American DJs love doing a bit of it. The Dutch are always at it. Danny Tenaglia’s been known to have a go. And lately, if you turn up at a big festival abroad, it seems like every house/electro/trance DJ is up for a bit of the kind of MC action you’d only previously have seen at a garage or d&b rave. Indeed Belgian house duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike have based their entire CDs, decks and FX live show around that format.
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Dimitri Vegas, Moguai & Like Mike
“Still probably the biggest track in our playlist at the moment. It got huge with the 2012 Tomorrowland Aftermovie and is still as effective today.”
Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, has just announced details of his special Brazil-themed compilation album — 'Bem Brazil'. The comp features a wealth of Fatboy's international DJ associates and is designed to soundtrack this summer's World Cup finals in Brazil.
Some of the new tracks on the comp are built around samples from classic Brazilian music, so DJ Fresh is contributing a new take on the Sergio Mendes's samba-happy anthem 'Magdalena'.
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike have dropped the second part of their Magical Trilogy for their chart topping smash hit 'Find Tomorrow (Ocarina)' featuring Wolfpack and Katy B. The video is a fantastical animated journey, much like the theme of Tomorrowland, for which Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s provided the Belgium festival’s anthem 'Chattahoochee.'
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.
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.”