EDMTunes Interview: Topher Jones


2013 has been nothing short of an astounding year for Topher Jones. The pioneer behind “Brohammer” and “Hello Chicago” has seen more success than he could have ever imagined. What started out as just a pair of turntables in 9th grade, the Chicago native eventually turned the hobby into a career – a very successful one I must add. Having just wrapped up his solo North American tour, Topher is currently touring with his good friends Chad and Dave (Tritonal) and are selling out shows after shows. We had the special honor of sitting down with Topher Jones during his stop this past weekend at ExchangeLA in Los Angeles . Here’s what the rising star had to say:

This year has been overly busy for you, having just finished up your Hello North America tour. How was the solo tour experience different from your current tour with Tritonal? I bet having Chad and Dave on this tour with you really made things more exciting!

Its quite a bit different, the Hello North America tour was a whole new experience. My profile has grown a lot over the past 6 months and I’ve been getting more support from the other DJs. Not to mention that my tracks have been charting a lot higher on Beatport, which helps. Things are just growing, the new mix of Hello Chicago has been very big for me as well. Touring with Chad and Dave has been amazing, obviously they’re very good friends of mine and we spend a good amount of time together before and after every show, just hanging out and relaxing. Y’know, it’s been hectic… this tour ends October 11th and I tour with Morgan Page November 11th.

 Speaking of Chad and Dave, how’s the energy like from the fans knowing that you’re opening for Tritonal?

It’s cool, really cool. People have been very receptive and loving of whatever I’ve been doing. My fan base has really been growing, that’s what’s really amazing about it. Their fans are very passionate and I’m glad to be on for the ride. I couldn’t really ask for anything more out of this tour.

You also have an upcoming tour with Morgan Page (Morgan Page Presents), what are you most looking forward to on that tour that is a different from this Metamorphic tour that you’re currently on?

What’s cool about that tour with Morgan is that it’s going to be a bus tour. *chuckles* And when you think of a musician, you know you made it when you say, “I”M GOING ON A BUS TOUR.” Hahaha. I mean, it’s not my tour so I really can’t say I made it, but it’s definitely awesome to be a part of it. It’s going to be such a unique experience knowing that I was on a bus tour with Morgan. I haven’t met him yet, but I’m a huge fan of him and his work, and I really look forward to the opportunity. He’s also a big supporter of my music and I am just flattered to be able to tour with him and get a first hand experience of his massive following.

Now that you have been touring all over North America, what has been your favorite city or venue to perform in? Why?

They’re all special in their own unique way, so I really can’t decide. But this (Exchange LA) stands out by far because it’s not quite a “club”, y’know, the lights and sounds are on a whole different level and you really say to yourself, “this building has no business being a club.” It’s the best place to perform at in LA. I think the best shows have been Orlando to kick off the tour… Dallas was bonkers. Last night and tonight have been unbelievably amazing, big rooms with lots and lots of people, you really can’t complain.

Who/what have been the biggest influences on your music career?

I don’t really listen to much dance music when I’m not writing. I’m obsessed with Mumford and Sons and Coldplay, I listen to those guys all the time. So you can expect a lot of their influences on my next album, and actually less of the club-like stuff. As far as dance influences, you hear a lot of really good stuff from every aspect of the genre. There’s a lot of stuff that you hear that you can easily be influenced by, so I just take what I hear and do my own version of it. So as far as dance music goes, I can name like a million people. I’ll just end it with, “there’s a million people that influences me.”

What can fans expect from you and your music in the upcoming months? Do you have any special releases coming out that we should be weary about?

There will be some big singles coming out. I actually played 4 new tracks tonight as well, I was blown away by the crowd’s response. It was really cool to see that people were blown away at music that they’ve never heard before. There will also be some really cool collaborations with some very very very (that’s 3 very’s) big names, some that aren’t in this music industry. People are going to be really surprised, this album isn’t going to be club tracks after club tracks. It’s going to be all across the board, an album. I’m really excited for people to hear the other stuff that I have to offer.

So Kaskade is basically your doppelganger, does this mean that all DJs from Chicago look the same?

*laughs* I get stopped so many times from that and I’m able to make a ton of new fans from it as well. I’d be asked, “are you Kaskade?” and I’d reply, “no…but I write dance music.” So they’d ask me for my name and they become fans for life. I still have never met Kaskade, but I look forward to the day that we stand next to each other and be able to see the reaction on his face. Actually, someone did me a funny story: a fan of his and apparently a fan of mine as well was at EDC Chicago and somehow was able to get backstage access. She approached Kaskade thinking he was me and was like, “Hey you’re Topher Jones, right?” And he goes, “no…sorry.” She was startled and said, “oh shit, you’re Kaskade!!!” I was so happy to hear that it finally happened to him because it happens to me ALL THE TIME. Nonetheless, I can’t wait for the day that I meet him because he’s such a humbled man and his work is out of this world.

This young career has been remarkably successful in almost all aspects, from being signed to Ultra to opening for the biggest names in the game. What have been your proudest moments thus far?

  1. Proudest moments: Selling out shows in Chicago
  2. Yesterday was really cool when i was talking to Chad after the show and he said how special it was to him that they’ve played Ruby Skye 7-8 and they were finally able to sell it out and how great of a milestone that was for them. I care a lot about those guys so that meant a lot to me to be able to be a part of it.
  3. Maybe the coolest thing that has ever happened to me was about a month ago when i was playing a show in Chicago with Tiesto. It was a week after the Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley cup. At the time, Hello Chicago was doing really well in the city and it was a recognized track by most of the people, kind of like a dance music anthem. I’m here playing “Brohammer” and out of nowhere I see the Stanley Cup going through the crowd and I’m like “What is going on here? Why do i see the Stanley cup?” Eventually the cup finds it’s way to the stage. By now, I’m playing “Hello Chicago” and the whole club is going crazy, singing along and suddenly the whole Blackhawks team got on stage with the Stanley Cup. So that was definitely a night to remember and something I can only dream of ever happening again.
  4. And then to top it all off… Tiesto ended his set that night at 2 but the club was opened til 2:45 so he had me on to close out the show. So I’m putting my headphones on (I’m not going to mention the brand of the headphones) and Tiesto’s like, “I don’t like the headphones you have. Why don’t you have my brand of headphones?” And I answered, “Well, they’re really expensive and I do not know where to find them.” And he goes, “well, you can have mine.” He handed it to me. “You’ll love it in the studio.” So the Blackhawks going on stage and Tiesto handing me his headphones are definitely highlights that stand out to me.
  5. And whenever my parents come out to my shows, it means a whole lot to me since they know I’m very passionate about what I do and they’ve been supportive of me every step of the way thus far. Any time they’re involved with me and my music is very important to me.