"I thought it was a joke...I started freaking out..." -Dirty South
Dirty South sits down with eventvibe and discusses his touring and musical influences.
EV : You were nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for your remix work, along with Benny Benassi and others. What went through your head when you got the news of your nomination?
DS : I just landed in Miami right before New Years Eve, and I turned my phone on. All these congratulations messages started coming in. At first I thought it was a joke, but then so many messages came through, and I started freaking out from the news. It was a huge thing for me. I was really happy and it was a great way to finish of the year.
EV : Every time a Dirty South track or remix is dropped in a club or festival, the dance floors fill up! How did you come about your signature sound? What was your musical influence?
DS : I don't really have a specific formula on how the sound is developed, but all the tracks I make are for the dance floor, so when I create tracks, I try to imagine how they would work in the club. My influence and inspiration comes from everything around me.
EV : You're the first Australian in the last decade to be featured by Pete Tong and win his Essential Tune Award with that HUGE remix, It's Too Late by Evermore. What was it like to have your music become a worldwide anthem?
DS : It's a great feeling. Everybody listens to Pete's show. He is like a god of dance music. So when a god plays your music and everybody listens, it's a very good thing.
EV : You've worked closely with the Swedish House Mafia (Angello, Ingrosso, Axwell, Prydz). How did you get involved with the SHM?
DS : We are all very good friends. I think we met while touring around, and that's the best way really. Every now and then we do a project together, otherwise we get together and chill out.
EV : Speaking of your work with Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso, is it true you worked on your remix of their Body Crash track at Eventvibe.com's founder, Tim Ortiz' house?
DS : Yes that is true. Tim is a great guy, so when I stayed at his place, I worked on the remix and even taught him a little bit of production. Who knows, he might be the next big thing!!!
EV : How long have you been deejaying/producing, and what sparked your initial interest in deejaying when you were younger?
DS : I've been doing this whole music thing for 4-5 years roughly. In the beginning it was just messing around with other people's music, mashing up tracks and doing edits. Then I got more serious and I bought some music equipment and started creating original music. I basically taught myself all the ins and outs and worked my ass off to put as many things out as possible.
EV : What experiences stand out most in shaping your career?
DS : I would say the things that stand out would be Pete Tong, Grammy's, all the amazing gigs (too many to mention) and all the great people I've met along the way.
EV : You have an immense tour schedule, how many days out of the year do you tour? How do you juggle your tours with your production schedule?
DS : I tour like crazy, but I think I will slow it down slightly this year. Production time is basically whenever I can get some. I do music on the planes, hotels, Tim's house and so on. I have a studio at home in Australia, but I'm rarely there and it hardly gets used, so my studio is with me all the time.
EV : You've gone around the world and had a hell of a year. What are your plans for 2009?
DS : The plan is to continue to spread the music around and I will be doing that through my label this year. It's exciting as it is a new thing for me, so I want to get it right, this is why I'm putting a lot of energy into this project.
EV : When you produce, do you have a certain method or criteria when choosing projects, or is it something that happens on a whim?
DS : Its just one of those things where the track needs to hit me with something, otherwise I don't get interested. It could be a vocal or a melody, but it needs to connect with me.
Over the past 3 years, Dirty South aka Dragan Roganovic has made an
instant name for himself in the dance music industry, impressing the
who’s who of international DJs, producers, media and music lovers with
his uncanny ability to dish up ready-made dancefloor bombs. Inspired by everyone from Led Zeppelin and later The Neptunes, Dragan
focussed his attention on producing mash-ups and bootleg tracks, with
his natural ability to produce devastating dancefloor weapons seeing
DJs clamber for promos – something that still characterises his rampant
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE DIRTY SOUTH MUSIC
The international attention didn’t take too long to swell either. When
Dragan injected his trademark house groove into Evermore’s ‘It’s too
Late’ rock hit in 2006, the entire dance music world stood up and took
notice. Included on his self-titled EP of 2006 out through respected Australian
imprint Vicious Vinyl, ‘It’s too Late’, topped dance charts worldwide
and saw Dirty South nominated for a coveted ARIA award (Australian
Recording Industry Association) - a stunning follow-up to the previous
year’s nomination for his red-hot single ‘Sleazy’. ‘It’s Too Late’s’
impact was also confirmed in early 2007, with a nomination for ‘Best
Alternative Dance Release’ at Miami’s ‘International Dance Music
No surprise that Dirty South stands as one of the hottest and most
in-demand new artists in house music.
His remixing credits read like an
honour role of dance music’s finest, having reworked revered artists
such as Depeche Mode, Mark Ronson, Tracey Thorn, Roger Sanchez, Josh
Wink, Tiësto, Chris Lake, Fedde
Le Grande, Ferry Corsten and TV Rock.
Recent collaborations have also seen him team up with house kingpin
Carl Kennedy for the dancefloor burner ‘Baby, I’m Gonna Leave you’, as
well as Brit Paul Harris with ‘Better Day’, earning Dirty South another
prestigious ‘Essential New Tune’ gong from Pete Tong.
More on the
production tip in 2007, Dirty South has had his anthemic chart-topping
tune “Let It Go” released on Axtone and a more tech-house offering
“Minority” on the UK imprint Toolroom Records.
While his productions go from strength to strength, Dirty South
continues to excel in the DJing department. With only a few short years under his belt in the international
production scene, Dirty South’s potential to achieve tremendous musical
heights seems limitless. As his trademark blend of beats inspires more
and more house lovers from across the globe to sit up and take notice,
the future is certainly looking bright down south.