Dzeko & Torres Talk Food, Beginnings, Dance Music in Canada & more in an Interview with FNT
Posted by Middy on December 29, 2012
Canadian duo, Julian Dzeko & Luis Torres, better known as Dzeko & Torres have come a very long way since their single “Confronted” was released on Chuckie’s Dirty Dutch Digital Vol. 4 just a year and a half ago. The long time friends quickly found that working with each other would be the ideal working situation and from there it was only a matter of time before it took off. They were able to grow their profile with free remixes of Monsters and Men “King and Lionheart” and Animal Kingdom “Strange Attractor” that promptly spread like wildfire. They had a track signed to Michael Woods’ Diffused Records, a remix of Trey Songz “Heart Attack” on Atlantic Records, their collab with ANSOL, “Yeah” on Mixmash, and their most recent release, their “Hey EP” on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak imprint.
However, their biggest success was with their remix of Chuckie’s “Who Is Ready To Jump” that even as they said half jokingly “literally I think Afrojack’s mom dropped it”. They were able to get gigs on both sides of the Atlantic, expanding their growing influence outside of the confines of Toronto into London, Miami and elsewhere. Having just signed to AM Only and with consistent support from some of the biggest names in the game like Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Chuckie and others, the sky is the limit for these guys. Start the interview below and check out the rest after the jump as we discuss advise they were given from another DJ, future plans and their love for food. I was talking to both of them at the same time, but it is mainly Luis Torres who was communicating during the interview.
FNT: When did you guys decide that you wanted to work together and make this official?
D&T: It actually started pretty soon after we met. We used to promote and frequent all ages club events in Toronto and we both had a love for house music (i guess people call it EDM now) and then i remember Julian went to a Tiesto show and pretty much as soon as he got home, he was convincing his parents to help him buy some CDJs. I had already been fooling around in FL Studio for a year or 2 and so we decided to start working with eachother and learn off eachother. Took about 2 years of goofing around for us to finally take it seriously though.
FNT: When, if at all did it hit you that doing this could really work?
D&T: I think originally we were just having fun, just doing it because we truly enjoyed it. I never really felt like my goofing around in FL would ever take me anywhere and im sure that Julian didnt think that buying CDJs would get him anywhere either. It took a while, but i think the breakthough point for us was when we started talking to Chuckie and he gave us a release on Dirty Dutch, which at the time was one of our favourite labels and we felt like it was massive for us.
FNT: Since Luis is the more skilled production wise and Julian has more DJ experience, how do you guys take advantage of that and how does that play out in both settings?
D&T: Well it works out well for us cuz over the years we’ve learned off eachother. Originally I (Luis) never used to Dj, but now we both Dj together. Julian originally wasn’t present during the majority of the production sessions, but now since we’re taking this more seriously (about a year and half) we’re both in the studio which works great because we can bounce ideas around while Luis still handles the more nit picky technical things.
FNT: Canada has always has a strong dance music scene, but how has the explosion of popularity in dance music in the US rubbed off on Canada?
D&T: Like you said, the scene here has always been great. We’ve always had great ‘EDM’ clubs. However, the turnout for these events and the crowds have slight grown/changed. Before it was much more underground and more of a mature crowd. Now, its alot of people who would have never listened to EDM before and they are very young and energetic, just like the music today. The biggest change though was the introduction of festivals. We’ve only ever had a few yearly strictly EDM festivals in the past. This year, there was 2 new ones just in Toronto, The Veldt & Digital Dreams, which did great by the way.
FNT: What production of yours are you the most proud of?
D&T: Hmm, thats a tough one. I (Luis) love our Animal Kingdom – Strange Attractor remix. Its not the best produced one by any means, but the melody still hits me even though were the ones that came up with it. And i love that we kept so much of the original song. For me (Julian) its the Chuckie – Who Is Ready To Jump remix. It just goes off everytime we play it and that kick is just so big lol.
FNT: What is the best advice you got from another DJ?
D&T: hmmmmmmmmmmmm. To actually learn how to DJ. I think alot of people who are producers first are just so focused on production that their live shows are pretty bad. I think were quite good live and we feel like thats super important. I know that sounds terrible to talk about yourself like that, but its honestly what we think. We were taught to be quick on our feet and play whatever we need to in order to get a crowd into it. You can’t always play hits.
EDITORS NOTE: Producers, please take this advice, the world pleads you to.
FNT: Do you guys really eat that much or is it just an exaggeration?
D&T: Oh man. We really do. We love food and we have to go to the gym all the time now just so it doesnt get ridiculous lol. Its worth it though. Good food is one of the best things in life.
FNT: Agreed, What is your go to studio food? Do you have a thing like Hook N’ Sling where he tries a burger in every place he visits?
D&T: HA! We actually did that for a while. It was just putting us to sleep! There was this list of the top 50 burgers in Toronto and we hit about half of them before we decided it was getting out of hand haha. Now we try to keep it relatively healthy. But we do always ask the promoter what the best place to eat is in the area every time were out of town.
FNT: What has been the best place you have eaten when guided by a promotor?
D&T: Hmm, promoters actually have a bad track record lol. But in terms of general suggestions (not necessarily from promoters) we hit this sick taco shack in LA that was insane. Oaks gourmet in LA was also amazing. Houstons and Joe’s Pizza in NYC were both mind blowing as well.
FNT: Quick question: In your upcoming song, “Togi” is there the shout from Led Zeppelin’s “Immigration Song” in there?
D&T: Yes there is. Not sure were gonna be able to release it becasue of that though.
FNT: One thing about you guys people would not expect? I know you guys play a lot of video games.
D&T: Uhhh I (Luis) used to be on clans for the original Call Of Duty on PC, and Black Hawk Down. Used to play like 8hrs a day. Julian was hardcore into CS 1.5. Never left his computer lol. Black ops 2 sucks btw. Mw2 was the best cod ever made.
FNT: How big is this one for you guys (The “Hey EP”) and how much has the support from Aoki meant?
D&T: The Aoki support is amazing for us. Have been huge fans of him for years and Dim Mak in general. First pair of headphones we had were Blue Dim Mak headphones, years ago. We really like this EP cuz its not progressive. Its not what we’ve done before at all and I like that people will be able to appreciate that we can do more than just the big chord Swedish stuff.
FNT: What comes next for Dzeko & Torres after the EP?
D&T: Well, imma buy a Maserati, and…. no but actually we’ve just signed on with a great management company, and have just sorted out an agent as well, so were going to be on the road for a bit in the beginning of 2013.
Music wise, i think we’ve finally found a sound, or maybe a set of sounds, that works for us and now we can continue working and developing that sound. Look for alot of music from us, and we’ll also keep on expanding our RAVE’N podcast. We love to hear and play stuff from super young guys cuz we know that any for of support at the beginning always means alot. Look for some great guest mixes on the show soon, as well as some great collabs in the next few months.