He is now a major US export when it comes to EDM. He is currently on an epic world tour, including a performance on the EXIT Main Stage on Saturday, July 9th. The 26-year-old found himself on the highly well-respected Thrive label last year, which contributed to the popularity of his track “Do It to It.” It has more than 400 million streams on Spotify alone!
He himself says that the recipe for a hit seems simple, although we all know this is not the case. A combination of circumstances led to one of the most popular songs of past, present, and future summers, but it also required a lot of work and effort. We talked to him about the morning when he heard the song that he would later sample and that would make him famous, about his attitude toward his career, and what he expects from EXIT — which, of course, he has only heard good things about.
I hear congratulations are in order, right? You signed with Capitol Records! Can you tell us anything about the deal?
Thank you! My team and I have been working hard to finalize everything. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be on Capitol Records’ roster next to some living legends. I remember having Jeremy, head A&R for Capitol, in the studio listening to some of my demos and he was in shock. I really loved how passionate he was about the catalog. New music is coming soon.
Do you check the numbers for Do It To It? You are getting close to half a billion! Congrats on that as well!
It’s incredible to think that one of my songs has nearly 500 million plays. I never imagined something like this would happen lol. I was informed that it has accumulated 8.4 billion streams across all platforms, which is also mind-blowing.
Can you imagine… If you had coffee that morning and your phone was fully charged… things would be completely different? We wouldn’t have Do It To It? Or would we?
I could write an entire book about this topic because I think about it all the time. But, to be honest, I’m glad the universe chose me at that moment in time. I would never go back and change any of it. I’m ready to continue my journey and inspire as many people as possible.
We know you managed to get Cherish in the studio. How is that working out?
Yes! We’ve actually been in the studio once, but won’t be the last time. They’re so talented and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with them again.
Do you feel the culture leans in two ways and what do you think is more dominant – the ’80s disco nostalgia or the early aughts trend revival?
This is a broad question; music in general will always lean one way or the other.
However, in my opinion, today’s dance scene is heavily influenced by 80’s disco. I hear a lot of samples from that era, especially Melodies, etc. I believe that without 80’s music, much of today’s music would not exist.
Do you feel the Jersey club is sometimes looked down upon? Maybe it never had a big break in Europe? Can it be the next big thing here?
Jersey Club music is one of those genres that is underappreciated by the general public.
Its culture has so much history and amazing music that it is definitely overlooked. It hasn’t had its big break yet, but I’m sure it will one day.
What do you feel has the potential to chart/go viral/make people insane at parties and festivals?
Simplicity, short and catchy, seems to win the race, at least for me.
When was your dad like “Okay, fine. Your DJ career is valid. I’m okay with you dropping your football career”?
Most parents want their children to do “normal” things so that they can feel secure about their children’s futures. Life, in my opinion, is “high risk, high reward.” My parents didn’t like the sound of it, but they trusted me once I started succeeding.
I love the way you talk about success – depending on talent, mostly hard work, but also being at the right place at the right time. I understood it’s not about good luck, but setting yourself in situations where you can meet new people. Can you tell the kids how much actual effort goes before starting and especially now being a headliner?
The amount of effort I put into my career and my dreams hasn’t changed. I don’t get to sit back and relax just because I’m a headliner now. I think I’m working more now than I was before haha. But, in all seriousness, I truly believe that once you reach a new level, there is always room for growth and new goals to achieve; the higher you go, the more complex it becomes. When it comes to effort, I think of it as:
1. Don’t let success cloud your judgment, and remember that there is always more work to be done.
2. Practice and never give up on doing something you love. You’ll be ten times more successful if you do something you love rather than something you’re just “content” with.
How much do you know about EXIT festival and its Main Stage? Looking forward seeing you there!
I’ve heard nothing but great things about EXIT fest! It’s my first time in Serbia and I couldn’t be more excited to play some fresh music for everyone coming out to enjoy the party. Thank you for having me! I’ll see you all soon.