New York-based duo You&Me have released some pretty incredible remixes so far in their career. It’s also quite possible their latest remix of Kolaj’s ‘The Touch’ which is out today might be in my top five favorite remixes of 2015. The guys talked with us about the track, future plans and of course their love of music.
Only The Beat: Has there always been a love of music? And if so do you remember when you first fell in love?
Pete: Always. We come from a musical family and have played instruments since we were kids. We were both very into Hip-Hop during high school, but got into electronic music in our late teens. For me, I went to a club for the first time having never heard electronic music – I was completely blown away and haven’t looked back since.
Tom: I think for me, I fell in love with music when I learned to play Concerto For Two Violins in D Minor, by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was one of the few classical works that I really connected with when I was younger, and I think that type of music is the reason why I gravitate to the melodic and orchestral nature of progressive house and trance.
Related: You&Me’s ‘Bulletproof’ Remix is Just That
OTB: I’ve seen you guys quite a few times and I always have a blast. What goes into preparing a set?
Pete: We have private SoundCloud playlists that we’re constantly adding tracks to, so we use those lists to help build out our sets. We usually sit down at the beginning of the week and talk about the experience that we want to create for the listeners – do we want them to get pumped for the artist we’re opening for, do we want more emotional vibes or more just dance-y, etc. Then, we’ll build the set around that, and of course leave room to be creative on the fly, depending on how the room is responding. I think it’s important to play songs that you love and not try to please everyone – we are so into the music we play live and I think it shows that we’re having just as much fun listening to the music as we are playing it.
Tom: A good DJ plays the music that everyone wants to hear. A great DJ plays the music no one knew they needed to hear. I usually listen to upwards of 500 tracks before any show we play, and from there I’ll usually find a couple songs I want to play. I love digging for records and curating playlists. There is this indescribable feeling of anticipation when you find the right tracks and know that the dance floor will go mad when you play it. Being able to watch that play out is something I love about DJing.
OTB: Let’s talk remixes. You have done some incredible ones so far. Just released was the remix of Prince Fox’s “Wait Until Tomorrow”. Out today is Kolaj’s “The Touch”, what can you tell us about the remix, inspiration behind the sound?
Pete: We wrote three unique remixes for ‘The Touch.’ We first wrote a chilled out progressive one, decided we didn’t like it, and started over. Then we wrote a Don Diablo-ish piano house version, decided we didn’t like it, and started over. We both listen to ABGT every week and we’re more into trance than any other genre. So, it was a very defined moment when we consciously said “we want to make the style of music that we love most” – and it became a progressive trance remix. Not sure if this means this is the style we’ll be making from now on, but I think we enjoyed writing this more than any other song we’ve done.
Tom: I have a very vivid recollection of when we were at Pete’s apartment and I turned to him and said “Dude, why are we writing this type of remix?” It was in that moment that we decided to start over again and write a euphoric, feel good uplifting track. This is definitely my favorite track we’ve written, and I’m so excited to share it with everyone!
KOLAJ – The Touch (You&Me Remix)
OTB: What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Pete: Learning that it’s OK to not do everything yourself. We’ve had some amazing people help us get to where we are and many who continue to help us today. And, most importantly, we help each other too.
Tom: There are times in the studio when Pete and I don’t always agree on things. As a duo, that’s an inevitable challenge. The biggest thing is having the patience to try out ideas and let the music do the talking. We are lucky that we both like the same type of music, so majority of the time we both know when something sounds great.
OTB: As a duo that’s up and coming what advice do you have for other young artists based on what you know now?
Pete: A few things. I think we started making our best music when we stopped get caught up in the numbers (play counts, how many ‘Likes’ your page has, etc). There are things you can control and things you can’t – worrying about the things you can’t control won’t help you. What will help you is having great music and having the right people listen to it and like it – you need to put yourself in situations to meet those people, always be humble, and have the music to “wow” them when they actually take a few minutes out of their day to listen. Above all, be genuine and kind to everyone you meet.
Tom: Don’t cut corners. It’s incredibly easy with technology to not take the time to learn and master your craft.
OTB: Short term/long term plans?
Pete: Before the end of the year, we hope to release three more songs and finish more original content.
Tom: Longer term, we want to continue to develop a style of music that is uniquely ours, complete an artist album, and be able to travel the world and share our music!
OTB: Last question: Favorite food? Yes, I went there.
Pete: Ooooo, tough one, but we get some pretty amazing sushi in NYC.