Leeds-based DJ, remixer and producer Tom Zanetti is currently one of dance music’s rising stars. Ahead of his appearance at Mint Festival at The Tetley on September 24 he spoke to Rob Chadwick.
You play Mint Fest soon – what should people expect, how do you switch up your vibe for a festival set versus a club one?
Yes I am, doesn’t seem real, another really amazing achievement or step further for myself. I’ve always been a huge fan of all the Mint events, love the music and the underground unique feel you get in the clubs and festivals with all the brands so very excited and honoured to be a part of such a massive homegrown brand. To switch it up I will be stage diving naked and going wild on stage. I like to utilise the crowd, and the stage production in my performances to hopefully make the show more enjoyable for people watching.
You also play Pier Jam – what’s it like playing places like Blackpool, which are not your more recognised house hotbeds? Do the crowd get it all the same?
Pier jam is an amazing event. Picture being at the end of a pier in the middle of the sea with 7,000 people all raving to a festival in and out of different arenas again on the end I of a pier!!ha you look around and for miles all you see is the sea. Such a cool and unique event, and the crowd has given me one of the best receptions to date. Great gig.
You are also on Radio 1, right? Tell us what that is like, do you get nervous?
The biggest thing I’m looking forward to career wise is the official release of my next song ‘You Want Me’, I really hope that goes down a storm.
I get very nervous when they are going to play a new track of ours, just because I really hope people like what they hear. I still also feel pretty blown away and in disbelief that my tracks are being aired on the biggest station in the world.
Was radio important to you growing up and when first getting into dance music?
Yes, it was. I used to tape Alex peppers shows on Galaxy 105, he always had guests that I wanted to hear who played sped garage and underground house music. I also used to tape the charts evrry Sunday stopping and starting with the record button so it sounded like one long mix ha. Music has always been important to me growing up and now through everything. Music is an emotion, and a way of expressing yourself.
Where do you look for music for your sets? Do you play new or old stuff? Do you play much unreleased stuff?
I love to search Soundcloud, YouTube and to be honest from listening other mixes from massive DJs I admire. Sites such as Beatport have great influence, but I also love using local producers tracks, Leeds and surrounding areas has always had its own sound. I get sent alot good stuff, and I can’t beat looking into old skool bassline, house, deep house and speed garage sets from years ago for inspiration.
What are the most important lessons you have learnt since breaking through?
The most important lesson I think a to always be yourself, and I mean that. Don’t care what other a*******s try and say to put you down or distract you from goals. Just do your thing, believe in it and let people do theirs. Also control the partying, don’t let the partying control you. Which can be difficult when you get as excited as I do. Have fun – love every minute, but know your limit.
How does being a dad impact on being a DJ? Does he know what you do?
Yes, he loves what I do. I always show my new previews of songs first and he gives me his full attention every time I do, which I love. He is my whole world and the most important thing to me, he has a passion for music and he is so cool when I don’t see him for a week if I’m away, but also so grateful when I’m with him it’s really sweet. I wish I never had to leave him, but he knows the score and I think he is very proud of me as I am him.
What else have you got coming up/are you excited about?
So many things coming up, Mint Fest is really exciting. We have some massive events every weekend at Mission club in Leeds. We are playing in Germany again soon for the 4th time and it’s always such a sick party over there, we always make a night of it. The biggest thing I’m looking forward to career wise is the official release of my next song ‘You Want Me’, I really hope that goes down a storm and looking forward to seeing how it does. We have a huge video shot for it and it will be premiered on Radio 1 as well as MTV for the visuals. All in all I’m excited about everything and just for being involved and accepted in this scene for doing something I love and worked very hard for a lot of years to be in.
Tom Zanetti performs at Mint Festival on September 24 and Pier Jam this summer – for details visit www.mintfestival.com / www.pierjam.com