We caught up with Duo DJs Tough Love to talk about their new music, festivals, fashion and what’s in store for summer.
How did you guys meet?
We met in London almost a decade ago playing the same club circuit.
How did you come up with the name Tough Love?
We were actually looking for a name for a media company we were putting together. We wanted something that represents working hard (tough) for the love of music. Tough Love was one of the names we came up with and it just felt like a better fit for us as an act.
Where and when did you play your first ever set together?
Our first set was 7 years ago at The Egg alongside No Artificial Colours & JR. We still have really fond memories of that party.
When was the moment you realised you can make a career in music?
Way before Tough Love to be honest. We’ve both worked in music for a long time now and done various sides of the business. Producing and writing for other people, running clubs, club nights, label heads & A&Rs. There isn’t much we haven’t done!
What’s the best part about being duo DJs? Why not ride solo?
It’s as simple as this; you need someone to share the good times together with and someone to pick you up when you’re down. A life in anything creative can be lonely, especially when your life is living from hotel to hotel on tour.
Name the three main artists you had on your playlist growing up?
Roger Sanchez, Groove Armada, Fatboy Slim,
If you could collab with someone past or present, who would it be?
One of the guys we just mentioned would be amazing. We’ve got a new record coming with Roger, so if Groove Armada or Norman are up for doing something, we’re all ears!
Favourite DJ to go B2B with?
We recently played a show with Trutopia for Desperado. We’re really good friends with the boys which makes a big difference for b2b session. When it’s all 4 of us on the decks it’s pure fire!
Favourite song out at the moment?
Chris Hartwig – Bang The Groove
Have you got any new music coming out soon?
Loads. In the past few weeks we’ve dropped ‘Dancin’ Kinda Close’ which is sitting pretty in the Beatport Top 5. We’ve got an underdog in record on Simma Black called ‘Boom Boom Kick’ and we just released ‘Keeping Warm’ on our label Get Twisted which we’re really excited about. Next up we’ve got a big club cut on our favourite Australian label Club Sweat; we’re compiling and mixing the new Pure House album which will feature four exclusives from us. And if that doesn’t get your juices flowing, we’ve just signed a new deal with One More Tune and Warner UK, and our new single ‘Rain Dance’ will be dropping this summer.
You’re playing We Are FSTVL on the 26th May, what’s the best thing about playing festivals?
The energy of the crowds. Everyone is there for the music and for the right reasons. Hopefully the sun stays out and we can have a ripper on the Mainstage with thousands of people dancing to the sound of some quality House music.
Which has been your favourite festival moment?
We played a festival called La Solar last year in the jungle in Medellin Columbia. We never thought our music would touch people that far away from our hometown of London, so it was pretty crazy to play in front of thousands of people under the stars in a jungle!
UK festivals or abroad?
They’re totally different, you can’t compare them. We obviously love travelling the world & the festivals we’ve played in the states are huge, but there is something special about playing at home
Are you hitting up a lad’s holiday this year?
Well, Alex gets married in a couple of weeks so we’re both going to take a week off to celebrate then. We’ll probably take some extra days in Marbella & Ibiza as well, so we get some time to soak in the sun.
What else have you got planned this summer?
We’re in Marbella every Thursday at Aqwa Mist with Pure House. We’re doing four shows with Cutting Edge at Eden Ibiza, a couple with Together at Amnesia and a few more on the White Isle we can’t announce yet. Then you can find us in all the big holiday islands and of course all over the UK.
If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be…
We’d probably both be professional sportsman. we’re highly competitive! But our bodies are giving up on us now. Alex like to build and ride motorbikes in his spare time so that’s a dream job for him. Stef would have to keep it creative, anything that involves making or creating things is right up his street, fashion, art, graphic design etc
Alex – Well obviously I’m going to say my better half Jess otherwise she might not turn up at the wedding. But I do have a crush on Eva Mendez!
Stef – Eva Mendez is a great shout but I’m a fan of curvy brunettes with blue eyes. Adriana Lima will do.
Drink of choice on a night out?
Alex – Hendricks & Tonic
Stef – Lemon & Ginger with soda water.
Favourite film or TV series?
Alex – Peaky Blinders
Stef – Shawshank Redemption
Describe your fashion/style?
Alex – Rugged
Stef – Understated Smart Casual.
Who would you consider a style influencer for you?
Alex – I’m a big denim wearer and if you haven’t noticed I have tattoos, a moustache. For me, a good pair of jeans, kicks, tee & jacket is perfect. So…I guess I’m influenced by more classic guys like James Dean
Stef – I like to dress for the occasion and like to think I have the ability to pull off a smart suit when needed and a more casual look when I don’t. Alex can rock a bin bag and somehow make it work. Always liked the style of guys like Andre 3000 but I’m not ballsy enough to pull off some of those looks so I’d probably say post Man Utd David Beckham.
Finally, words of wisdom for those wanting to make it in music
“Follow your dreams not the trend”
Take a listen to Keeping Warm below & download it here.