so long away from the festival vibe, it was incredible to be involved in this enormous two-day digital experience bringing all the people of Tomorrowland together,” they say. “It was a first in dance music, and many probably thought it was not going to work like a real show, but the desire for it from the fans – and artists – was insane! Over one million people tuned in and shared this global experience. It was a new chapter in the history book, of not just Tomorrowland, but the dance scene. We came together to make something magical happen, and it was so amazing to be a part of it.”


Dimitri continued to expand his acting CV after appearances in recent Men In Black and Rambo movies, with probably his most high profile role yet. “I’ve been cast in the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion, the third part of the new Jurassic World trilogy,” he says. “It’s been an amazing experience and a childhood dream come true to be part of something I was fascinated with when I was a child. There’re various other movie projects underway, and without disclosing too much, the timing of having so much ‘free’ time works out perfectly with all the new movie stuff coming up, so I’ll be spending a lot of time on film sets in the next months.”


And that’s not all: they’re working on lots of new music and projects for their Smash The House label. “Keep your eyes open. Announcements coming soon!” they say.


What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?

“Being around friends and family and getting to reconnect like we don’t usually do, because we all live such busy lives, was something very special. Spending more time in the studio, working on ideas has been super fulfilling. And creativity: making random videos, writing pitches and scripts for movies, working on the label, our new e-sports venture, or [working] on our influencer company definitely helped keep us sane.”

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?

“The world is hurting from this virus. Every aspect of life has been affected. We need to pull together as a scene. Maybe this is a chance to break down some of the barriers that often divide our scene? We believe so…”

 

What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?

“Dance music has always been about unity. We need to return to that spirit. We need to come together and make a stand that shows inequality and imbalance towards our brothers and sisters is not acceptable.”

 

What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?

“More varied line-ups, more varied working environments. More acceptance of who people are, what they want to be and how they want to express themselves.”

 

What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 

“There are just too many amazing tracks to name just one.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 13:02

Style: 
“Our style has always been about the crowd.”
Best known for: 
“Smashin’ the house.”
Tune of the year: 
“‘Tricks’ by Bassjackers.”

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