Interview with Pete Tong

Interview with Pete Tong

by Marcos Colón
09.07.2010

One of the busiest men in electronic music is Pete Tong. Not only is he one of the most recognized voices in the music genre (and he's not even a singer), but he's also a widely known DJ/producer that tours the world playing some of the biggest and most popular clubs around. His 'Wonderland' parties in Ibiza are massive and his mix compilations are one of the most regarded. He's not back on a U.S. tour and spreading the musical word as much as he can. We caught up with Pete while he had some time off of his busy schedule to chat about his 'Wonderland' experience this past summer, electronic music in the U.S., and what he finds difficult about his yearly schedule.

Club Planet: What were some highlights at Wonderland this summer?

Pete Tong:
Just being in out third year was a highlight because we have really established the idea of Wonderland in Ibiza. So every week has been a bit of an extravaganza. We had a huge night with Fat Boy Slim recently, and Afrojack, Aeroplane, Laidback Luke, Mark Knight and Calvin harris all tore the roof off. I have been really happy with our 2010 production as well the visuals from Microchunk and performers have been inspired. Still to come in September, Erol Alkan and Boyz Noise, Felix da Housecat and Dubfire.

Club Planet: When putting together your "Wonderland' mix, is there a formula that you stick to, or does your thought process change year in and year out?

Pete Tong:
I try to create a mood first and foremost that represents the party and a mix that will be more timeless. If you just go for the big hits it's difficult to be unique and it can date the mix. I also try and weave tunes together in a more creative way than just joining them together A. B. C., ect. I'm also looking to introduce some new producers and DJs.

Club Planet: In your opinion, which region in the world is really capitalizing on electronic music at the moment? Where are the best new producers coming from?

Pete Tong:
Holland is on fire with tech-house and Dirty Dutch, Joris Voorn, 2000 and One, Madskillz, Afrojack, Chuckie, it's insane! Germany is also offering many talented new producers. These two places stand out for me. But watch out for Switzerland and Canada. I'm hearing great things on a regular basis.

Club Planet: Last time we chatted you mentioned that you believe that the popularity of electronic music in the states could be just a wave of popularity. Do you still have the same thoughts, or has that changed?

Pete Tong:
I said it's cross over appeal comes and goes but the underground is pretty steady. Obviously the interest is very high right now thanks to both David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia's success and the popularity of the big dance festivals. Eletronica finally influencing the electronic hip-hop and R&B world is a testament to the success right now.

Club Planet: You're one of the biggest radio personalities in the world, a world-renowned DJ, and you still manage to find time to get into the studio. What's the most challenging part of your yearly schedule?

Pete Tong:
The biggest challenge is always moving the agenda forward and opening new doors. It would be much easier to stand still and just answer the phone and do the gigs but I always try and have a plan and do new and exciting thing. Never stand still!

Club Planet: You're set to perform in Miami for Labor Day weekend, which is one of the biggest weekend's in Miami outside of WMC. What do you think makes Miami such a special market for EDM?

Pete Tong:
Miami has invested a great deal in clubs and performance spaces. The venues, the sound systems, the lighting and visuals and the management. It has a long history going back to the days of disco and it's a real party town and home of the Winter Music Conference. It's always going to play a big role in the North American market.

Club Planet: Who is currently on the rise in dance music that everyone should keep an ear out for?

Pete Tong:
Luciano, Afrojack and Aeroplane have had big summers. Three corners of the musical spectrum! From and underground point of view Davide Squillace, Nicole Moudaber, Gary Beck and Carlo Lio are all making great music too.

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