We talk Amsterdam hang out’s, emerging talent and tranquil robots and aliens with Dutch house maestro, Tom Trago
So tell us, what did you grow up listening to?
My parents were very much into ‘world’ music’, so a lot of cuban, African and South American music was played at the house. My mom was into the music of contemporary artists like Phillip Glass and Steve Reich. I remember I really liked the repetition of that music. When I got a bit older I was fascinated with Michael Jackson. When I was a teenager I started listening to a lot of underground hip hop, Wu Tang, ATCQ, EPMD etc. From there on my love for soul music and disco grew, which eventually led me to my love for house and techno when I hit my early twenties.
When did you first start making your own music? What sparked that decision?
The guys from Rednose Distrikt (Awanto 3, Kid Sublime & Aardvarck) really showed how to work the MPC2000xl, when I was 22. For like 6 years i just made beats everyday. Buying records, sampling and going to jazz school, to work on my piano playing. I also had lessons in solflege and rhythm, plus we had to sing in a choir and stuff. I learned a lot there. The main reason I wanted to make music is because I loved the fact that a song captures a certain energy whilst making it and it will available for the rest of the world to be inspired by.
Your sound seems to blend a lot of different genres together, how would you describe your sound?
Take the haze train, look outside the window and imagine a pleasant landscape of robots living in harmony with humans and aliens in fully colored 2040 outfits.
Nice description. Obviously you haven’t always been the world renowned dj you are today, were there any moments you really struggled and wanted to give up music?
Music has always been the main thing in life and I’m very lucky that it has supported me for the last 10 years. Of course i had my ups and downs, but I have never considered giving up altogether.
What about emerging artists, are there any that you are currently backing?
My label Voyage Direct is all about emerging artists from The Netherlands. There are a lot of cool new cats on the scene here like; Overlast, Maxi Mill, Awanto 3, William Kouam Djoko, Magnessii amongst others. We are getting inspired by each others work and we remix each others music.
Whats your favourite city to DJ in?
That must be Amsterdam, because all my friends live here and the club scene is very developed a the moment with Trouw and Dekmantel being my favorites. I also love Playing in Montreal, very cool scene there too!
What other places in Amsterdam are good to hang out in?
My studio. It’s the place where I spent most of my time when I’m in town. Next to that I really love this place called The Gruyter, its a bar/restaurant in Westerpark. Also, the food at Cradam is always nice. For italian food i like Toscanini on the Lindegracht. For Japanese I like Japan inn, which is near Leidseplein. For a sauna and massage I always go to Sauna Deco and of course Trouw is like my second home.
Lastly, what can’t you live without?