Hailing from Canada, Dzeko is a DJ/producer who flexes his ability to make all different kinds of dance music. Formerly part of the duo Dzeko & Torres, real name Julian Dzeko is ready to carry on the name and brand he’s worked so hard to build throughout the years. His accomplishments include his very loyal fanbase and a number of releases that have reached #1 on the Beatport charts. Read more…
Now, he celebrates a spot on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom roster and a new single called “Jackie Chan” featuring Post Malone and Preme. This is what happens when dance music’s hottest DJs link up with hip-hop and R&B’s hottest artists.
You’re from Canada. How does that play into your life and your career?
Being from Canada, sometimes it’s been an advantage. I’ve had really good opportunities being Canadian. There’s also a really big dance scene in Canada — being friends with other Toronto rappers and DJs, and EDM DJs.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
I’ve been coming to LA since I was 17. I think it’s good to be here to be in the mix of things with other DJs, artists, singer-songwriters, because there’s a lot of people out here. But my advice is to really try to plan — not plan things, but basically have a purpose for actually coming here. Versus some people just think, “Oh, I’m going to come to LA and be the next whatever.” It’s not like that at all. You have to have some sort of plan.
I recently interviewed Flosstradamus, who also just recently split from being a duo. What’s been the biggest challenge in the transition?
The biggest challenge is probably you’re just used to being with a partner for so long. It’s almost like a relationship: you’ve been with someone or working with someone for so long, it just feels different.
What do you miss most?
Probably working together full time.
“Jackie Chan” is a vibe. Can you talk about the making of the record and how it came about? I know it was in Vegas.
I’ve been good friends with Preme, who’s also from Toronto. I’ve also known Post Malone, I met him for the first time about three years ago. I’ve seen him from before he was the superstar he is now — or the rockstar I would say. Tiesto and I heard the vocal and we decided we’d try to give it a shot — give it more of an upbeat, dance-y vibe to it. The way it worked out with timing and everything, it came out right before summer. It was perfect.
In light of your new single, where do you fit in the realm of dance, hip hop, and R&B?
I would say I still try to keep it dance-y. No matter what, I’ll always keep the song somewhat of a dance song, or some elements of a dance song.
Talk about your relationship with Tiesto, and how you guys first met.
I met Tiesto for the first time in Mexico, in Playa del Carmen when I was like 19. Torres and I actually opened for him. We were on emails because a friend of ours from Toronto would send our music to him. It was cool to meet him for the first time, and he’s always been like a mentor for me now. It’s cool because I’ve looked up to him as a DJ from the beginning. It’s really cool to have a track with him, Preme, and Post.
What does it mean to be a part of his Musical Freedom label?
I really like being part of and releasing songs on Musical Freedom because they’re also a good label for songs. You’re free, like I don’t have to only release on Musical Freedom. I can have two or three songs come out on there, and then maybe do another one on another label. They’ve always been really supportive with all of my tracks. They’ve always been a really good label, and the music they put out is awesome.
What’s the best piece of advice Tiesto has given you?
There’s a lot of different things he’s taught me. A new one… probably to always work on music you really enjoy, and what makes you happy. Don’t do things that you don’t want to do.
What did you do with your first advance?
We paid off our Visa. [laughs] Our Visa bill from three years ago.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Right now, I’ve been mostly focusing on music and going to the studio. I’ve sort of not taken time off from touring, I’ve just been mostly focusing on finding new songs or following up. My day to day stuff is I’m always working. Wake up, go on my laptop, look at my emails — I’ve got to work on that one. I’m just always focusing.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Honestly, the last real job I had was at a phone store. I’m not sure what I’d be doing. I never had a backup plan.
Three things you need on tour?
My headphones, my laptop, and hair product. [laughs]
Best encounter you’ve had with a fan?
I deejayed a party in St. Louis. After the gig, I brought five or six of the fans who were there to my room with the promoter, just playing them new tracks and getting their feedback. These were fans we had as Dzeko and Torres, so they just saw me as my first solo. I was just like, “You guys want to come up?” I just played them tracks and got their feedback.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
I don’t know… ‘cause I know Drake will never happen.
You never know!
True. I’ve worked with Roy Woods, but haven’t had a collab. Roy Woods, and Martin Garrix.
Anything else you want to let us know?
I have a lot of new tracks coming out. They are more like DJ tracks, but I’m also working on a follow-up to “Jackie Chan.”