When we last met with Canadian duo Julian Dzeko and Luis Torres, we gained insight into the beginnings of their joint musical endeavor, simply titled Dzeko & Torres. The young producers met online, began making electronic music together and were soon discovered by EDM heavyweight Tiësto. In a little more than a year’s time, the two producers have gone from industry newbies to certified professionals. Catch them September 12 at Hakkasan and September 13 at Wet Republic.
Last year, when you first started playing Las Vegas, you guys said that you never before expected to be able to play a club like Hakkasan. Now that you’ve done it a few times, does it feel more real?
Dzeko: Yeah. It’s not so much shock anymore. But it’s still sort of surreal when you walk into a room like Hakkasan and know that that’s where you’re playing that night.
What lessons have you learned from your first few years in the spotlight?
Dzeko: One of the most important things is to always be nice to people. Everybody that we know well in the industry are all really great people. If you’re an up-and-coming DJ and people start playing your songs, it’s important for you to build friendships on a personal level with those other artists. Make the effort to go and see that person play if they’re in your town or nearby.
Did you receive a lot of advice from Tiësto, or maybe somebody else, on how to navigate the industry, or did you have to learn the hard way?
Dzeko: That’s exactly why you would want to [make friends within the industry]. Since those guys have been in the industry for a longer time, they can tell you things and give you career advice. Even before Tiësto was part of our management team, he was still giving us advice on what to do and what songs to remix. When you’re in the position of a Tiësto or other big artists, those guys can tell what’s going to be the hot new song, or the hot new sound, and they’ll point you in that direction.
What’s one of the most difficult aspects of the industry that you’ve had to deal with?
Dzeko: Just getting people to actually support your music right at the beginning. It takes so long to be confident in your own music. Any other artist will tell you that, for the most part, we never feel like our tracks are done. We never really feel like our tracks are good enough. When you’re starting, and no one’s really playing your music yet, that’s a really big thing in your head. You’ve just got to be more confident in your music. Grow some confidence in your production. If you think it’s good, and it sounds kind of like other people’s music, it’s good enough.
Do you keep up with people that you meet while you’re on the road?
Dzeko: Yeah. We’ve built a bunch of relationships with either promoters or other DJs in certain cities. Every time we go somewhere, there’s going to be at least one person that we know who’ll just join us for dinner or show us something cool in that place. It’s pretty cool.
What music do you guys listen to when you’re not working?
Torres: I listen to Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, Drake, Kendrick Lamar …
Dzeko: It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m pre-partying to go out, I’ll listen to some kind of dance music. There are a couple of chilled-out YouTube channels that I listen to quite often. I just leave them playing in the background. I don’t really know any of the artists, to be honest.
Where do you plan to go next with your careers?
Dzeko: Our goal is to keep putting out music that will do well on charts or on the radio, and eventually be able to do our own hard-ticket tour. Right now, it’s mostly clubs and festivals. Hopefully, over time, we’ll get to the point where we’re playing better time slots, maybe headlining festivals.