Check out the exclusive Q&A with one of EDM's biggest names.
Before DJ Thomas Gold began his set at the SLS' Foxtail pool during a blazingly hot weekend in Las Vegas, the world-renowned DJ sat down for a quick chat with BreatheHeavy.com to discuss his latest musical endeavors. He's currently traveling the world playing sold-out music festivals (including EDC, one of the world's largest hosted just outside Vegas), premiered his music video last week for the awe-inspiring "Believe" track featuring Bright Lights and is finalizing his upcoming record before heading home to Berlin, Germany to record in the studio some more.
What's the inspiration behind "Believe?"
I started with a little musical idea - some cords - I just wanted to express some emotions with the instruments I use. I used a little bit of guitar, piano, and its a very emotional track. I was in touch with Heather (Blind Lights) anyway, and she offered to write something for one of my tracks, so I sent this short idea to her. She was like, 'yeah I like it!' I shaped it up a little bit to make it easier for her to write on. After a few weeks she got back to me with this incredibly great vocal. It was nearly finished already. She's so professional.
What was it like to premiere the song at EDC?
EDC, especially the Las Vegas one, is one of the biggest festivals in the world. For me it's one of the greatest festivals. I had one of my most exciting moments there in my life when I played the main stage for the first time. A couple of years ago alongside Swedish House Mafia and Avicii, it was such a great night. [Three] weeks ago when I played the circuit round stage, it was amazing. The production was insane. It was one of the biggest stages I have ever seen. It's just a lifetime experience to play there.
Was Heather Bright (Blind Lights) your first choice feature for "Believe?"
Yes she was my first choice. We're actually working on a second track already. She's going to send over the rough vocal in a few days, and I'm super excited. She said it's the same kind of vibe. I can't wait for that.
Does the new track have a name yet?
No no no. I don't even know the lyrics yet! She always keeps it a secret until she sends it. When she sends it - it's already worked out perfectly. It's so amazing with her. We're still working on it, but I hope we can get it out by the end of the year.
Tell us about your new single "Take Me Home."
"Take Me Home" is a very emotional track as well. The lyrics are kinda sad, actually. When we talked about what we would do for the video, I wanted to have it in the same kind of mood - it doesn't have to reflect the actual story behind the lyrics - cause this is a very private story, and I wouldn't do it in the video, but we came up with this idea... sometimes people don't react as you would expect them to react. Things can change really quickly. The guy who is a nerd in the beginning [of the video], and nobody really likes him, and everybody is laughing at him. But he shows them what he's really capable of. At the end he wins the girl and everything's fine, and he gains a lot of respect for that. It shows that if you work hard, even though it doesn't seem like it, at the end you can be a winner and you can surprise people, and that's what life is all about.
Would you say you surprise yourself in life?
Sometimes yeah. I'm one of these guys that believes in stuff. Sometimes you have to believe for a long time. You have to really hope, and stick to what you're doing. At the end there might be a little surprise, like 'oh wow it works out.' What I'm doing now, it has been my vision, my dream since I was a little kid. It took me awhile to get there, but now I'm living my dream. There are still surprises in life. That's what life is about.
Are you successful?
For myself, I am. When I was a kid, my dream was... I told people when they asked me 'what do you want to do?' I said I want to do something where I can be creative. Where I can realize my own ideas - that was important to me. I'm doing exactly what I love now - it's my passion. I made my hobby or my passion into a job. When I get up in the morning I'm like 'Wow I can work on some music.' I can make another track, and I go out here and play and see people having fun. I'm super happy.
Was there ever a moment you doubted yourself?
Sometimes there are these moments. When you do a track and you send it out to people, and you don't get the feedback you may have expected. Even if it's my management that tell me 'No, we don't think it's good.' Or the label doesn't like it. If this happens a few times in a row, you may kind of start thinking about it. I think it's a good thing. I would never say all the stuff I do is perfect and is the shit and it's the best. Sometimes I do a lot of crap as well (laughs).
What's one of your favorite collaborations?
It was a collaboration remix I did with Axwell called "Blow Up" a couple of years ago when they put me on the label. I was so proud when Axwell sent me an email saying 'Hey, I really like what you're doing.' And I sent him a first draft of the remix and he said, 'Can we do it together?' I said sure! That's one of my biggest collaborations still today. He was so cool and he gave me so much advice, musically and also synergy wise for the industry.
He told me about his own career and history, how he started in small clubs, playing in bars. Saying, 'Hey, it's all good. Take your time. In the beginning, things might seem different than they turn out at the end.' He's a very down-to-Earth guy and a musical inspiration to me.
Who are some artists you're listening to?
I'm still listening to this group from Berlin called Moderat. They are like super dubby, minimal house. It's a very warm sound they're making. I read an article about how they produce their stuff, and it's totally different from how we do it in EDM and house. I really like the album they did - it's a nice flow of music.
Lana Del Rey (Gold also reveals he's working with Nile Rogers at an artist camp soon).
What's an inspirational mantra that you live by?
Keep it positive. You can reach it if you want. If you really stick to [it]. I'm a very optimistic person. If you really wanna do something, you can do it. It's not always easy, and sometimes things seem to be impossible, but I would not say 'No, it's not gonna happen.' I would say, 'Come on, let's try and try harder and try harder.' From my personal experiences, this almost always works. Sometimes it's not always possible, but it's worth a try.