Known for his percussion-heavy progressive house beats, Berlin-based producer Thomas Gold was named the best upcoming DJ/producer of 2011 in DJ Mag by dance music powerhouses Swedish House Mafia, Axwell, Cosmic Gate, and more. Although he has been producing and DJing since 2006, last year saw a breakthrough in his career, with performances on some of the world's biggest stages, from Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival to New York City's Pacha. His remixes of Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" racked up over 12 million views on YouTube, and singles like "Eyes Wide Open" have been getting heavy rotation on BBC's Radio One. Thomas Gold recently spoke with All Shook Down about collaborating with Dirty South, GOLDcast, and why he's just so damn nice. He headlines Ruby Skye this Saturday.
Last year, year you really blew up musically, with world tours, festivals, and popular singles. At what point did you realize how big your name had become?
I think one of those moments was when I played at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas last summer. It was the biggest stage I had played on so far, and also the biggest audience, and it was huge! It was so impressive! Another moment was when I played at Pacha New York City in October. When I stepped up into the DJ booth I was overwhelmed by the welcome and the energy of the crowd. It was really the moment where I thought, 'Wow,' this is it!'
Your remix of Adele's hit "Set Fire to the Rain," has over 12 million views on YouTube. How did you go about distinguishing your remix?
I was listening to Adele's album when I was asked to do the remix on "Set Fire to the Rain." I was familiar with the track, I absolutely loved it, and I was excited to get the chance to remix it! On the other hand, I was a bit concerned as the original track is so great, it would be difficult to make a good and proper remix out of that. But as I loved the song so much, I wanted to do my best. I was so happy to get so much love for the remix when I was done! I didn't think too much about how to distinguish my mix from others, I just did what I felt about the vocal and the track; I tried to keep some of the original vibe and add my own sounds and ideas.
In 2010, I released one of my tracks "Areena" with David Tort and David Gausa on Dirty South's label, so that was when we got in first contact. After that he invited me to play with him at a couple of his own so-called "Phazing Nights" in Miami and in London.
We had dinner at one of those parties, and we just came up with the idea of doing some music together, so we started working on a rough vocal and a track idea (which was "Alive") via email and iChat. After that we went into Dirty South's L.A. based studio and spent a couple of days and nights there until we had the track! For "Eyes Wide Open," we did it in a similar way. We first exchanged some ideas online before we went into the studio again to work live on the track. I think that this is a nice way of working together, even if you are traveling a lot and not living at the same place. It's always a lot of fun being in the studio together!
Was there anything different in the creative process between the two tracks, or did you guys just stick to the same formula you had when making "Alive?"
The process itself did not change too much, but of course we changed the musical approach when we started working on "Eyes Wide Open." We did not want to just do a copy of "Alive," so we built the track from scratch again rather than using parts of "Alive." We also went into another direction regarding the groove and the overall sound. However, we tried to keep our signature sound a bit and I think you can still hear it.
You're gearing up for the release of your upcoming single "Sing2Me" on Axtone. Can you share with us a bit about this track?
This track means a lot to me! I've been working on it for quite a long time. I've been testing and tweaking it for a couple of months and now I'm really proud to have it finally released on Axtone. The track has a very musical approach; it starts with a little cozy melody which evolves into a big chord progression. There is some piano and even some orchestral strings playing, but it's all combined with fat and punchy drum beats. "Sing2Me" reflects the style I love to produce and to play in my sets. It is always one of my personal favorite moments when I drop the track in my sets and I'm happy to see all the love it gets!