DJ Burns

If you’re psyched to catch Calvin Harris, the “king of electropop” at LIV at the Fontainebleau Wednesday night (Feb. 24), don’t get there late: DJ Burns, the opening act, is even better, Harris says.

The fabulous Scottish sensation even wrote a song about his fellow countryman for his latest album (“Ready for the Weekend”), called “Burns Night.” While Burns was touring the U.S. with Deadmau5 late last year, Harris said, “Burns is better than both of us put together. [Burns Night] is basically just a dedication to him, the chaos that he brings. If you ever meet him, you’ll know what I mean.”

See for yourself Wednesday night at the One Year Anniversary of Dirty Hairy. In the meantime, Burns talked to about his sound, his latest tour, and what drives him to remix certain tracks.
Do you plan your sets differently if you’re opening for another DJ?
No, not really – I never really do plan my sets. I always find it easier just to go off the cuff and feel the crowd and play off them. I’ve never in my whole DJ career planned a set, and I’ve always found that to be the best way, because then you can just do what you want, depending on how the crowd reacts, and what kind of crowd you’re playing in front of. Over the course of the tour, I’ll obviously figure out what works best, and I’ll play roughly a similar kind of set, but I’ll just drop in there what I feel like at the time.
How often do you get to Miami?
I’ve played there a couple times before – we did Winter Music Conference I think in 2008, and I did a few gigs around there. We did the White Room – it was just a small room, but a good vibe there.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s very difficult, because I try to not do the same thing over and over again, especially with remixes – I’ve always tried to keep it as diverse as possible. I wouldn’t say it’s a particular sound or style of electronic music – it’s just electronic music, really. Certain remixes will have a hip-hop vibe, and certain ones will be techno – it just depends on what kind of mood I’m in. The same applies to a lot of the original stuff as well – I’m just trying to keep it as fresh as possible.
What’s your songwriting process?
A lot of time it will be like a small sample or something like that, or it can be a chord progression I’ve written on the keyboard, or maybe a vocal. The album is a lot more aimed at a crossover crowd, but it differs from track to track.
How do you choose which tracks to remix?
A lot of times the artists come to me and request a remix, and I’ll do it as long as there’s something in the original song that I like. There has to be an element that I can do something really good with, a vocal track or whatever.
How did you get your start?
When I was about 12 or 13 I used to use the kind of amateur production software, kind of a scaled-down version of what I use now. I think I have a natural ability to use it, and a natural feel for music and chords, and I can kind of build melodies easily. But in terms of how I got my start in the music business, it was MySpace.


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