Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Tom and Collins who were coming off their show at Pride LA in Los Angeles. The duo are becoming the hot new faces of Latin American house music, and are transforming the world around them. Hailing from Mexico City, the two have surpassed over 10 million cumulative streams on Spotify, and also went on to win the first ever Miller SoundClash award back in 2014. This recognition has moved Tom and Collins into a position of representing all of Latin American house music to the rest of the world and the two seem to be ready to take on that task. Tom and Collins dropped their debut EP in December of 2017, being the first project the two put out together.
In my interview with Tom and Collins, we dive into their Pride LA show, as well as the artists themselves. The two have a very busy next few months and I am lucky to have been able to sit down with them.
DB: How was performing at Pride LA? And what was the energy like?
Yea, the energy was amazing, there was around two thousand people in the crowd. We were a little nervous because it was the Latin stage and all the artists before us were playing really Latin based music. We on the other hand are more European sounding and house driven, even though we still have a bit of Latin influence. But right before we played, someone actually gave a really emotional speech and it really uplifted the energy and provided a great mood to start off of and was really awesome.
DB: Carrying more of a European sound, how does that carry into your set preparation? Do you usually set tracks in a flexible order or do you simply feel the vibe and energy from the crowd and go from there?
We have an idea and a certain range depending on the energy of the people and how they are vibing to the music. We actually started the show not knowing what we were going to play and once we heard the speech it definitely gave us a foundation of energy to build off of. Having played for two hours, which is longer than most festivals it gave us a chance to really show our wide range of music and sounds.
DB: How long have you guys been performing as Tom and Collins? And where do you guys derive your influence and inspiration from?
We came together 5 years ago, and have been growing together ever since.
We draw our inspiration from certain music scenes or cultures that we like. For example, the people in Tulum, Mexico have a certain type of music taste. It’s very junglely, low tempo and kind of classy in a way, and we love that vibe so we kind of take that sound and play with it from there. We were also in London last month and we also love the music scene over there, and house music is amazing there, so you get such a different vibe, so we try to mix those two and create our own sound from that. But we also just listen to a lot of different genres and get inspired by the different tempos and sounds that we can adapt to a house track. Sometimes we start a track without even having a specific genre in mind and play with it from there.
DB: Since you guys dropped “A Different Kind of High” what else do you guys have in the works?
At first we were going to release A Different kind of High Part 2, but now we might leaning toward dropping the tracks as singles, and so we have one single releasing in a couple weeks for the summer. On top of that we have big remixes coming, we just released a remixed we did with Duke Dumont’s “Inhale” track and still have more to come.
So overall we believe the plan is to release to a few singles and maybe a full album at the end of the year, but we also have some EP ideas so we are kind of just continuing to work and see what it leads to.
DB: Are there any other inspiring artists in the industry right now that motivates and influences you guys?
Oh yea, they have probably been the same over the past few years, we love disclosure and what they do. We also love Gorgon City, Camelphat, the Magician, Mk is a really good remixer. Honestly anyone who does good vocal or tech house music are really sounds that we are drawn to and enjoy their sets so yea, there is definitely a lot of inspiration out there.
DB: Do you guys prefer the smaller more intimate shows? Or now that you guys are starting to play larger festivals, have you guys come to enjoy those more?
We love both, but the energy with the large crowd is so overwhelming because you usually have one hour to let it all out and it’s so hectic but then it’s really peaceful after. Compared to a smaller venue or setting because you can play a longer set and in a sense get closer to the crowd. But the amazing thing is to be able to have a little bit of both, because there really is something special about playing to a smaller crowd and being able to really take them through a journey whether it progress into something darker or happier. And in a festival it’s such a bigger crowd and you’re trying to play all your originals and it’s really a different kind of showcase. So to be able to mix up the types of performances is really special for us.
DB: How the next few months looking for Tom and Collins? Any big plans you can tell us about?
Yea, We have a summer tour coming up. We are going to be jumping around for a bit, going from New York, to Europe later this month. In Europe we are going to go to Belgium and Ibiza. Then back to New York, where we will travel to Montreal Canada after that, then finally back to Mexico City so we will have a pretty busy summer.
DB: Do you guys ever see yourselves expanding into different genres or sounds? Or is it something you guys don’t even think about?
Yea Definitely, I think it depends a lot with who you are collaborating with. Cause every time you collaborate with a producer or a singer, you learn stuff and so as we grow and continue to work with other artists and collaborate we open ourselves up to his or her genre and to us that is what makes sense when approaching different genres and sounds cause we learn in the process and grow from it.
DB: My last Question is about the culture differences you guys see in the House music scene across all the countries you guys have played in.
There are, in terms of the sounds they like. For example in Mexico, if you go to Mexico City they have a certain type of music that drives a people crazy, and if you travel not far to Guadalajara they a different sound that which is more disco based. So when we’re performing and we play a disco track we can read that reaction from the crowd and get a sense of what kind of sounds they prefer. While in Europe you see the crowds being more genre specific and don’t necessarily want the hits and top 40 but rather want unreleased tracks and more underground music in their sets so that would be one big difference we’ve noticed.
A big thank you to Tom and Collins and you can find their music on all streaming platforms as well as follow them on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with their latest music and tour dates. The duo will surely be making a lot of noise this summer and I cant wait to see what they hit us with.
Written by Kareem Zeenni