2016 was the year that Russian trio Swanky Tunes swept the airwaves and picked up platinum discs for sales in their native country. They were a near-constant presence on radio stations across Eastern Europe and stayed at No.1 for four weeks on the Shazam chart with their remix of current album hit ‘Lost On You Together’ with Going Deeper. As well as that, they also turned out some headline performances at Tomorrowland, Electrobeach and a prime slot at biggest Russian dance festival, Alfa Future People.
“The more we produce, the more songs and tracks from different genres we prefer to listen to,” says the group made up of Vadim Shpak, Dmitry Burykin and Stanislav Zaytsev. “It helps to diversify our sound and give us interesting ideas we never had before. We wouldn’t say it is a revolution, but definitely an evolution of our style.”
They first formed in 1998 and own the label Showland — they put out their own weekly podcast of the same name. When asked how they keep it together on tour, the group replies that “as much as we can, we try to keep control of what we eat and how long we sleep, and we also go to a gym or swimming pool when we can.”
Next year they are stepping it up once more by taking their Showland radio show on tour to reach more countries, and are also about to present some new remixes of “legendary material that everyone knows”. DAVE JENKINS
What have been the new frontiers for you this year? “We learned how to match the level of a popular artist in terms of production for our new tracks, studio co-writing with top vocalists and songwriters, and of course production of videos that now can compete with any top dog elsewhere in the world.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“Some genres are definitely an art-form now.”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“Pioneer CDJ and DJM NEXUS 2 series. It’s a higher state of DJ technologies at the moment.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“We always wanted to try ourselves in a “less dance music” setting, to create something new.”
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“We’d ask to put us on a guest list and then buy a box of champagne to celebrate such an epic moment.”
What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Drug victims is really a serious problem in the industry. First of all, parents have to take care of their kids and explain what they shouldn’t do. Problems, especially problems coming from the streets, need to be solved by family.”
How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“Firstly, It’s up to producers and their desire to change music — giving something new to people. And second, labels must have fresh thinking and open-minded teams.”