The night after our interview at the Perry Hotel in South Beach, Kristen Schrot invited me to watch her perform at SET Miami as Miss Nine. She texts me to meet up with her in front of the club around 2 am, just before her playing time. Waiting for me in a sleeveless black T-shirt, denim cut-offs and big red boots (an original design by her friend, international fashion model Evelyne Verpaalen), Kristin is dazzling beyond words.
“Ready?” she asks with a grin, and whisks me and my friends past the red velvet rope into the club and onto the DJ stage where fellow DJ and model Tatiana Fontes is wrapping up her set.
Slovenian DJ and music producer Eros Umek has been wooing crowds with his pioneering techno/tech house style for over ten years. He is considered one of the founding fathers of Eastern Europe’s electronic music scene and his record label, Sixteenofive, is one of the world’s fasting growing techno labels.
In 2011, his unique sound and relentless musical successes earned him the title of Beatport’s Best Artist. He was ranked 29 in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s. His music continues to top Beatport’s techno charts, and has been mixed artists like Carl Cox, M.I.K.E., and John Digweed.
This is all passing through my mind as his agent ushers me into his trailer behind the Carl Cox arena at Ultra Fest. I tell him straight away that he’s the first international artist I’ve interviewed; he smiles encouragingly and offers me a seat.
His songs have topped electronic music charts worldwide. He earned a record deal at the age of 15. I listen to his tracks on my iPod, in the club, and on Sirius XM’s BPM station.
Waiting for John Dahlbäck in the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami, I am little nervous. I expect him to come out of the elevator surrounded by agents and in a hurry to get to some show or other.
I’m surprised when he approaches me unaccompanied, looking a little sleepy from his show last night at Cameo. Hands thrust into his jean pockets, wearing a black t-shirt and sneakers, Dahlbäck looks less conspicuous than many of the hotel guests I’ve seen pass in and out of the lobby.
He sits down across from me and I introduce myself. His kind eyes and soft-spokeness put me at ease, and we begin talking about his past. Born into a family of musicians, Dahlbäck picked up the art at an early age.