The story of how Project 46 came to be is an endearing one, and as cliche as it may sound, it’s a story that reminds us that the American Dream (let’s say North American Dream; Thomas and Ryan are from Canada) is still an achievable ideal. Prior to producing festival smashing bangers, beating Tiesto to the #1 spot on the charts with their blockbuster track “Reasons” featuring vocals by Andrew Allen, and securing a spot in the DJ Mag top 100, Thomas was working at Costco with default aspirations of becoming a civil engineer. Ryan was hustling as a promoter in the Dance Music world. Then one day they gave themselves the ultimate ultimatum: give music everything, or move on. They chose music. They got a loan. They bought a laptop, which they paid off in small increments. And this Friday, after a whirlwind journey around the globe, they are playing in front of Exchange LA’s dance-crazy crowds. We caught up with Project 46 ahead of the show.
Welcome back to LA! This city has hosted you more than a few times. What keeps you excited about the City of Angels?
The weather is amazing but besides that, the city and surrounding area is full of amazing venues and such passionate and energetic fans! It really is a special place for us to play. We have always wanted to play at Exchange as well, so when we found out we are going to play here 3 times this year we were obviously super, super excited!
So you guys are the progressive house version of the American Dream. How did you make the switch from being working stiffs to beating Tiesto on the dance charts?
Haha, well it’s been quite a great journey. We owe everything to our fans for helping so many people find our music. We obviously have worked incredibly hard to get to where we are but it is sprinkled with a little bit of luck. So we are very grateful for everything and try our best not to take anything for granted!
Any advice you can give those with similar dreams?
You’ve got to work hard and then even harder. Make sure you surround yourself with the right people and build the right team. When picking a manager, label or anything associated with your career be sure to wait for the right people and not jump at the first opportunity.
You’ve collaborated with Kaskade and Laidback Luke recently, but you’ve mentioned before that you’d be into collaborating with artists outside of the dance music bubble. I’d love to know who are on the top of that list?
We are honestly working with people a little less known. We really enjoy finding talent in places no one really looks. Finding a diamond in the rough has always been our plan of attack. I’d like to think Kaskade felt the same way about us when he decided to work with us when no one really knew who we were.
What is your relationship to pancakes, and how does that relationship seep into your music?
Pancakes were really just a big joke. I wanted to do a weekly giveaway and call it Freebie Fridays and Thomas looked at me and said Really? He went and posted the giveaway and called it PancakeFriday. He looked at me and said, ‘if you’re going to call it something stupid, let’s call it something really stupid.’ Ha Ha…. People seemed to get a kick out of it and it became our thing.
It’s famously reported that you both live on opposite sides of Canada from each other. How has modern online communication and technology affected the way you guys produce and do business?
At first it was very essential to our success and really is a testament to today’s technology. Now we are together on the road more than we are apart so things have gotten easier in some aspects but obviously being on the road brings new challenges!
As artists, what are the most important things you consider when creating a track?
We always have tried to create something we are proud of. That’s the most important thing to do. If both of us are not 100% proud or excited about a track, most of the time you will never see it come out.
When you consider the scope of what you guys do, from the business side to the performance side to the domestic side, when do you feel the most pressure or stress?
The hard parts are being away from family and friends but the most frustrating part is watching our management team deal with the business politics related to just getting our music out for our fans. Either way, these are both sacrifices that are obviously worth it in the end.
When do you feel the happiest?
Performing our music in front of fans that are having an amazing time really is something special. We know as artists we are super lucky to be able to share our music with so many people.
Festival season in the northern hemisphere is beginning. Which festivals are you looking forward to this year?
We always look forward to Escapade in Ottawa and we are also returning to Camp Bisco which was awesome last year. I think we are playing Summerfest for the first time and a bunch more that will be announced.Purchase Tickets Here!