Polish DJ Tom Swoon will help El Santo in Scottsdale celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, taking to the DJ booth prior to Porter Robinson. From the beginning of his career, only a few years ago, Swoon has emerged rapidly into the EDM scene and is now making himself known throughout North America.
We got together with Tom Swoon to talk about his recent success and what he expects during his first Cinco de Mayo experience ever.
Up on the Sun: I understand you're super busy lately, thanks to your North American tour. How are things going?
That is correct, indeed! The last months have been really busy for me. I'm going from one tour to another and in between I'm in my studio, working on my upcoming singles.
You've made some breakthroughs on the EDM scene, especially in North America, over the past year.
It's truly unbelievable. My career as Tom Swoon started not even a year ago. If somebody would have told me that after one year, I would have already been touring around the world and make remixes for artists such as Linkin Park, Steve Aoki, Nervo etc. I would tell that person to stop dreaming. I can still not believe this is all happening right now, to be honest.
Now, you're very young in the game [Swoon was born in 1993]. When did you decide to start creating EDM? What made you choose this progressive house vibe and sound?
It all started for me at the age of 14 [or] 15, when I was playing on a rhythm guitar in a rock/alternative band. And then later I literally fell in love with progressive house music and decided to become a DJ.
First it was all about mixing in the clubs, practicing at home. I wasn't even thinking about producing my own stuff, but in 2010 I asked myself - why not ? I can always give it a try, who knows what's gonna happen... And it's happening. Now.
I have a big list of artists I look up to, but surely Deadmau5 and Daft Punk are on that list. Besides them I can still appreciate my old rock Idols.
You were formerly known as Pixel Cheese; could you tell me why you made the switch?
I just felt it was right to change my artist name from Pixel Cheese into Tom Swoon. As Pixel Cheese was more the name of a bedroom producer, and now Tom Swoon feels more mature and representative of the music that I produce.
After all, to SWOON is to lose consciousness for a short duration of time, which is what I want my music to be about.
You actually were able to score more than a million views on YouTube for a mash-up you created of David Guetta & Avicii vs. Laidback Luke - "Till Sunshine," I believe. What gave you the idea for it? Did you expect so much success behind it?
I was just playing around in the studio with the melody from David Guetta and Avicii's upcoming production, with some vocals of Jonathan Mendelsohn and a little bit of my own production.
I could only imagine this scoring more than a million views on YouTube. This bootleg boosted my career and actually introduced me to the EDM audience. People started to follow my music and me. And I got noticed by record labels, artist management companies, and most importantly the people that love dance music.
I won't lie, I keep listening to "Not Too Late." How was working with Amba Shepherd?
I'm glad you like the track. It was absolutely great to work with such a talented vocalist. We got in touch via Twitter and she was very enthusiastic when I sent her the instrumental of my track.
At the moment the video clip of "Not Too Late" is being finalized and will be out mid-May on Ultra. I cannot reveal anything about the video clip, only that it was shot in Tokyo with unique video effects.
Now, you'll be preforming on May 5 in Arizona at El Santo. I was wondering if you knew anything about Cinco de Mayo in America, especially within southern American states? It started out as the day that marked the Battle of Puebla, basically when Mexican-American communities were formed. And now in America, it's mostly turned into a day where people go drink margaritas and have a great time.
To be very honest, I did not know anything about Cinco de Mayo till now. Wherever I play, luckily enough, everybody is in for a big fat party. So that everybody will be even more into a party on the 5th of May is just great. I've marked this date in my calendar for a very long time.
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Porter Robinson will be playing the same day at El Santo. Have you ever met the man himself?
Yes I have met him once. I've played together with him at Ministry Of Sound in London, last year. He was a nice guy and we kept in touch after the event to share music.
Your tour is just kicking off. How excited are you about spreading your sounds throughout North America?
I am very happy and thankful for this. I also believe that the crowd in the US is by far one of the best crowds I have ever seen. Landing in the US feels like coming home. I am even thinking about moving to the US at the moment.