Mike Thivaios and Dimitri Thiviaos, better known as Like Mike and Dimitri Vegas, are just hours away from headlining at Cameo nightclub on South Beach.
They’re not at all nervous, just a little tired after jet setting around the globe. From Ibiza to Vegas, there isn’t a party hotspot they haven’t crashed.
The Belgium brothers from humble beginnings have come a long way in the last few years, having made a name for themselves as DJs on the club scene. They’ve produced tracks for some of the greats like Tiesto and Swedish House Mafia. Now they pull in anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a night.
But even with all their successes, the two manage to remain down-to-earth. Their outfits this night (t-shirts and jeans) reflect their non-pretentious attitude and style. As Dimitri will tell you “the focus is on the music”.
We followed the duo for a late-night dinner before their big performance at Cameo where they talked about their start in the business and how they prepare each night to entertain the crowd.
After a sound check at Cameo, the brothers head over to Café Charlotte for some Venezuelan food. “It’s important to eat since we have a big night,” Mike said. It’s not a swanky restaurant, which doesn’t bother them. They’re just happy to be back in Miami. “We like playing here. the crowd really gets into the music,” Dimitri explains.
As music producers in the studio, the two take on similar roles, but during a live performance they couldn’t be any different. “I’m on the mic as an MC, he does all the work,” jokes Mike.
Their path to stardom didn’t come easy. As a teen, Dimitri knew he wanted to DJ, but his brother was more into the “hip-hop” scene. “I did hip-hop in my own language [Dutch] but there was no market,” Mike explains. From Belgium, they relocated to Ibiza and found work promoting parties at hotels. Having saved up some money – and an established record collection – Dimitri convinced some of the clubs to let him spin. “One night [Like Mike] came into the club. He just picked up the mic and starting rapping to a beat. Once the people starting going crazy, we knew we had something.”
Producing came later as they realized that’s where the “money was.” They struggled financially at first. “Our parents said, ‘Why don’t you get a real job!'” Mike said.
The brothers head back to their room at the Loews Miami Beach hotel. Like Mike says he plans to take “a baby nap” but Dimitri has music on the brain. “I like to go over my setlist.” Mike says he might have “a glass of wine” or some “vodka” before a gig “just to calm the nerves.” If he has time, Dimitri says “he’ll change or take a shower.”
Since the club is near their hotel, the brothers opt to walk. It’s not as glamorous as a limo ride – focusing on outward appearances is not their style.
Inside Cameo is packed and the club’s staff escorts them to the DJ area where they set up and wait for their set to start. There’s no screaming fans waiting to rip their clothes or get an autograph. They will pretty much go unnoticed until they get behind the decks of the DJ booth. At least there is champagne flowing at their VIP table nearby.
They’re on. The setlist is your standard club fare, but by mixing Dimitri beats with Mike’s voice, they manage to wow the crowd. Hands are in the air and bodies are moving to their electro beats, techno sound, and uplifting house beats.
And we quickly learn why this duo is so popular – especially among the ladies. They can’t stop dancing to their beats. However, there will be no hooking up tonight – or any night. “We both have girlfriends. They live in Belgium,” Dimitri said Being apart from them is hard, he admits, however “they understand.”
“I can’t call her now since its 7 a.m. [in Belgium] and she’s sleeping,” Mike says of his sweetie.
They wrap up their set, smiling and excited. “We’re leaving for Vegas in about an hour and half.” Mike said. Dimitri has the perfect solution, “Don’t worry, you can sleep on the plane.”