You may have heard of "Pixel Cheese," but today he's known as Tom Swoon. This young talent is a remixing machine, as well as produces his own great original tracks.
His career really took off after his famous mash-up of David Guetta & Avicii vs Laidback Luke - "Till Sunshine (Pixel Cheese Bootleg)." Now he's receiving support from some of the biggest names in dance music, and we got to hang out with him in Miami during Miami Music week! Check out what Tom had to say:
You’re formerly known as “Pixel Cheese” – why the name change?
Well, I mean, I felt that I was developing myself, when I was Pixel Cheese back at the time, it was really spontaneous. And I felt it was kind of immature, and I figured out I need to change it somehow to make it more mature, and make it to fit my style, my music. Because I wasn’t feeling to comfortable.
Do you think your music style has changed from when you were Pixel Cheese to now as Tom Swoon?
From the very beginning? Definitely yes. I think I’m still learning, and I think I’m developing my sound day after day. But it has changed from let’s say, 1 year ago, and now, for me it’s different. And I think it’s going to be even more different. I want to implement some stuff, experiment a lot.
Love the new single, it just came out in time for Miami Music Week. "Not Too Late" with Amba Shepherd. Can you tell us a little about the track?
Well, the main idea was created almost one year ago. And I think we got hooked up with Amba on Twitter, because I was following her from 2009/2010. I really fell in love with her voice. And when I saw her first track, “I Believe,” I thought her voice was really unique and I always wanted to make a track with her. And we somehow, I don’t really remember how, but we got hooked up on Twitter, sent some e-mails, and we decided to make a track together. I had the track already on the plate and I sent it back to her, and I received amazing vocals. And yeah, that’s how it happened.
And the remixes seem to cover a number of bases within dance music, especially with someone like Bassnectar. How did those guys come into remixing the track?
It was contracted by the label. I think they made a good choice because I wanted this release to be hitting different markets, the original is kind of progressive with some electro stuff, the Maor Levi is an electro take on it, and then Bassnectar, of course obviously dubstep.
I think you’ve accomplished a lot pretty quickly, having remixed for some really talented artists, who go beyond dance music. You’ve done remixes for J Lo & Flo Rida and Linkin Park. And you’ve been creating your own awesome originals. Is there anyone who has been inspirational to you or who has been supportive of you in particular?
Speaking of inspiration, that’s how I got into EDM. Because totally by accident, I found this track from Deadmau5 and Kaskade called “I Remember.” And it totally bought me, you know, I said “I want to do this music, I want to be a DJ, I want to produce electronic dance music. And that’s it, and still, even the new stuff from Deadmau5 is a source of inspiration for me. Not only musically, but always technically-wise. It’s a cool thing for me because my source of inspiration is a different music from the one I produce. So basically, I don’t listen to Avicii for example. I listen to film scores, some chillout and stuff, to catch the inspiration. Because really, you learn much, much more from the other stuff, from the totally different thing. And speaking of support, I think that Maor Levi, Gareth Emery, Arty. The last remix I did for The Bloody Beetroots, I was so surprised with the amount of support on that, and I think it inspired to me and motivated me to work even harder and harder.
Where can we catch you live this year?
This year, I’m really looking forward, it’s not yet confirmed, but maybe I’m going to make it to Ibiza this year, this summer. And yeah, I have a couple of shows here in Miami, then going back to Europe. Everything is being set up to be confirmed.
What do you have going on in the studio right now? What can we expect to hear from you this year?
I cannot say much, but yeah, I can say I have a collaboration, with the guys from the Norwegian pop/rock band “Dune.” They are known from their remix that Alesso did for them two years ago, and it’s really inspiring to have people from different types of music working on the track together. I think it’s really going to be a good one. And the second one is really progressive, it’s a follow-up to “Who We Are” mostly, more than “Not Too Late.” It’s really melodic stuff, with a lot of vocals. I want to have a good track for the radio, and a good track for the clubs. I don’t want to go 100% commercial, I want to be split. I want to be kind of versatile in the stuff that I do, but that’s what I plan.
Well your new single is called “not too late” but we want to know what your best excuse is, the one you always use, when you’re late?
When I’m late? I’m always saying that somebody stopped me over, or I was stuck in a traffic jam. Or I just, you know, I’m doing my hair, sometimes, for one hour, correcting it all the time. And my friends, my best friends, know already. That’s a few main reasons why I’m late.
Photos by Nicole Mastrogiannis