Back in 2010, if you had heard of Canadian house/trance duo Eminence, there’s a good chance you were in the vast minority. Now it’s three years later and they’ve quickly made themselves into a household name after their stunning 169th ranking in the 2012 DJ Mag poll.
Taking no time to rest on their laurels, Dillon Wong and Matt “Kaz” Kazmierowski made their next goal to break into the top 100, an honor that would officially cement their status as world-class artists. Coming from a Canadian scene that’s far from easy on up-and-comers, they’ve gathered a devoted following Stateside -and they intend on travelling the major miles to be able to perform for those beloved fans as well.
Things weren’t always that way though. Every act has to get started somewhere, and in the case of Eminence it was a small club in Toronto.
We were the DJs for a Tyga and Lloyd afterparty. We had to mix hip-hop and top 40. That was a long time ago, it’s funny to look back on that.
Since then the duo’s come a long way, developing an appeal that can fill a club with hundreds of rowdy fans they’ve dubbed “Eminauts.”
With that sold-out room appeal, the Eminence sound is still constantly evolving. In a day and age where artists too often get defined by one genre, Dillon and Kaz are seeking to break that mold. Although much of their sound revolves around trance and progressive house, they don’t let that keep them from making sure their music stays as diverse as possible.
We’re trying to blend all these sounds into one, we don’t want to stick to one genre. We want every song to sound different.
With tracks like their remix of Dillon Francis’ “Without Me,” we see this philosophy in action. Melding together the mellow elements of the original with the need to “make it a bigger song,” Eminence shows us firsthand what it is to transcend genres in the name of making good music.
In the beginning though, that wasn’t always the dream. On one hand we have Kaz, coming from classical piano all the way into trance, and on the other side there’s Dillon, whose first musical aspiration was to become the “next Asian John Mayer.” From these two worlds, they’ve come together to create a brand of music that combines all the beauty of trance with the sheer size of big room house.
It’s easy to forget that artists are more than just music-makers. Together, Dillon and Kaz show us how true that is. In our conversation with the charismatic duo, we managed to cover everything from Taylor Swift…
“She’ll never settle. Well. Maybe in like 30 years.”
…to an attempted collaboration with producer Shawn Mitiska:
“I remember him giving a kick drum to me and being like ‘yo, this is the fattest kick drum you’ll ever use. It took me like 5 hours to get it perfectly toned for you.’ I loaded the FL, and it was the weirdest wave form I’ve ever seen in my life. [laughing] I played it, and it was him farting.”
With their magnetic personalities and captivating sound, their grassroots campaign to place themselves among the elite artists in the world is taking off. With none of the large-scale promotion or bottomless funding of the bigger artists in contention, they’ve managed to build a loyal following with one goal: Getting Eminence the recognition they deserve.
In the coming months, that recognition could come in any number of ways. Maybe it’ll be something as simple as playing to sold-out rooms across the U.S. Or even something as prestigious as being named one of the best 100 electronic artists the world has to offer. Whatever the future has in store, the one sure thing is that it won’t be long before everyone knows the name Eminence.
Get all the latest Pacific Northwest nightlife news, directly to your inbox.