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'Easy Go' and hard work means success for Grandtheft

The Toronto DJ performs at Maxx Fish on Aug. 6

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Life suddenly got bigger for Toronto DJ Grandtheft when his song "Easy Go," his collaboration with singer-songwriter Delaney Jane, broke into the Top 40 in the U.S. last fall.

"It was a surprise for me and the label to have it go to radio so big," Grandtheft says of the tune, released last October.

American fans fell in love with Delaney Jane's breathy singing and "Easy Go's" very danceable beat. It peaked at No. 27.

"She's amazing," Grandtheft says of his collaborator.

"She's a Toronto singer and my friend. It was her first song to make Top 40 and I think she is truly cut out for that."

And it has had huge play in Canada, too.

"I've never had a song that's had radio success. I don't consider myself a pop artist to be honest. I've had remixes that get big show play, but never a song on pop radio," Grandtheft says.

"Coming from an independent label (Diplo's Mad Decent), that was definitely a surprise. It exceeded everyone's expectations. It was weird seeing it just grow all over.

"It's exciting and crazy as a Canadian to break that."

He is especially proud to note that when "Easy Go" was rising up the Top 40, it was the only independent-label song. He says it has almost gone gold in Canada at this stage.

"It has felt like a coup," he says.

Grandtheft acknowledges he has a big sound, the hard bassline of his genre was jokingly described by one fan as being capable of setting off car alarms, something he hasn't yet tested. He's been developing his sound since the early 2000s and was one of the official DJs during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

A Whistler regular, Grandtheft was originally booked to perform at the Pemberton Music Festival in July, but the cancellation of that event means he is playing a more intimate gig at Maxx Fish on Sunday, Aug. 6. Doors open at 9:30 p.m.; tickets are $20.

Catching Grandtheft over the phone at an airport in Philadelphia while he's waiting for his next flight, he says he has been touring almost continuously for the past four years.

"We take little pockets of time to work on music, but there are shows all the time," he says.

"We're hoping for more studio time this fall, but it has been really non-stop. I'm always talking with my team about taking only some shows, but no matter what we do it seems like there's a lot. It's a good problem to have," he laughs.

He is working on a "ton" of new singles, including a new track called "Square One."

"There's a whole bunch of new tracks, but the team is making a decision on which will come out next and fine tuning what we've got," Grandtheft says.

At the moment, the success of "Easy Go" means they have to be careful not to overthink things and he believes the next year will bring new success.

"We're taking our time to find the right song," Grandtheft says.

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