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All night dancing with Tiga: “I wanted to make a record that someone like Loco Dice or Sasha could play”



It’s crazy to think that an artist as current as Tiga has been involved in dance music as far back as the early 90s, rising through the ranks of his hometown in Montreal, Canada, with his seminal Turbo Records this year celebrating its 15th anniversary of releasing music. When Data Transmission mentioned this to him this week, it was as if he could hardly believe it himself.

“Wow. Time flies, thanks for pointing that out”, he laughed.

Famous for blending his natural inclinations as a pop vocalist with an underground dance edge, Tiga cemented his high profile in the previous decade with crossover smashes like Sunglasses at Night and Pleasure From The Bass, somewhat a quirky leader of the new electro movement. He’s held his presence as one of the most funny and irreverent DJs using Twitter, and this was showcased in fine form at the Amsterdam Dance Event last week, when he hosted a “World according to… Tiga” alongside Seth Troxler and Matthew Dear. Discussing the increasing ‘industrialisation’ of the dance music industry, a sense of humour was never far away.

In recent years though, fans of Tiga will have noticed a distinct change in his sets, with a growing tendency towards the deeper sounds of house and techno. While you’d think it would make a stark change to the bigroom electro records that characterised his sets throughout the noughties, it’s a credit to how smoothly he’s pulled off the transition that it all still feels consistent with the Tiga that we know and love; a sense of humour and a “light touch”, as he puts it.

This approach has been showcased in a big way this summer with his single Let’s Go Dancing, a collaboration with Matthew Dear under his Audion alias. And it’s a righteous track indeed; Tiga’s simple refrain of “Let’s go dancing, I wanna go dancing with you, all night dancing,” is worked with effortless pop panache. Around it though the pair have built a rock-solid tech house track with hypnotic dancefloor pull, and it’s proved an irresistible crossover hit over the summer. 

“I wanted to actually make a record that can be played in a regular environment,” Tiga told Data Transmission. “Something that could live in the real clubs, not just in my own weird imaginary world. That was the goal, and it feels very nice to reach that goal”.

How was your ADE experience?

It was my first time at the conference, and I actually really enjoyed it. The parties I played I really liked, I played a warehouse party with Matthew Dear and Dubfire, and a Watergate party at Studio80 on Saturday night and that was fantastic. I was in and out a little too much, I would have enjoyed to have had a night off and a bit more time, but it was still fun. 

Your panel was one of the more irreverent and funny panels I saw at ADE. Seth Troxler talked at one point about how the industry takes itself a little too seriously at times.

Well, that panel was quite serious by my standards [laughs]. There were some serious themes to be discussed, but how we engage those issues and how we think about them, there’s a light touch there. There’s humour to be found in almost anything, and that’s usually a good way to go about it. Like we said there, the dance music world can be a little serious at times, and sometimes it can get a little bit stale. I think the biggest change in the past four or five years has been on the business level, and the popularity level, and the infrastructure has gone kind of more corporate and much bigger. But the overall attention given to dance music, it’s a positive thing. It won’t last forever, but there are a lot of positives to be taken from it.

I realised this morning that this year will be the 15th anniversary of Turbo Records.

Wow. Time flies, thanks for pointing that out! [laughs]. That’s crazy, because it seems like it wasn’t very long ago that it was the 10th anniversary. I’m quite proud of Turbo, and what we’ve managed to do. It’s very, very difficult being an independent record label, especially over the past ten years or so. It’s a very difficult business, and a lot of forces are aligned against you, especially if you adopt a no compromise take on it. We really just release music we like. It’s a strange business, and we joke in the office that in many ways it’s a perverse business, because it’s one where you can put so much into something with potentially so little reward. Whereas managers have grown, and agents have reaped the benefits – everyone knows the record label itself hasn’t exactly gotten the fairest shake in the past ten years. But I made the decision to keep going and to do it for the same reasons, and I’m happy with the results.

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