Meet Polish progressive house DJ/producer Tom Swoon (formerly Pixel Cheese). Although he’s quite young and relatively new, we think he’s past the up-and-coming stage; however, Swoon still refers to himself as a bedroom producer. Check out our interview to find out which track got him attention in the beginning, what he was doing before music, and the side project he’s working on.
Describe your sound with three words.
►Bring up emotions.
Is there a skill other than DJ’ing/producing you think an artist needs in order to “make it?”
►Patience. This is the most important and most avoided thing, especially in aspiring DJs. Patience is essential to make it.
Can you recall the moment in time you realized this would be your full-time thing?
►It started around two years ago when I was Pixel Cheese and made a bootleg of Avicii and David Guetta called, “Till Sunshine.” In no time, it got over one million views on YouTube. I think that was one of the most important moments when I realized it was a sign to do [music] full-time. One or two months later, I did, for fun, a remix of one of Nervo’s first singles. A couple days later, they reached me on email and asked to chat on Skype, which was quite amazing.
How did you come up with the name Pixel Cheese?
►It was random. I made a couple of mash-ups and bootlegs and felt it was time to share something on the Internet. I was impatient coming up with a name; it was a snap in my head.
How old were you?
►I was 17 or 18.
You’re relatively young for an artist at your level. Do you take that to your advantage?
►It’s good to be young in this industry. Being on tour is quite hard and has taught me to live like an adult. Aside from touring, I think production-wise, my age is nice because I have more time to develop myself.
A lot of people must look up to you. What advice do you have for bedroom producers and DJs in order to get them to the next level of success?
►Definitely have a good attitude because if somebody is doing it just to break out, be famous, or have money, they’re not going to make it. I never have that attitude; I do it for fun, I love it, I enjoy playing, and I enjoy producing. That’s why I’m doing this. And actually, I’m still a bedroom producer. Some people think [producers] need to have a kick-ass studio in Hollywood and expensive software… actually, you just need a software, a couple of plug-ins, and a bit of patience. To learn to produce a good track, it takes a lot of time. I feel I’m still learning. To find one’s own style, it can take years. Someone who loves it will make it eventually.
What has been your largest challenge so far?
►My biggest challenge has been not to get crazy in this industry and to make deadlines.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
►I have no clue. I came to the conclusion of being a DJ/producer when I was in the middle of technical high school with a degree in IT. At that point, I realized it wasn’t my thing and I wanted to go into music. Back then it was quite random, but now it’s my future.
Are there any genres you haven’t experimented with and would like to?
►I just did a remix a few months ago for a band called Dune. It was downtempo house, like a 95 BPM song. This is going to be my side project, which I will soon reveal the name of. I’m going to do something different under that name. I really like other stuff like downtempo house and indie, and I always find myself wanting to try something like that because I really enjoy that stuff. Hopefully it’s going to come out this year and I’m really excited to hear what people think about the other side of Tom Swoon.
What’s your favorite part about performing?
►The contact with the crowd. Sometimes I get really stressed before a set, weather it’s a small club or a festival, but it goes away as soon as I get that first contact with the crowd. It’s amazing, a feeling I cannot describe. Sometimes I feel like a different person during a set.
If you could play back-to-back with any artist, who would it be?
►Porter Robinson, for sure. I met Porter a couple times and we’ve had the opportunity to play at the same parties. He’s a really great guy.