Elton Smith Interview with house legend Gregor Salto.

Gregor Salto looking serious before talking to me.

Gregor Salto looking serious before talking to me.

To lovers of house music, Gregor Salto needs no introduction. The Dutch
DJ has been a regular on the scene for 10 years, spawning collaborations
with Rihanna to producing the number 1 Beatport electro hit ‘What Happens In
Vegas’. Recently he was also the recipient of an ASCAP (American
Association of Composers, Authors & Publishers) Latin award for “Echa
Pa’lla,” his international smash hit single with multi-platinum selling
superstar Pitbull. Gregor owns his own label, G-REX Music and his recent
compilation “Gregor Salto Ultimate Miami” showcases an array of house
music, including collaborations with Rihanna and Taio Cruz. Looking
from his plethora of steady releases this man is clearly productve
musically and is a savvy businessman, so i wanted to find more about his
approach to his music and how he remained focussed and productive. I
recently caught up with him to discuss producing and workflow, his dj sets
and Australian tour, Ultra Music Festival and the necessary grind needed
to be a top line DJ.

ES: Hi how are you?
GS: I’m doing very well. Busy with a lot of nice gigs and of course
studio time.

ES: You are travelling a long way to be with us. How do you cope with travel?
GS: Well, I try to eat healthy and get as much sleep as possible. It
helps when I’m traveling through countries with nice weather though.

ES: What do you do to prepare for long flights?
GS: I usually don’t prepare it any more than make sure my laptop is
charged. So I can do some work on the flight or even watch a movie.

ES: Where is your favourite DJ destination?
GS: That would probably be Australia I’ve never been here before so
I’m very excited.

ES: I was unable to make it to Miami this year. Your compilation on G-REX is called Ultimate Miami. How was the week this year? How many gigs did you play? How to you find the crowd there?
GS: Miami this year was very special for me. Not only did I play Ultra
Music Festival for the first time, but it was the first time I really
felt the US crowd was getting in to my music. I was just finishing
my US tour and Miami was (almost) the last destination. I played at
the National Hotel at R3hab’s party, I played Miami Massive at Nikki
Beach, Mixmash from Laidback Luke again at the National Hotel and as
said before, Ultra.

ES: You seem to be very productive in the studio. For all the
producers out there like me how do you stay so focused and what is
your workflow like in order to constantly make tunes?

GS: You need to live for the music. It has to be your passion. A lot of
kids these days want to become a DJ and or Producer. Not because of
their love for music, but mainly because of the lifestyle that they
think is cool. But, it’s hard work. It is an actual job. So, hard
work and some good luck and you’ll get there. Keep the goal in your
mind with every step you take.

ES: Do you typically work with anyone and if so how does dealing
with a difference of opinion influence the end result?

GS: Most of my records have been co operations. I love working together with others. Sometimes, with other producers , it means you have to
find the strongest parts you both can bring to the table and make
that work together.
On other occasions, when i’m working alone as a producer but with
singers / musicians, I let them do their work as much as possible.
Then when I feel they’ve given all they can , i come with remarks
etc, ask them to do this like that etc. I always try to let people
do their thing and not kill their creativity by over pushing them
with my ideas, and usually thats when the best co-ops come up.
However, in the end, I have to be happy so sometimes it requires a
lot of ‘searching’ before I get the groove I want.

ES: What does your typical day consist of?
GS: Waking up with my family, early. Than I usually go through my e-mail
and after that, you’ll find me in the studio or at the office
managing the labels.

ES: What was the process of producing Rihanna Diamonds? Were you
directly approached or did you send a bootleg to her record label?

GS: I was approched directly. It was actually the 3rd remix I made for
her. (before Diamonds I remixed Cheers and You Da One).

ES: With so many people trying to emulate their favourite Djs and
Producers, what would your advice be to those young people trying
to break into the scene?

GS: Follow your own plan. Create it and than stick to it. You can only
be convincing as a DJ if you do what you want to do. Don’t be afraid
to be unique. The copycat is never the one on mainstage. (or at
least he won’t stay there for long .

ES: Your DJ sets are seen to be quite eclectic and flexible. How
do you prepare for your sets? What is your setup?

GS: I used to play vinyl, then went to cds and currently I’m playing a
mix of usb, sd and cd.

Elton Smith on twitter @ DJeltonsmith.
Email info@eltonsmithmusic.com.


  1. Good work Elton! Nice read! :)

    • Hey Dazza. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it :)


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