Toronto DJ’s talk about their humble beginnings and Canadian dance music scene
By Bigoa Machar, Arts Editor
With platforms like Soundcloud and YouTube allowing artists to upload music for free, more and more artists are able to create and spread their own music. For Luis Torres and Julian Dzeko, their dream of DJing became a reality after meeting each other online.
“It was a small online community that was specifically for people who had an appreciation for DJing. It wasn’t anything like a Facebook group with millions of members,” says Torres. “It had a few thousand members that would meetup at events. That’s how we became friends and started making music together.”
After making some tracks together, the duo Dzeko & Torres was born. Dzeko says that it took a while for people to discover their music. While it was a struggle at first, Torres says the sacrifice was well worth it.
“Long before we got any support we were just working out of Julian’s mother’s basement practicing how to DJ and make music at the same time,” says Torres. “The first person who ever supported us was DJ Chuckie, which was a few years before Tiesto even started listening to our stuff.”
While it’s one thing to get the world’s biggest DJ to appreciate your work, Torres says that was just the beginning and there was no room to mess up.
“When success did come, it did come really quickly and all at once, but that’s really how this industry works,” says Torres. “Someone gives you a break and you gotta do whatever it takes to not mess that break up. Once we got our break from Tiesto, we really wanted to focus on making better music.”
In order to ensure they took full advantage of this opportunity, the two quit their regular jobs and began focusing on music full time. Torres says this was a once in a lifetime opportunity he wanted to commit his full attention to.
“We wanted to put 100% of our effort into our music and not mess this up,” Torres. “There’s so many other people trying to get the same break we did and once you’re there you have to take full advantage of it.”
Although the two have been able to make a career out of music, Torres says there’s still some jitters when going on stage.
“I think the pre-show are the most important. You’re backstage and you’re wondering how you’re going to keep all these people entertained at the same time,” says Torres. It’s kind of a weird feeling, but it’s really cool at the same time knowing so many people showed up to hear your music. It’s a huge rush as soon as you step out.”
Although there are a wide range of emotions while performing, Torres says the two have the comforting state of mind that the crowd is behind them.
“We used to be super nervous when we’d go up because we really didn’t have that much of a name and nobody really knew us,” Torres says. “So we were playing for the crowd more so at that time, which we still do. That’s what Tiesto taught us to do, but we’re taking more risks with it.
Dzeko adds that fan love helps fuel what they need to go all out on stage.