Interview: Tom Staar on Eating Raw Chicken and His Guangdong Debut

By Jesse Pottinger, August 22, 2017

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Thomas Ingamells, known in the EDM scene by his alias Tom Staar, is a London-born DJ and producer specializing in high-energy big-room house music. His versatile sound has appeared on several notable record labels including his own Staar Traxx, as well as Armada, Maustrap, Size, Spinnin and now Axtone – working with industry legends Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell.

The soon-to-be father of two has graced the stages of Tomorrowland and Ibiza, and played numerous sets throughout east Asia, with his fast-approaching return to China including highly anticipated performances in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

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His work has made multiple appearances on the Beatport Top 10, in addition to regularly airing on BBC Radio 1. Catch him this month alongside fellow Axtone DJ Ralph Felix at the W Guangzhou on August 25, Dragon-i Hong Kong on August 26 or Shenzhen's Pepper Club on September 1.

In light of his upcoming shows, we spoke with the acclaimed record producer about his favorite performances, memorable collaborations and unusual meals. 

Tell us about your music style for those who are unfamiliar.
I’d say it's big-room house music. It has the energy and power for the main stages but with more of a house-tech feel than the other straight up EDM guys. 

If you could play at any festival of your choosing, what would it be and why?
I'd love to do the main stage at Tomorrowland. It's so epic! 

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You’ve played multiple shows at the legendary Tomorrowland Festival and made numerous appearances in Ibiza, of everywhere you’ve played is there one city or stage that stood out above the rest?
It's so hard to choose one, as I've done so many amazing places over the last few years. Japan is one of my favorite places to go and to play, but when it comes to festivals the ones in Europe are the best right now.

You were quoted saying "these days progressive house is a very different thing to what I know it as," tell us what has changed?
The term ‘progressive’ has just changed into something totally different for a lot of people. For me progressive house is the stuff from guys like Sasha and Digweed, although now the term seems to refer to the melodic EDM stuff from guys like Vicerone and Dimitri Vangelis+Wymann.

You have a 2-year-old daughter and another baby on the way, how do you balance your busy DJ schedule with family life?
Yeah, it's really hard finding the balance. It's something I'm still working on.

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Based on your daughter’s name, we assume you’re an Atari fan. What are some of your favorite games?
It wasn't really because I was a huge fan of the old Atari computers, I just thought it was a really cool word and worked as a name.

You’ve worked with iconic artists like Knife Party, Galantis, Wolfgang Gartner and Nervo, what was your most memorable collaboration?
It was great working with Knife Party. Rob Swire is a producer I've looked up to for years so to get to work with him was amazing!

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What are you expecting from your first performance in Guangzhou?
I'm really excited to be playing in Guangzhou. I haven't been to China for a while and I always have an amazing time when I come to that side of the world.

What is the most outrageous food you’ve ever eaten?
Eating raw chicken in Tokyo was a weird one for me.

If you had to completely wipe out one subgenre of electronic music from existence, which would it be?
Trap.

Would you rather give a full body massage to DJ Khaled, or open a show for DJ Pauly D?
Ha. I'd rather open a show for Pauly D.

Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
A very special thank you to the Xin Wang Group for hooking up the China Tour!

READ MORE: Ralph Felix on Whitney Houston, Axtone and Clogs

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[Images via Xin Wang]

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