They wowed us over a decade ago with the hit track Days Go By. The UK-based Grammy-winning duo Steve Smith and Paul Harris, popularly known as Dirty Vegas, are back in Mumbai for a music conference. Excerpts from an interview
Q. What did the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording win in 2003 mean to both of you? Especially since this was the first year that the category was introduced? I recall reading that you weren’t expecting to win, and were sitting very far from the stage...
A. Winning that Grammy for Best Dance Recording, in the first year that it was introduced to the Grammies, was a huge honour. We were invited to play a show at The Grammy Museum earlier this year, and the curator told us that Days Go By made such an impact on Electronic music that they realised that they had to finally recognise the genre of Dance music.
On that night in 2003, at Madison Square Gardens in New York, we felt we had no chance of winning, so we sat next to our video director for Days Go By, and Richard Phillips, the artist who designed our cover. We had already lost Best Video and Best Artwork, so we felt it right to sit with the guys who helped get us to where we were. Then, the huge surprise of winning our category came, and we had to run a very long way to the stage.
Q. Did the win make people from the industry sit up and take note of this genre, or was it already emerging as a popular club favourite?
A. When Days Go By became the first Dance music track on American radio, it was on its own battling alongside Britney Spears, Eminem, Nickleback and other artistes. We had kids coming up to us asking us what we call our music, as they had never heard it before. This was strange, as we grew up in the UK where we had Dance music for years.
Q. What was the experience of going unplugged with a 30-piece orchestra on Lincoln Road in Miami during the Winter Music Conference like?
A. That experience was truly amazing; I actually shed a tear on stage. To hear your music being transformed into sweeping orchestral compositions is something we had dreamed of, for years.
Q. How much has your music evolved since Days Go By? Tell our readers about your new EP, Let the Night.
A. The way we approach our music hasn’t changed much, but life’s experiences give you a wider spectrum to draw influences from.
Q. You’ve been to India before. Have you been exposed to Indian music/musicians?
A. Yes, we have had the pleasure of coming to India before. We have played shows in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Goa. We have also had the chance to capture DJ sets from DJ Pearl and heard a wonderful version of Days Go By, by Vinayaka featuring Vandana Bhalla.
On: Friday, November 7
At: blueFROG, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
Tickets: Rs 750 (www.bookmyshow.com); tickets can also be bought on the day of the gig at the venue for Rs 1,000
Dirty Vegas, John 00 Fleming and Nerm (of Shiva Soundsystem fame) will perform as a part of The Exchange, a music conference and showcase by UK Trade and Investment in partnership with Submerge.