Dzeko & Torres. If you’re paying attention, you’ve probably seen this name floating around the internet for the past year. The Canadian duo, made up of Julian Dzeko and Luis Torres, have not only made a name for themselves in the local DJ scene, but have gained international recognition with the support of Chuckie, Tiesto, Hardwell, W&W and more. Dzeko & Torres played a one-hour opening set for Day 2 of Brrrrr! Winter Music Festival, Toronto’s first outdoor electronic music festival, earlier this month. We had a chance to catch up with them behind the scenes, check out what they had to say about their current success, the scene in Toronto and how they work together.
Hey guys! Thanks for taking the time to meet with us. You played an outstanding opening set for Toronto’s first ever winter music festival, Brrrrr! How did that go for you?
Hello! The set went really well actually! The temperature was a lot colder than we were expecting, but on stage it was nice and toasty! Everybody in the crowd was wearing coats while dancing and it looked like they were having a good time. Even from yesterday’s sets, everyone we know who went said it was one of the best events they’d ever been to. So it went really well! It also was great because we got to try a bunch of new songs of ours – that was really cool. Overall it’s been a really nice festival – a great first-time concept in Toronto.
Why do you think a festival like Brrrrr! is important for Toronto?
It’s really important because with such a long Canadian winter, we don’t generally have huge events during this season. Toronto only has four real months of summer and we had what, like three huge festivals last summer? For the rest of the 8 months there’s really nothing. We do obviously have weekly events with DJs that come from around the world at different clubs, but something like this brings the city together for one entire weekend and we don’t have anything like this until the summer. A festival like Brrrrr! is important for our scene because it’s going to keep the momentum going all year round.
Over the past few years, the name Dzeko & Torres has been popping up more and more. In such a diverse and musically talented city, how do you differentiate yourself from the others?
We used to play a lot of all-ages parties. We were sick and tired of showing up to these gigs with people not caring about who we were. You could be the best DJ in the world but if you’re not playing your own music, you’re just going to be like any other DJ. So we decided to stop doing the all-ages parties, start working on our own music, and start getting attention worldwide. That’s a big thing that a lot of local DJs don’t try to do. You have to do something different along with being recognized locally. Not to say that being big in Toronto is wrong, but the shift in focus is what has differentiated us.
Another unique thing about us – we completely stopped doing gigs for six or seven months. It was taken the wrong way by some local promoters as they didn’t understand why we stopped playing, so needless to say, it’s been hard, but now we’re at a stage where we have one foot in the door and we’d like to see where we can take this.
You are starting to build a great profile internationally. What kind of work is involved in building an international music career?
The main thing is production at this point. Being just a DJ right now doesn’t take you anywhere really. We’re going to start touring March to get some good gigs under our belt and then get back into the studio and make more tracks. Right now we have eight tracks, waiting to get out, and that’s the biggest thing – do the tracks, get them ready and then go tour.
Talk to us about your productions – what has been your proudest moment in this musical journey?
The proudest moment has to be when we did a remix for Chuckie, “Who Is Ready To Jump?”, and we were in Saskatoon when one of our friend’s texted saying Hardwell opened up with our remix at Sensation. Soon after, Tiesto played it, and then W&W. After that, a lot of people were playing it which gave us good attention. The other cool thing is Chuckie released our remix for free on his Soundcloud. Our name was on his Soundcloud, which was amazing.
Wow, what a moment that must have been. Speaking of Sensation, what would be your dream gig?
Dzeko: I’d have to say EDC Mainstage in Las Vegas
Torres: Definitely Tomorrowland.
Is music production and DJing your full-time gig now?
Yes, it has been for the past year, full-time.
What do you enjoy the most/least about working together?
Torres: Oh that’s a good question! I don’t like deadlines. Julian’s really on my ass about getting stuff done. At first I hated it, but I guess now it works. As we grew together, we grew as a team and we work really well together now. I hated that he was always on my back, but now I appreciate it.
Dzeko: I’d probably have to say the same thing.
Now tell us, what do you have coming up in 2013?
2013 is going be an exciting year for us. We’ve got a few tours lined up around Canada, the US and overseas too. We’re also playing festivals like Ultra and Tommorowland which we are super excited about! Also look for a lot of new music from us, and a lot of free stuff via our Soundcloud and Facebook. We are really excited for 2013!
That’s amazing! With Tomorrowland coming up it sounds like you are going to see your dream come true afterall! Good luck gentlemen, and all the best.
Yes! The first part of our dream is coming true.
Thank you for the interview!
Jayson Brown & Anjali Handa – EDM TOR