We caught up with EDM legends Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike to talk about new music, festivals, fashion and much more.
How did you both first get into EDM music?
D: I was 13 years old or about that age and I met some other kids whilst on a family holiday, it was a bit like a summer camp I suppose. I loved the idea of being a DJ and my heart just feel in love with and about a year later I was djing at small parties and spending all my time fixed on being a DJ and buying vinyl. I was hooked really early! This dream then led me to travel around Europe playing small clubs and doing entertainment at hotels and then later I arrived in Ibiza.
M: It wasn’t long after he arrived in Ibiza that I then followed him. I wanted to do something different and my parents suggested why don’t I go and visit Dimitri because it sounded like there were a lot of opportunities where he was. It was an eye-opening experience and helped me find my creative side. I stayed an extended amount of time in Ibiza, we both worked in various jobs on the island like hotels, random shows etc, before I returned home to explore my passion for music further.
Name the three main artists you had on your playlist growing up?
M: I was big into hip hop growing so it was guys like Eminem, Dr Dre, J Dilla.
D: I was into everything from disco to trance to rock to techno, it was everything for me so you could easily of found anything from Queen to M.I.KE (Push) to Erick Morillo on my playlist.
When was the pinnacle moment you realised you could make a career in music?
M: it was triggered in Ibiza. Seeing guys like Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim owning the crowd with the music and controlling the atmosphere with their set structure. It wasn’t until a few years later when it all started to come together.
D: yeah, after we’d both left the island to pursue this dream of making music our life, but right there in Ibiza is when the seed was planted. It was inspiring seeing these guys and being a part of that scene at the time as clubbers and emerging artists.
When and where was your first ever DJ set?
D: it was back home in Belgium. Just a small party but a real nerve-racking experience. It’s your first gig in front of your friends, you have big dreams and want to impress. Looking back we laugh at things like this but at the time it felt like the biggest moment.
M: But these moments are all good experience!
Growing up in Belgium, can you describe the EDM scene in Belgium?
D: the early years were more rave sounds like (harder) techno, hard trance so it’s a little different to today but the scene has evolved a lot over the last few years.
M: today dance music in the country is very varied. Deep and tropical house is strong and the big room sound has captured a nation of music loving fans, we’re blessed with other strong scenes as well like the underground sounds of techno. The Belgian dance scene is looking really healthy right now!
What’s it like being duo DJs as brothers?
M: for us it works really well! We have the same goals and it’s not a battle to put our ideas forward because we share the same vision. We’re lucky in that we approach things in such a different way it brings a whole new dynamic to the flow of our projects.
D: yeah, we’re both incredibly driven and have so many projects and ideas on the go at any one time. We have an amazing team around us who help us to streamline a lot of the projects we want to do. It also means we can focus purely on the music and our dj sets without the stresses of trying to juggle too many things at any one time!
What do you both bring to Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike as individuals and why does it work so well?
M: It’s a real mix of things. We bring ideas and focus and determination but in our own way.
D: what’s unique for us is our ability to share the same ideals but put our own touch on it and then help it go from an idea to a real end result.
What has been you career highlight to date?
D: we’ve had so many it’s really impossible to pick any one achievement because they all mean so much. I mean working on a record for the recent Pirates of the Caribbean film with Hans Zimmer for Disney Records was something very special for us because we love that film franchise + he is a producer we have great esteem for. As was hitting #1 in the billboard dance single chart with our record (with Ne-Yo) ‘Higher Places’ was a great moment for us.
M: Selling out two weekends, 4 shows, at the Antwerp Sportpaleis with our homecoming party ‘Bringing The Madness’ is another special moment for us! Only the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, U2 and a few others have ever done that, so we are extremely grateful to our fans for this!
D: yeah those shows are wild! It means so much to us to be able to bring something on this scale and for it to be shared with so many amazing fans.
Do you have any new music out at the moment you can tell us about?
D: We are currently promoting our new single ‘When I Grow Up’ which is a collaboration with rapper Wiz Khalifa! It’s a different sound to what some people might expect of us but it shows another creative side to the music we love to make and feel so passionate about.
M: we’re extremely pleased with this record. The early response has been amazing from the fans and it’s a real pleasure to share a music project like this with an artist we have big respect for.
Who’s you favourite DJ to go B2B with?
D: Our brother Steve Aoki is always someone we love to share a stage with. We do a group project called ‘3 Are Legend’ and its always a wild time djing together!
If you could collaborate with anyone past or present, who would it be?
M: Dr Dre or J Dilla
D: a collab with Drake would be pretty cool
Who’s your favourite DJ to watch live?
D: Seeing Carl Cox do his thing is always amazing.
Favourite song out at the moment?
M: we’re really proud of our new record with a hero of ours Wiz Khalifa. It’s called ‘When I Grow Up’ and is definitely a record you’re going to hear a lot more about this summer!
Festival season is here, what’s your favourite thing about playing festivals?
M: The crowds and the size of the show. You can go really insane with a festival performance and we love that! It’s what our show is all about, the bigger the better!
D: the set up, the production, the weather, the people, the energy, the list of favourites is just endless! Our dj sets are made for these big occasions so we thrive on the chance to party with the crowds at a festival!
Which has been your favourite festival moment?
M: for us it will always be at our special home Tomorrowland. Playing the valley at Tomorrowland is an experience unlike anything else in the world!
D: It’s a crazy ride that is hard to describe in words but it’s a very special place to us and that mainstage is a very magical place to perform!
What separates UK festivals to those around the world?
D: I think the joke used to be the weather right? But you guys are having an amazing sunny summer from what we’re hearing. So we’d have to say the atmosphere! The UK crowds know how to party and they love it from the moment the music starts right until the very end!
M: You guys definitely know how to party with the best of them! Respect to that!
How do you spend your down time away from music?
D: whenever we’ve time off we love to just chill out with friends and family. Play some video games and just enjoy some down time. I just recently got my boat license so when in Ibiza I love to make the most of this. It’s important for the mind to unwind from the madness of a busy touring schedule.
M: we’re regular hold BBQ’s and invite our friends over for some social time. We’re both workaholics but have come to learn you need to unplug from time to time.
If you weren’t DJs, what would you be…
M: a chef..i love cooking!
D: an actor…alongside music my passion is acting.
Drink of choice on a night out?
Favourite film or TV series?
D: Game of Thrones series and the whole Jurassic Park franchise
M: the documentary ‘The Defiant Ones’ (about Dr Dre and Jimmy Lovine) is an amazing watch!
Describe your fashion/style?
D: casual but stylish
M: unique with a street edge
Words of wisdom for those wanting to make a career in music?
D: follow your dreams but do it with passion and energy! Don’t sit on the side-lines waiting for it to happen.
M: dream it and then go out and do it!
Check out their latest track ‘When I Grow Up’ below: