S1-E6: Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike have been on the path from celebrated DJs to dominating the global electronic music scene on a constant, upward trajectory leading them to once again become the World toppling No.1 DJs. Having won the 2019 edition DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll the pioneering duo return to the top spot following their debut back in 2015, that saw them become the first ever duo to win the No.1 DJ’s crown.

Luis 2 Live:
We are talking to the Belgian DJ duo and brothers, Dimitri Vegas, and Like Mike. They’re always ripping up the charts with their massive releases and still a major part of the rise of the mega Belgian festival Tomorrowland.

Dimitri Vegas:
There was a time when it was different, of course, I mean the early days, and our parents were, “What are these two guys doing? Why don’t they get a job?” So it’s been a long journey, but it’s been a fantastic journey.

Dimitri Vegas:
But I was a small club DJ for many years, where I had to play to keep the people dancing and to keep the people not leaving the club. So that’s a whole other different way of deejaying, but it’s been very educational for me to do that for so many years, because you get a broad space of music, and I think the most important part of the craft of the DJ is still to entertain your crowd.

Dylan:
You know, everybody says it takes 10 years of work to be an overnight success. I mean, can you talk about a little bit of the work and the grind that it takes to get to where you’re at?

Dimitri Vegas:
It has a lot to do with determination. On one side, on the other side of scores, there is a certain amount of stuff involved that you don’t really control and bit of luck in situations, but there’s been years that we didn’t think that we were going to make it, you know. That you weren’t living from moment to moment, like getting this release on the label and then one big DJ playing it, and then a couple of months nothing happens, and then you do something else and you sort of, “Oh, I get a gig there,” and “Oh, now I got a gig there,” and you keep on building.

Dimitri Vegas:
There’s moments that you think like, “Wow, maybe it’s not going to happen.” And I guess it’s those moments that, when you keep on going, hopefully, eventually you’ll get your shot, and then you have to take it, I suppose.

Dylan:
Top 100 DJs, Martin Garrix, number one, the youngest ever. How does that play into everything? I mean, that’s quite a recognition, isn’t it?

Dimitri Vegas:
Yeah. I mean, it’s amazing. And we’re really happy for, for Martin. He’s a very good friend. He’s a great guy. He deserves it. And, I mean, for us, we’re really proud of him, and it was amazing for us to be number one for one year, and we’re more than happy to pass the torch to Martin.

Luis 2 Live:
And do you feel a responsibility to help EDM evolve and keep it growing?

Dimitri Vegas:
Yeah, I mean, at this point everybody’s stepping away from the standard formulas. I mean, they’re all experimenting the different sound, different tempo, different influences. The crowd is also a lot more open than it used to be, you know.

Dimitri Vegas:
At this point people expect to hear something different. They don’t expect to just hear 130 BPM drops. I mean, people shouldn’t forget that people still like the 130 BPM drops, but you have to mix it up a bit, you know, so we just like to go all out during our shows and then give people a taste of everything.

Dimitri Vegas:
And also production wise, we don’t forget that we still have to make the big room bangers because that’s what people like at a festival. But we also experiment into different sound at this point.

Luis 2 Live:
What was your first exposure to house music?

Dimitri Vegas:
Well, I have thousands of vinyls at my house. I mean, I started deejaying, when back in the rays days when you had 180 BPM, our dad’s rays tracks, and then eventually go into Ibiza. I fell in love with house music. The more Downtempo groovy house.

Dylan:
If you had to go over the top three, I mean, just off of your head, are there three big songs right now that you play in your set that just the crowd explodes?

Dimitri Vegas:
Well, I mean, if you look at stuff that’s also going on the radio, or like the more clubby stuff. I mean, if you go radio wise, anything The Chainsmokers do at this point is golden everywhere in the world.

Dimitri Vegas:
I mean, what those guys are doing, I mean, we love them, we respect them a lot, and they’re blowing up so hard, even in Europe. I mean, it’s crazy.

Luis 2 Live:
Here’s what The Chainsmokers had to say about their rise to fame.

The Chainsmokers:
At the time when we started the European scene it was what dominated dance music. And we thought that as two New York kids we had more to offer the scene from the American side of things. It takes balls and it takes a lot of talent, and hopefully, I know we have the balls, and I think we got talent, so hopefully.

Dimitri Vegas:
Apart from that, our track with Diplo called Hey Baby.

Dimitri Vegas:
[singing 00:05:07]

Dimitri Vegas:
And also we just did a remix for Lost Frequencies, which is an artist under our label and management, What is Love. And even though it’s also a new one, it’s always great to see people reacting to fresh stuff.

Dylan:
Dimitri, I mean, working with your brother, can you give us the background story here? You went out first and then was he always into it with you? Can you tell the story a little bit about how you guys got together and this whole thing started?

Dimitri Vegas:
Yeah, well, I started deejaying when I was about 14 years old, and when I was 17 I left Belgian to start deejaying Ibiza. And at the same time, my brother was really into hip-hop, but he’s three years and a half younger. So he ended up with me in Ibiza, but he was 15 years old, and somehow at a certain night, I was deejaying in the club when he ended up emceeing on my set. And we really saw that the crowd react so great that we thought, “Well, we have something special here.”

Dimitri Vegas:
I mean, that was back in the early 2000’s, and from that time we decided to keep on working together. And this is where we’re at today.

Speaker 6:
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