Claptone is continuing his rise as the highest-ranking House artist, according to the DJ Mag “Top 100” list of 2021. The mysterious, yet exciting and phenomenal, Claptone released his latest album, Closer, back in November and today, it is still an album that everyone must hear. The likes of Barry Manilow, Seal, James Vincent McMorrow, Peter Bjorn and John, Mayer Hawthorne, and Dizzy provided their fantastic musical contributions to Closer. In fact, Claptone’s track with Dizzy, “Queen of Ice“, also received an amazing remix from the legendary duo, Pet Shop Boys.
Pet Shop Boys’ remix of “Queen of Ice” is a nice infectious blend of pop and house elements. It is a blend that is perfect for both the dance floor and for the radio, especially since as of the writing, Claptone is preparing for his latest show at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco. Check out this exclusive interview with Claptone as he discussed his recent collaboration with Pet Shop Boys, his current North American tour, and more. Also, feel free to listen to the “Queen of Ice” remix below this paragraph while checking out the interview.
Kenny Ngo: Hello, mate! How are you doing and how was Valentine’s Day for you?
Claptone: It was lovely…as it should be, right?
Getting started with the music. Just recently, Pet Shop Boys have collaborated with you in remixing your single “Queen of Ice” featuring Dizzy. How was it like working with the legendary duo?
It was a dream come true. One of the legends in Pop Music taking on my composition was the ultimate accolade! You know, I collect Vinyl and my collection of Pet Shop Boys records is pretty far out I dare to say [donations welcome ;)]. No honestly Chris and Neil where kind enough to listen to my album‚ ‘Closer’, and they loved it.
They picked a song they wanted to remix which was, “Queen of Ice” and they delivered a trademark Pet Shop Boys version which you have to love. They have always been an inspiration to me musically. The Pet Shop Boys have always been around and I can’t imagine a world without Pet Shop Boys and their music.
Do you feel any significant similarities and differences between this unique remix and your original?
Significant would be that the original is a downtempo song and they made it into a House track. Part of the melancholy of the original gives way to a slightly more positive feel. It’s like when someone makes a great movie based on an already great script but does it in a slightly different and interesting way, being inspired by the original script but not too shy to (re-)invent based on the original.
Of course, Canadian indie pop band Dizzy provided the vocals for “Queen of Ice”. Do you know what Dizzy think about the track’s remix?
I sincerely hope they love it as much as I do and feel honored same as me.
What do you hope this remix will do for the fans listening to it?
I hope it’ll bring joy to the Boys’ fans who haven’t heard some music by the duo for quite a while. I hope my fans open up to the idea that Pop and House music go together since – well, always. This is something the existence of Pet Shop Boys and this remix prove. And of course, I hope that Pet Shop Boys fans will discover all three Claptone albums and enjoy those as well.
Speaking of fans, particularly for your fans in North America, you will undertake your latest North American tour, which includes performing at EDC Mexico and Coca Cola Music in San Juan, Puerto Rico? What will you look forward to the most in this upcoming tour?
I am looking forward to be with the big crowds again. I’m also looking forward to this first big tour of the year with more to come now that we’re over the worst of Covid. I am beyond excited to play so many great festivals and clubs, to bring joy to so many hearts, including my own heart.
Do you plan on doing anything innovative/different for this upcoming tour in terms of music production?
I always challenge myself. There’s always new Claptone Edits, Tracks and Remixes that I play. After the “Cold Heart” Remix for Elton and Dua Lipa, I remixed Rag N Bone Man, and since a couple of weeks ago, you can get your hands on my Remix for Oden & Fatzo, “Lauren”, a classic house tune with a hook to kill for. There’ll be lots more surprises and unreleased and exclusive tracks when I play.
Are there any more upcoming music releases to look out for coming from you?
The main focus is still on “Queen of Ice”, but the next single‚ “Feel This Way” ft. Mayer Hawthorne, who’s from Los Angeles, will drop in March with amazing remixes from Andhim and Gettoblaster. Great original and great club mixes.
How about any other upcoming tours elsewhere? Especially in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and/or South America?
Europe is slowly opening up and gigs are starting to come in, so I’ll be doing lots of festivals in the summer and of course my very own ’The Masquerade’ at Pacha Ibiza every Saturday from May till October. This will be huge!
Before that, I’m planning to come to South Africa because I haven’t been for so long – I love you guys! Of course I’ll be back in Brazil as soon as possible, trying to finally do my Chile show, same goes for Montreal! Asia is still tough to travel and Australia will be later this year, rather after the summer.
Any hopes and wishes for you personally in 2022?
Only one thing. Let’s get back to normal everywhere and keep dancing!
*Also, check out Claptone’s latest track below. He remixed Oden & Fatzo’s “Lauren (I Can’t Stay Forever)”.