Behind the Beat: Dzeko & Torres
Running Through the 202 with No Woes
OTB: In both 2013 and 2014 you combined major tracks from the year into 10 minute mixes. Your 2013 mix has over million Soundcloud plays and in 2014 you mixed 62 songs in 10 minutes. Can we expect 2015 in 10 minutes soon?
Dzeko & Torres: Yes. 100%. We started this in 2012 and it really picked up support in 2013 and 2014. It takes a long time and involves a lot of work. We will take about a solid week to put everything together and it out very soon.
OTB: What is your favorite track from this year? One that you produce and one that you didn’t.
Dzeko & Torres: I think the track that has worked best for us this year that we produced has been “Alarm” because it works well in our sets and has received the most support. An EDM track that we didn’t produce that has been big this year has been Tiesto & KSHMR – Secrets feat. Vassy. We started playing this track like 4-5 months before it was released and continued to play it for another 4-5 months afterwards. We also did a remix of Can’t Feel My Face by The Weekend, which has been a big non-EDM track.
OTB: Earlier this year Guvernment club shutdown in Toronto. What is the state of EDM in Toronto and Canada as a whole?
Dzeko & Torres: The EDM scene in Toronto has been around for such a long time with actual raves where people did not know where they were going to take place and ended up with like 10,000 people showing up. So Toronto has had a history of electronic music and Guvernment shutting down has opened a lot new doors for EDM in the city that has DJs on every weekend and major festivals. It took 5,000 people from being at one club to 5,000 people being at 5 different clubs. The scene is still the same size, but more dispersed and opened up more opportunities for new venues and festivals.
OTB: Now before you formed Dzeko & Torres, Luis you were working as a graphic designer and photographer. Do you ever design your own cover art or work on the other creative projects outside producing and DJing?
Luis Torres: Yes, I will work on a lot of the strategy stuff that comes out from Dzeko & Torres. We have our own in-house graphic designer that does a great job and I will usually give my input on what he sends us because I have had a passion for it for a number of years.
OTB: Julian, I read that you bought DJ equipment after you went to Tiesto’s show in Toronto. What is is like from going to spectator to working with someone like Tiesto and even remixing and collaborating with him?
Julian Dzeko: It is pretty crazy. It is a good feeling to have started DJing because of Tiesto and to now work with him and be friends with him is a big accomplishment. Since I was about 14 years old, I wanted to be a DJ and now I have a career doing what I love is very amazing.
OTB: Do you ever have creative differences? For instance you want to take a track in one direction and you want to go in the other direction. How do you overcome those differences?
Luis Torres: Any partnership has differences. I think in our case, I always want to over-complicate things and he (Julian) always keeps things grounded and simple enough to reach a wide audience. The duo is always the best way to go, even as a solo producer, you have friends that you send your stuff to, but in a duo we don’t need to send anything to anyone else and can bounce ideas off one another.
OTB: You have been a duo now for eight years now, what advice would you have for aspiring dj/producer duos?
Julian Dzeko: Don’t send previews of tracks on Snapchat asking “what do you think of this?” Even if the track is amazing it isn’t going to sound good. There a better ways to get a song to a DJ. Send it on Twitter with an actual link of something and make sure the link actually works and isn’t expired. I can’t tell you how many times people send us stuff that is expired or doesn’t work. Also, don’t sit down and listen to five EDM songs and try and copy what others produced. People that get really popular thought of something new and don’t copy what all the other people are doing. There is so much competition right now and to really make it people will have to try something new maybe influence from an older song like from the 70s refreshed with new sounds.
Luis Torres: As soon as you find that sound and people are supporting your sound, it is important for you to go out in the scene. You can’t just sit around at home and expect DJs to play your song and to get booked for shows. If DJ X has been playing your song for two weeks on his podcast and he comes to do a show near you, go see DJ X and do your best to meet him. That is the guy that can help you out and become friends and build a personal relationship. It is a small knit community and it is important not to talk shit on blogs or social media about other DJs. You can be a really famous DJ and the biggest in the industry or even a lesser known DJ, but everyone reads all of comments on blogs or social media just to see what people are saying. If you put people down, others in the industry read that and will make sure that you won’t make it. We have never said a bad thing about others in the industry ever and that is important factor of where we are today. You can have your own opinion, but you don’t have to go out of your way to hate on others.
Julian Dzeko: Look at others that are doing well and say “what can I do to be better than them.” The number one thing that you can do as a rising DJ is to not hate on other DJs.
OTB: Final question. What are your plans going into 2016?
Dzeko & Torres: We are working on a lot of singles and taking our focus away from strictly dance music to something that you can listen to in your car, at home, or at a pre-party. The Dzeko & Torres sound is already progressive and melodic so we don’t have to change our style, but we took that style and made it more radio-friendly.
Luis Torres: I am trying to make music that both my mom and my sister can listen to, so it is music that we can play at festivals and also play on the radio. We have six singles ready to go and I am not sure when or the format that they are going to come out on, but expect a lot of new vocal music from us.