Q&A: Dirty South on Making It and Why He Loves U.S. Crowds

Serbian-born Australian DJ/Producer Dirty South has been extraordinarily engaged in his work lately -- between teaming up with the renowned label Strictly Rhythm and traveling all over the world on his ironically-named Never Ending World Tour -- he has barely had a chance to catch his breath. Luckily, County Grind had the opportunity to catch up with the busy DJ from his home in L.A. before he flew out to South Florida for his show at Revolution in downtown Fort Lauderdale tonight.

With the recent release of his two-disc Strictly Dirty South album, he's been playing shows all across the US and becoming quite the household name among the electronic music scene. He has become so big that even Tiësto played his Diddy - Dirty Money Skylar Grey "I'm Coming Home (Dirty South Remix)" at 2011's Ultra Music Festival. We can expect to hear both new popular remixes as well as some of the older stuff he has been producing since 2005 and either way, Revolution patrons will be in for surprises with this seemingly humble Aussie DJ. Don't miss out on seeing Dirty South with RioTGeaR and Renegades at Funk tonight at Revolution.

Note to South Floridians: I asked him to please bring along some nice weather with him from L.A.

New Times: You seem to be the only DJ out of Australia doing this sort of thing right now. Why do you think that is?

Dirty South: (laughs) I'm not the only one. Do you mean maybe the only one who has broken through? That's probably because I have worked hard -- I'm sure they all do too -- but I've had a bit of luck, support from other DJs, got out of Australia and started touring and spreading the word abroad, and having lots of shows abroad. There's a lot involved in making it. Australia is so far away - it's a big step to get away and venture out. I wonder if there's anything we can do about that (laughs again).

I recently saw you at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Orlando, which was quite a large venue. Revolution only has a capacity of 1,100 people. Do you prefer playing for a smaller, more intimate crowd or big festivals?

I like both. It all depends as long as the vibe is good. Sometimes I'm in the mood for either; I do small shows and festivals all the time and enjoy both. I just did the Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas for 300,000 people and the next day played an 800 capacity venue.

I see you are playing twice in South Florida in 4 days -- July 1st at Revolution and July 4th at the Surfcomber in Miami with two stops on the West Coast in between. Do you really like South Florida or is your booking agent punishing you by making you fly across the US twice in two days? Just kidding... that wasn't really a question. Based on your experience, how do crowds in the U.S., more importantly South Florida, differ from that of say, Europe or even Australia?

I'm really loving playing the US right now. The music is really growing and I think the kids are really embracing house music. Crowd responses have been great -- the U.S. crowds seem to be the hungriest right now. Europe has had it good for a while now but the crowds aren't actually that different because you have the internet so they can learn about artists and new mixes. The US definitely has a good energy right now.

On your current tour are you playing mostly new stuff, a mix of new and old, or do you just decide what to do once you're up there?

On this tour I'm playing a lot of new and I always do edits of old stuff to bring it to current date. I like to keep it fresh and play a bunch of things along with current tracks.

Lastly, Revolution has been closed for the entire month of June due to the filming of Rock of Ages -- a film starring Tom Cruise and Russell Brand. This has caused some much wanted (or non-wanted depending on who you ask) publicity in the area. How do you feel about being the first act to appear after a music-less month at this popular downtown Fort Lauderdale venue?

I think it's fine but I had no idea. I'm sure it will be good, what do you think? I hope I can fill the expectations (laughs).

Follow County Grind on Facebook and Twitter: @CountyGrind.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ashley Pearson