Baby-faced British DJ, vocalist, and producer Thomas Slinger, AKA Gemini
, doesn't just look young, he really is young. Since his debut Blue
in 2011, this 23-year-old EDM prodigy has been composing, touring, and mentoring other young musicians nonstop, it seems.
Currently available on Beatport, he's releasing his next EP Mercury on December 2 on iTunes. Of the album Slinger says, it's got "some things new, some things old and some things unexpected."
Gemini is performing this weekend with Rusko and Nadastrom at Club Cinema. We spoke with the artist while he was touring in Toronto about suburban moms listening to dubstep and mentoring artists on his label Inspected Records.
New Times: Do you record music from the road too? I saw on Facebook that you were making music recently.
Thomas Slinger: Usually when I get to the hotel that's all I do!
You don't spend a lot of time exploring cities you're playing?
I wish! It's usually a quick out and in experience wherever I go.
Do you ever get time off from touring? If so, what do you do then?
Write a ton of new music usually.
You're very young. Did you grow up listening to electronic music?
I did, yeah. I listened to everything from the Prodigy right through to drum and bass. Artists such as Pendulum, Chase and Status got me interested.
What do you think people will look back at dubstep one day and think? Do you think the genre will endure? How do you think it'll change?
I think dubstep will be looked back at as an era of a time that allowed musicians to evolve a pedigree of sound that in turn would be more accessible to the world, thanks to the likes of YouTube and online marketing.
Does that mean you think it's more marketable or easier to swallow than other kinds of electronic dance music? If so, what makes it that way?
I think so. It's a genre that has taken many influences that sparse audiences can relate to such as rock, drum and bass, classical, and so on. I think that's why it's ultimately more accessible than other types of electronic dance music.
Do you think it'll segue EDM into being the new "pop" music?
I think it already has become "pop." It definitely shows that in terms of ticket and music sales that EDM is the most popular music in the world right now.
You think there'll be a time when like suburban moms'll be jamming to your music?
I hope so. Moving forward I want my music to relate to all. I really try to captivate an emotion and project it into all my compositions. Therefore I definitely think it would be a plus to get suburban moms alike jamming along to Gemini.
Have you been DJing since before you were old enough to go to clubs? What was that like, and how did that affect how you've grown up, do you think?
Not really. It kinda came during. I always played around on software but never had any decks until I was older.
Does the lifestyle overwhelm you ever?
Sometimes, it's really hard to find a balance between work and time off. The main thing is finding time to sleep. It's hard when you're in lots of different time zones.
Yeah! For sure. Also, you finished school while being an international DJ, right?
Sure did! Somehow I managed to do both for a short while, but I pulled through and stuck with it.
Can you tell us a little about Inspected Records and what you're planning to release next?
Yeah, I started a label to put out my own music. Its purpose was to provide artists like myself with a platform to launch their brands where they didn't have anywhere to do so. In terms of the label, we have lots of new exciting projects from artists such as Asa, KOAN Sound, Teknian and more. From myself, that's hush hush for now.
So, Do you feel like major labels aren't for you? Why start an indie label?
I think majors are great but I started the label to launch the start of artists' careers. I think that's something that comes down the line for sure.
Are you a mentor to them?
For sure. I help where I can without being too persistent. Music has to come naturally, but it can be guided into something beautiful.
And who's helped mentor you?
Nobody sadly! I'm a self taught musician.
So do you think that learning everything the hard way has made you more resiliant or just cooler?
Definitely. I think it teaches you to appreciate what you own. You do what you can with the instruments you've got. I think that's the best way to learn and master a particular element of music.
Gemini at United as One with Rusko and Nadastrom. 9 p.m. Saturday, November 24, at Club Cinema, 3251 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $30. Call 954-943-5226, or visit ticketfly.com.