Tough Love are a dancefloor destroying duo of the highest order. Hailing from London, Alex and Stef have risen through the ranks of a vibrant house scene with big bass sets and high octane performances that have earned them Ibiza residences and love from BBC Radio, ultimately leading to them forming their 'Get Twisted' label.
With massive singles such as the ubiquitous, 'So Freakin Tight', which is now certified silver, plus releases alongside Roger ‘The S- Man” Sanchez, the pair are staking their claim as big performers in the scene.
Their latest work 'Animal', is destined to spark mass raving wherever Tough Love take it. With a hypnotising vocal sample drifting over pulsating bass tones and pounding beats, the track represents everything the duo are about and adds yet another banger to their ever increasing back catalogue.
It bodes well for the forthcoming festival season where Tough Love have a massive date at We Are FSTVL, performing at the festival's new Space 'Do Not Sleep' stage on the Sunday of the event.
We caught up with Alex and Stef ahead of this date to talk about their festival experiences.
Hi Tough Love how are you? You must be very busy at the moment with your new album coming out?
Yes it’s non-stop. We're touring, finishing off the last few records for our debut album Past Present Future and we've got some collaborations on the go as well…not to mention our label Get Twisted Records to run!
What three things make for a great dance music festival and why?
It’s difficult to master due to the open space but if you want a really good festival you need a great sound system to appreciate the acts playing. An amazing visual setup. There are some amazing props & stage sets being built. It just elevates the festival experience for everyone involved. The sun - ok you can't control this, but how much better is everything when the sun is out!
Which festivals abroad do you like playing at the most? Which countries are your favourite to play in and visit?
We love playing in the states; the festivals out there are like UK festivals on steroids, they're just massive! Last year we played a few shows for the Insomniac guys and they were amazing! When we get the opportunity we get fully involved and take time to check out the other acts.
Are festival arenas a good place to try new out music? The answer is yes judging by the video of you playing Like a Drug at Pier Jam!
Yeah we love test running new records we've made at festivals; it’s a great way to see if you've got a track that makes people move. There honestly is no better feeling than watching people dance and sing your records back to you.
Do you party at every festival you play or do you have to tone it down sometimes?
When we don't have any other shows then we like to let loose. It doesn’t happen as much as we'd like, but when we’ve got the time and the environment is right you’ve just gotta go with it.
What are your earliest festival memories, did you go to a festival as a DJ or a punter first? Where did you first go?
Alex: I think I must have had way to much fun because I actually can't remember my first festival!
Stef: I think it was in 2001 at a beach festival I played at in Greece. It was quite a big step up from club shows and I was shitting myself looking out at so many people! It worked out great though.
Overall what are is the craziest/ most memorable/ most amazing thing you have experienced at a festival?
The most memorable is probably a festival we played at in Lithuania. We'd been on tour for a few weeks, we were lacking sleep and really didn’t know what to expect. We got to the festival in the middle of a forest and closed the main stage. It was unreal. Thousands of people dancing and singing in a country that we never thought our music would touch. It doesn't get much better than that.
Who are the best acts you have witnessed at a festival?
Who are you most looking forward to seeing when you play at We Are FSTVL? Are you looking forward to performing there?
We can't wait to perform. We love playing at We Are FSTVL and this will be out debut for Space and Do Not Sleep. Really looking forward to checking out Basement Jaxx.
Are you bringing anything different to your festival sets this season? Does your set change throughout the summer?
Our sets change every time we get on the decks; we never know what we're going to play. That’s the art of DJing - reading what’s in front of you, teasing some brand new music and making sure the crowd have the best time possible.