elektro exclusive interview with Tom Swoon
Tell us a little about how the scene was in Poland, where you grew up.
Tom: When I started to produce and DJ, it was pretty much only influenced by Germany with all the Techno and Trance. Now it’s changing now with the trends and festivals that are going on the US. We are definitely catching up and growing with it. For example one of the biggest festivals called Sunrise only use to bring Trance artists but this year apart from myself there were many artists like Danny Avilla, Dada Life, W&W, Nervo etc... I think the makeover is gonna help the festivals go toward the UMF style.
Were your family and friends supportive?
Tom: Well at first it started out as just fun playing at local discos playing Top 40 music only. Then after a year I started producing my own stuff with Deadmau5-Kaskade-ish progressive style. From there it kinda evolved to what I do now. So then my family started supporting me and loved that I had a hobby aside from high school. But its quite difficult for me to see friends, because when I’m home, I’m constantly focusing on things like music production, video editing and all the emails. But I do try my best to catch up with them any time I get cause they have always been there for me.
Do you enjoy production more than performing live?
Tom: It’s a difficult question because I love both. Its hard to compare. Production is just me and the computer and sometimes when your producing for hours and days you think like your track is gonna be amazing but when you play it live its like “meh..”. So I think its all about testing everything on the road. I use to be a huge introvert but I love Djing now because it really allows me to connect to the crowd. But I love the calm music production gives me.
In the early stage, you received a lot of good feedback from people like Gareth Emery and Nervo, how did that help you in launching this successful career?
Tom: You mentioned Nervo and Gareth Emery. They were the first big names but in different ways. Gareth simply picked up my bootleg of one his tracks and played it on his radio show, so that relationship evolved to where I made some remixes for him. Nervo kinda spotted me and we kept in touch, had a few Skype conversations and met in person too. I was very star-struck at that point, going back and forth with big names that I admired. The feeling never gets old even if it’s a small support on a single track I always really appreciate it.
How did the relationship with Ultra Music develop?
Tom: It was around the same time as when I met Nervo and Gareth. I was producing kinda my own stuff for a while and so me and my manager who is my current manager decided to send three of my tracks to a few labels like Spinnin and Ultra. Ultra were the ones that reached out with a long-term contract and it was a good opportunity so we decided to give it a shot.
You had a manger before you got signed?
You collaborated with people like Ama Sheppard before. Is there any upcoming collaboration for you?
Tom: Well I can briefly talk about a few upcoming ones. I’m doing a track with John Dahlback. Also I’m speaking to Laidback Luke about maybe doing a track. I think the collaboration with Luke would be great cause it would be a great mixture of melodic producer with a bigroom smasher. Plus I respect him a lot since he is always helping the younger producers. And Ill be jamming with a few vocalists in the next three days here in LA.
What’s your advice for young producers?
Tom: Don’t spam! And be patient... I know it’s hard to get your stuff to bigger names. But some of the people spam for the wrong reasons. It almost overloads my mailbox. So when I see a guy sending his tracks everyday without me even having the chance to open it, it leaves a bad impression. Looks like they are not careful with their music. If your confident in your music just send it out and don’t write a long email. Just wrap it up in a few sentences about yourself. Age doesn’t matter anymore, so it doesn’t really help to say “I’m only 16 years old...”, If the music is good, its good.
Check out a live set from Tom Swoon below!