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Tom Zanetti Interview: 'Peace, love and partying hard'

We spoke to Tom Zanetti about the pros and cons of a big social media following, the most expensive thing he's ever bought and Leeds' clubbing scene.

Becca Frankland

Last updated: 13th Jan 2017

Tom Zanetti's popularity is immense. Consistently holding the ranking of the most visited artist page on the Skiddle site, it's safe to say that the lad from Leeds is an absolute crowd favourite. 

His interest for dance music was apparent from an early age. In school he wasted no time in developing his reputation by recording a CD with him MCing over bassline, before he went on to DJ at clubnights in the city as well as promoting them. It was off the back of the early promotional work that Zanetti decided to create Insomnia with friend Kane Towning (K.O Kane).

The Insomnia parties found a home at Mission in Leeds and went on to win the award for Leeds Best Night. From there the pair decided to set up an events company called Sleepin Is Cheatin (SIC), the brand has gone on to host festival arenas and has recently announced the One Sic Getaway weekender at BCM Planet Dance in Magaluf. 

On the production front, Tom Zanetti's track 'Darlin' became a bit of a bass house anthem, and was followed up with the massive 'You Want Me' which has received big support from DJs on Radio 1 over the past couple of months. 

We caught up with Tom ahead of more Insomnia and Freak events at Mission in Leeds and the One Sic Getaway to find out more about his home city's clubbing scene and his favourite tracks right now.

Find upcoming Tom Zanetti gigs.

Hi Tom, for anyone who's unfamiliar with your background in music, how did you get started and how did things progress?

My dad was a DJ in the 90s and he played loads of different house music, all the classic records. My mum loved Motown and 90s pop music, and my grandad was into Italian singers like Dean Martin. I grew up around all these different types of music so that was definitely a melting pot of influences for me to begin my music with.

What are your thoughts on Leeds' current clubbing scene?

I think it’s thriving at the moment, it’s amazing. It has such a 'peace, love and partying hard' feeling to it. It’s like a big family there and there is never any trouble - Leeds is renowned for having a friendly atmosphere. The music is fresh and on-point, I think Leeds has always been quite a big threshold into the underground dance scene.

Why do you think that bassline music has had a bit of a resurgence in popularity over the past couple of years?

I think everything that was big years ago, comes back round eventually. Music that is quality will live and stay around forever. Bassline has always been very underground in the North of England and people like me and other big DJs that I aspire to bring it out to a more mainstream and international market. 

How would you sum up your relationship with K.O Kane?

Kane is not just my business partner and DJ he is my brother. We have been through everything together and we are like family. We motivate each other and point out each other’s faults - if it wasn't for Tom there wouldn't be a Kane and if it wasn't for Kane there would be no Tom!

What music are you into which some people might be surprised that you like?

I really love all types of music and I like everything. This morning I was listening to a Paolo Nutini album on the way to my son's school, there is a song in there that is incredibly meaningful to me and my family. I’m also a massive fan of Elvis, Dean Martin and Otis Redding.

Your social media following is massive, what are the pros and cons of being so active online?

The pros are that I can express myself to a massive audience and I can share things that I’m interested in. I can try and help and support charities and good causes. And also promote my music and business of course.

The cons are the same as with anybody in my situation; you are opening yourselves up to an open audience and there is always conversation.

I get a lot of messages that I need to respond too as well, which is great .

I read that one of your life motos is "Always control the partying, never let the partying control you." Has there ever been a point where partying has got the better of you and it's affected you?

I’ve always liked to be the party starter but I know when to stop as well. Once it stops becoming enjoyable, I distance myself from it.

The video for your latest track 'You Want Me' is pretty lavish, but what's the most expensive thing you've ever bought?

Probably my new house! 

Name your top 5 favourite tunes at the moment...

Ooh.. it’s mad because I listen to something new every day.

Cell Broco – Don’t Change - This is a really good bassline deep house track

Hold On – SBTRKT (Burnski Desert edit)

Hozier's Live Lounge cover of Arctic Monkeys' ‘Do I Wanna Know’

Gorgon City ‘Imagination’ (Weiss remix) 

Jamie Jones remix of ‘Hungry for the Power’ - It’s an older one but it will never die!

Find upcoming Tom Zanetti gigs.