Dirty South: Everything is possible
Life is moving at a breakneck pace for Dirty South. Here’s just a small sample of achievements the DJ has ticked off in the last six months: five shows with Stereosonic, an extensive tour of the US and Canada, immense festival slots at Beyond Wonderland and Ultra Music Festival, regular stops at Marquee in Las Vegas and another certified anthem in Eyes Wide Open. When inthemix gets Dragan RoganoviÄ‡ on the phone, he’s just arrived back in his hometown Melbourne. It’s no holiday, though.
“I just got back to Australia yesterday; I’m here for two weeks and then back to the US for another little tour,” he tells us through the jet-lag haze. “I just built a brand new studio in Melbourne; it’s a professional, purpose-built facility and I’m trying to spend a little bit more time here. That’s hard because touring is full on, so I have to balance the two as much as I can. I have a bunch of productions I need to finish up, but then the touring calls right away.”
While he’s a fixture in Ibiza and around the festival stages of Europe, it’s in America that Dirty South has truly made his mark. The thousands-strong crowds at Electric Daisy Carnival who cheer along to each of his productions are testament to that. “I love playing in the US, as I always say, it’s one of the hungriest places for dance music in the world right now,” he says. “Everything’s bigger there. There’s no holding back.”
Dirty South uploaded part of his set from Ultra Music Festival to Soundcloud, and it’s every bit as ‘big’ as you’d expect.
With the Swedish House Mafia backing his international rise (and filling its sets with his remixes and edits), Dirty South is in an enviable spot. Another expat who has followed his lead is Tommy Trash, who boasts Dutch kingpin Tiesto in his corner. So, is there a distinctively Australian sound? “I don’t really think about it like that,” says Dragan. “You could categorise it if you wanted to. You’ve got Tommy Trash coming up with a very electro sound, so you can see it that way. With my stuff it’s all about putting emotion in it – some nice chords. But at the end of the day it’s just music. If you like it, that’s good, if you don’t, you don’t.”