No, Julian Dzeko, 22, and Luis Torres, 25, are not Tiësto’s long-lost little brothers. Nor are they his love children. But they are getting a ton of legitimate support from the superstar as Dzeko & Torres, the latest DJs to grace the Hakkasan mega-billboard outside MGM Grand. The Canadian duo worked their way up in the industry, fueling a slew of new tracks (including “Can’t Forget” with their mentor Tiësto and their upcoming remix of Krewella’s “We Are One”), plus playing next with Tiësto at Hakkasan on July 4, then headlining at Hakkasan on July 24. We learn more about the busy boys from up north.
You guys met through an online message board?
Dzeko: We actually met online through a club community. It sort of was something to do with music, too. It had a DJ section on the website, and we started talking on the forums. Luis was a photographer; I started promoting, and that’s how we met for the first time.
What’s it like working your way up to being recognized in the industry?
Torres: It’s cool; it’s exciting. When we first started DJing in Julian’s basement, I don’t think we would ever have a residency or a bunch of shows at Hakkasan in Vegas.
Dzeko: When I was 15, I went to Vegas for the first time and had already started DJing for fun. I always had this thing with Vegas—that was my dream gig. Back then, I didn’t really know anything about Ultra or the festivals.
So Julian, when you were 15, that was around when Paul Oakenfold was in his heyday in Las Vegas as EDM was just beginning to be a main attraction.
Dzeko: Oh yeah, when were growing up, we were listening to guys like Oakenfold and obviously Tiësto. It was back more in the trance-y days; house was starting to make its way into more commercial. On the website where we met, one of the things to do on there was to share music. That’s how we discovered a lot of artists.
Dzeko, when you came to Las Vegas at 15, what did you do here since you were under 21?
Dzeko: I went there with my family; my dad had a tradeshow there. I would just walk around by myself and just walk by the clubs and look at them. [Laughing] I’d look at fliers.
You grew up admiring Tiësto. How did you ultimately get linked up with him and garner his support?
Dzeko: The first time we ever linked up in regard to music was when a friend of ours sent him our tracks three and a half years ago. I guess our name was on the radar, but I don’t think our tracks were good enough for him. I used to promote for Tiësto concerts just so I could try to give him a CD of ours. Then he played one of our remixes on his Club Life radio show, and we started talking and became good friends with him.
Would you tell aspiring DJs to go the traditional route of physically putting music in a big DJ’s hand or to email it to their demo addresses?
Torres: It’s a combination of both. You still want to send music to demo emails, because people do check their inboxes every once in a while. But there really is nothing like a personal connection, actually being there and giving somebody your music. One of the most important things that we’ve always done: If someone starts playing your music on their radio show or live, make an effort to go to their shows and try to find a way to introduce yourself, thank them and give them more of your music.