PHOTOGRAPHY MARK ABRAHAMS
MIAMI'S ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL SHOWCASES A NEW BREED OF MEGASTARS MAKING NOISE FOR THE MASSES AND GIVING POP IDOLS A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY. IN 2013 THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY DJS
Describe your sound in three words:
DG Are you ready?
What time do you usually go to sleep and when do you wake up?
DG It really depends where I am; I play 150 gigs a year and they can wrap anywhere between 2 am and 7 am in Europe. I’m a simple creature; I just need six hours sleep, lots of food, water, and my music.
Do you have any rituals before, during, or after a performance?
DG Not really. I just like to have one hour to prepare my set and a little disco nap so my mind is fresh.
Where is the strangest place you’ve ever performed?
DG I wouldn’t say “strange” so much as “unique”—and I haven’t played there yet, but I’m about to spin at the Great Wall of China, which is pretty historic and a landmark show for me. I’m not sure what to expect but am honored to be invited.
What’s the biggest crowd you’ve ever played to and where?
DG New Year’s Eve 2011—I was the first European artist to play on Copacabana Beach. It was a free party and there were people dressed in white as far as the eye could see. They estimated three to four million! But it was impossible to count. That was pretty incredible.
What is the most fun part of touring?
DG No question, performing. I tour constantly; it’s my life and I wouldn’t live any other way. But it can be tough across time zones. But as soon as I hear the intro beat and the crowd roar, my blood pumps. Then I’m totally alive. Connecting with people through music is my drug.
Least fun part?
DG Waking up and not knowing where I am. That happens a lot; I don’t worry about it anymore, but it used to freak me out.
Do you have a team that helps you when it comes to putting your show together?
DG I have a great team that has been with me for many years now. Some of them since the very start. It’s much smaller than you might think, especially when you compare the crews of bands playing the same size arenas or festivals. I lead the creative, as it’s my vision, and they design it with my guidance. We are constantly evolving the content of the visuals and lighting show. I use a bespoke technology, which means that no two shows are the same. No time code; it’s all live.
Do you have any lucky charms?
DG I’m not superstitious, but traveling to gigs without my sidekick, Jean Gui, would be a nightmare.
What’s on your rider that we might not expect?
DG More like what’s NOT on my rider that you WOULD expect; it’s really simple—water, energy drinks, and that’s about it. If I’m living large, I might have a Coca-Cola.
If you could play anywhere for anyone, what would be your most ideal set?
DG I’m going to twist this. Who would I like to play with? Prince. I don’t really have idols, but he comes pretty close. What I love most is playing for people who want to let go and go on a journey together.
What is the biggest misconception about electronic music?
DG That it’s new! Our music in all its shapes and forms is decades old now and rooted in popular culture. It just gets different tags.
DG One Love.
Digital technician Tim Bell Photo assistant Eric Simmons Equipment rental Milk NY Special thanks Alexandra Greenberg, Clayton Blaha, Darren Baber, Chris Werner, Marije de Konink, Sander Reneman, Justin Kleinfeld, Ciara Davey, Diana Baron, Alexandra Baker