Marc Vedo on Teenaged EDM Fans: "They Think David Guetta Started House Music"
Marc Vedo sweetly schooled those at Mansion Nightclub in dance music this past Saturday night. He handed them their sonic diplomas right before his cohort and tourmate Boy George took over the decks. At first, the packed room was staring up at the crotches of dancing, glittering, and barely clothed acrobats overhead. But with the British DJ's classic-house selections, the attention quickly shifted to their own moving bodies.
Vedo has been DJ'ing since he was a teenager and seems to have played in every corner of the Earth, from Kenya to Dubai. He's also been managing Boy George, one of his closest friends. Together, they're bringing the joys of house music to eager ears worldwide. And to close out this year's Art Basel Miami Beach week, these stalwarts of the genre pasted smiles across every face in the place.
We sat down with Vedo before his set and spoke with him about working with people in funny hats, arguing with Boy George on tour, and making sure Americans know dance music isn't only 10 years old.
Photo by George Martinez
New Times: Is this your first Art Basel?
Marc Vedo: Yes. It's interesting. I'm not sure I've ever been to a place like Miami before.
This is your first time here?
Yes. I've been through here many times connecting down to South America.
You've been to Ibiza and stuff. Not the same?
Yeah, but I don't know how to explain. This is, like, the women have even bigger implants, the blokes are even bigger. Everyone's competing for muscle and big boobs.
You do football, as they say overseas. And I read in an old article, you played chess. Do you still?
Well, I kind of got into that when I was really young, and I loved the strategy, so I just carried on playing. But I don't really want to talk about my chess-playing days.
You still play football?
Yeah, I play a lot of football. I play a lot of tennis. I was just in three tournaments in the U.K. I try to play as much tennis as possible when I'm back home. I do a lot of running. Lots of 10k runs, every day.
What's going on with Koolwaters?
I set up the company ten, 11 years ago, it was like an events company. We were doing shows all around the U.K. And then we started expanding abroad, and now it's become a management company. And we've taken on five new artists recently. They're all Top 100 artists. We've expanded quite quickly in the past six to eight months. We're a record label as well. We do compilations, we do t-shirts, everything basically. We're a one-stop shop.
Who are the new artists?
We've taken on a guy called Mike Candy, who wears this weird little yellow helmet. He's huge in Europe. I think he'll be massive in the States. And he's really exciting. He's kept us really busy. We've got DJ Antoine, he's from Switzerland. And Quentin Mosimann, who's French. And DJs From Mars, they're Italian, and they wear funny hats as well. Basically, we're taking on anyone with funny hats!
What do you think about what's being made overseas as opposed to in the U.S.?
Because of the EDM explosion here, there's a lot of commercial crossover and the artists are pushing that sound. Which is great. But it's very commercialized. You can go anywhere and hear the same stuff. In Europe, the sound has completely changed. It's much more underground, it's very deep house, it's very old-school '90s house music. But it's modern. It's very interesting, tech house is really big.
The sound is really different in Europe. Especially this summer, you notice a big difference. I think at some point, that'll cross over. Because I think all the kids that are getting into it now, it's important, because it's going to feed the scene for years to come. They're going to get older. When I started out, I used to listen to awful music. Hopefully, they'll progress, and mature, and listen to intelligent music rather than bom, bom, bom.