We caught up with Mexican duo Tom & Collins after their victorious Miller SoundClash performance in Las Vegas. The affable duo overcame stiff opposition from DJs across the globe to reach the final, where they wowed the crowds at Marquee Dayclub with an infectious performance packed with exclusives and bootlegs constructed especially for the event. Their first task as Miller SoundClash champions was to warm up for Dash Berlin at the Top 100 DJs Party at Marquee Nightclub in Las Vegas. Here is their story…
Congratulations on winning Miller SoundClash. How does it feel?
“Amazing we really can’t believe it. we had great time [in Las Vegas] both at the day and night party. It really shocking that we won - we were up against some really great DJs and we feel so lucky and grateful to be winners!”
The standard of all of the entrants was so high. What do you think it was that gave you the edge?
“I don’t know, we didn’t want to look at the competition in advance. We knew who they were but decided not to look at their Mixcloud pages or anything like that. We came here to do our thing and hope that people liked it. If we started to compare ourselves to everyone then we may have made ourselves nervous. When we got here we saw that the competition was really tough. The other finalists were all really good DJs from all around the world. They had a really good attitude and energy so it was pretty shocking to hear that we won, but it was like this from the beginning when we heard that we had won the wildcard competition [to make it to Vegas], it was unexpected and just an amazing feeling!”
So did you have a game plan? And if so, did you stick to it?
“At the Top 100 DJs Party we improvised but for the competition at Marquee Dayclub we had a plan and a tracklist worked out. Then we decided that based on the set time we were give we would decide to take risks or not. We played one song called ‘Rude’, which is a reggae song, so we said like ‘lets do our thing’. We kind of stuck to the game plan but also kinda didn’t, if you know what I mean? You know, when you have 20 mins, you have to keep people entertained but you also need to show the judges that you know what you are doing so we just kind of decided to pull as much together as possible in 20 minutes, but without it sounding sound cheesy. It was a hard set, actually. It is much harder to play a 20 minute set than an hour and a half set!”
Definitely. OK, lets go back a bit further then. What is the history of Tom & Collins?
TOM: "Our story is really funny. It has been very casual and spontaneous. A couple of years ago one of my friends opened a club and he asked me to get involved. I didn’t even DJ at the time but he was like ‘hey you should make a playlist and take care of the music’, so I called [Collins] and we met up and said ‘lets do it together and just see what happens’. He showed me a couple of weeks before how to DJ and that is exactly how it started. We played one night together, we didn’t even have a name or anything like that but people just loved it, they were like this is amazing. So it progressed like that for a couple of months and then we decided to start producing music and we came up with a name and it has all been pretty surprising and spontaneous."
Great story! So where does the name Tom & Collins, come from?
“Ah it is [the cocktail] we used to drink, but then we got a little bit sick of gin! But it came about because we needed a name for the flyers, we used to use our real names. Then thought well ‘what can we do?’ We went for Tom Collins and it just sticks. Every time I tell somebody they like it and they don’t forget about it. It is not a complicated name so we really like it.”
So we know you guys have been busy in the studio. What do you have coming up?
"Yeah we have done some deep house tracks, some EDM tracks and some remixes. I guess we don’t close ourselves to a genre, so whatever we are feeling at that moment is what we do. We are doing an EP right now and speaking to labels about that, but we still have to finish three tracks from this. The stuff [we played at Marquee] was really stuff we were doing live, exclusively for our sets, like edits mash-ups and originals that we make for our live sets, but we don’t release those. They are just things that we use to surprise the crowd - you know stuff they have never heard before, but at the same time, they know it. But they cant Shazam it [laughs]."
Finally, what do you have coming up gig wise? Where can people catch Tom & Collins live?
"We have two big festivals we can announce which we are really excited about. One is EDC Mexico, with Dash Berlin, Laidback Luke and us, so we are so happy to be on that line up. The other is Beyond Wonderland in San Francisco, which is the first one in the USA, so it is a really massive thing for us. We are so excited about the whole concept too, so we want to see like all the production and stuff as it has a really cool like Alice in Wonderland theme"
Great stuff guys. Thanks for talking to us. Any final thoughts?
"We just want to thank DJ Mag, Miller, Insomniac, Mixcloud and everyone who has been part of this competition, because you don’t see this every day -you know a DJ competition taken seriously so many sponsors and good people coming together so we thank you so much."
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