By: Markos Papadatos, Senior Editor
Dimitri Vegas of the world-renowned electronic dance music (EDM) duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike chatted with HNA’s Markos Papadatos about being named the No. 1 DJs in the world by DJ Magazine, and his latest endeavors, inspirations, and film career.
On being named “Best DJs in the World” by DJ Magazine, he said, “Winning any award is an honor and it’s especially a sweet feeling when it is one that is voted for by the fans. We’ve had the privilege of being selected by the fans as their No.1 DJ before but to be honest, the first time it all happens so fast that it’s hard to take it all in. So to be voted World No.1 DJs by the fans a second time gave us a chance to really take it all in.”
Regarding their music and songwriting inspirations, he said, “Well, we prefer to start the writing process separate and then come together on ideas as they develop. For myself, I find touring life really inspirational. Connecting with the fans and just the atmosphere of our shows gives me so much creative thinking. I really love that. But when it comes to music anything can inspire a great idea which is what is so liberating about making music.”
This past November, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike performed at The New York Expo Center in The Bronx as part of their “Garden of Madness” Tour, which this Powerjournalist described as “masterful.” “It means so much to us to get feedback from the fans but also the critics who actually come to the shows and can give their thoughts. Those ‘Garden of Madness’ events take us, and the team, many months to prepare and build because we try to create something unique with the show. Having a full house go as wild as the crowd did that night is all we could ever ask for. We just want to give people a great party to have a good time,” he said.
On their plans for the future, he said, “While right now, due to the lockdown period, I am using a portion of my time to focus on the various music projects we have in process at the moment. We’ve got some really exciting things to come which are going to be so cool! I am so spending some time on my acting career, there were a number of movie projects lined up but of course, the global situation with COVID-19 has halted production so everything is on hold for now.”
“I am still maintaining a commitment to learning the craft more. Besides all of that, I’m actually taking a good chunk of time to just relax, catch up with friends, family via calls and video and spending some quality time with my wife at home,” he added.
Dimitri Vegas also spoke about his film career. “My recent run of projects has been absolutely dream-come-true type roles. I’ve had a love for film since I was a young boy so to be able to appear alongside action legends like Jean-Claude Van Damme, in Lukas, and Sylvester Stallone in his final Rambo movie has been incredible. I learned a hell of a lot being on set for both movies and watching these guys do their thing on camera was a real honor,” he said.
He continued, “I also got to make an appearance in Men in Black International and really ticking off a boyhood dream by joining the Marvel Universal to voice Peter Parker in the Belgian version of their Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. Unfortunately, due to a mishap with Visa, I was unable to feature in the new Bad Boy for Life (with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith), but the directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are my brothers and we’ve discussed making it happen for the next one.”
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted his upcoming schedule for future roles. “On a personal level, it has affected many things from film roles to events we were due to perform, such as Tomorrowland, but what’s more important than all of this are people’s lives, their health, their well-being, and safety. Staying home, putting less stress on the health services and ensuring we all do our bit to stay safe and well, for ourselves and those around us, at this time is what matters most,” he said.
When asked if there were any moments in his career that helped define him, he noted that it was the adverse times that helped mold him. “The beginning was a struggle, but I believe those moments are what shape you as a person, as an artist. We’ve put countless hours into our craft because we love it. Of course, success was something we wanted to achieve but the real driver was our passion for what we were doing. The quote ‘do what you love and you will never work a day in your life’ is a true statement,” he explained.
On being an electronic artist in the digital age, he said, “Having lived in both the vinyl and digital era, I can say I much prefer this time. I love the instant access digital platforms give you to music, plus making music is a lot more convenient now, which helps a lot whilst on the road. I do miss crate-digging at record stores and I will never tire of being in the studio, but to be able to do all of this on a laptop whilst touring means you are not disconnected anymore, and I love that.”
He listed Lady Gaga and Beyoncé as his dream female collaboration choices in the music industry. “Lady Gaga would be pretty cool. We did a remix of her ‘Marry The Night’ but to get in the studio for an original collab would be great. Another artist would be Beyoncé. Her talent as an artist is huge, so working on a record with her would be something very special,” he said.
Born Dimitri Thivaios, he opened up about his Greek heritage. “Our Greek heritage is on our dad’s side of the family, our mother is Belgian. Our father is from Loutraki, next to Corinth, where growing up we spent a lot of time with family. I have fond memories of summers there. Our grandparents originally came from a nearby area called Perachora which is this really small, but beautiful town in the mountains. We’ve been going back to Greece every year since I can remember,” he said.
On the future of electronic music in the next five years, he said, “Hopefully the world will be a more peaceful, happier and safer place after this pandemic. I’ve always believed music has a powerful place in bringing people together, so I would like to think that over the next few years dance music continues to be a force in building uniting around the world.”
Dimitri Vegas defined the word success as “setting a goal, embracing the challenge and achieving that dream however big or small, it’s all personal development.”
For their fans and supporters, he concluded, “A big thank you to every one of our fans for your support and love. Stay home, stay safe and look after each other. We will get through this and we will party again soon. From myself, and Mike, we love you guys.”
Their latest “Ride It” remix is available on all digital service providers by clicking here.
Photo Credit: Boy Kortekaas