5 Memorable Pairings from IMS Engage

9 March 2016

Conversations that inspire and showcase the growth of electronic music.

IMS Engage was launched three years ago in the heart of the entertainment world – Hollywood, in the middle of Los Angeles, California. The Summit set itself apart from previous editions of IMS by making use of the hub of Los Angeles and inviting in iconic speakers not only from the electronic music realm, but also from surrounding cultural facets like technology, film, fashion and other genres of music like classical and hip-hop. In the three years since IMS Engage was launched, the industry has seen leaders come together for conversations that have widened the scope for electronic music while simultaneously showing how far and deep electronic music’s reach is beyond our own industry.

In a special, candid format, two icons of their own domains sit in conversation to discuss anything and everything both within and around the electronic music world.

As we approach the third return of IMS Engage on April 21st, 2016, we look back on some of the most memorable pairings we’ve seen throughout IMS Engage history.

5. IMS Engage 2013: Diplo In Conversation with Kevin Systrom

In 2013, Jack Ü was unheard of and Diplo had yet to become a first time Grammy winner. Three years ago, Instagram was a brand new social media platform that people were just beginning to experiment with – and amongst them was none other than Diplo himself.

IMS Engage brought the talented producer together with Co-Founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom for a conversation that was far ahead of its time. For both Diplo and Instagram, the next few years would be vital, formative years for both of their ventures. IMS was granted the valuable opportunity to catch both figures at the early peak of their careers, and together, they pinpointed early signs of how important social media (like Instagram, as well as Twitter) would come to be for the explosion of electronic music and its community.

“Social media in electronic music is a great equalizer because you don’t need a lot of money or a lot of marketing to promote your record. They’ll find their way naturally through the network.” – Diplo

4. IMS 2015: Kaskade In Conversation Stuart Price

2015 saw production giants Kaskade and Stuart Price sit in conversation in Hollywood for an enlightening banter about various aspects of the music industry with valuable insight from each of their prolific careers. Price, a three-time Grammy winner and producer behind monumental records of Madonna, The Killers, Pet Shop Boys and many more, had plenty to discuss with Kaskade, a DJ and producer that drew inspiration from his nights on the dance floor in Chicago before kicking off his own career in the 90s.

Kaskade, fresh off of an enormous headlining performance at Coachella in 2015, overviewed his career – from beginning at the bottom to now dominating at the top of during the “superstar DJ” era.

Unavoidably, a hot topic for both artists was the question of the future. What does the future of electronic music look like – or sound like? Neither could say definitively, but Kaskade provided an answer that garnered a cheer from the IMS room.

“I don’t like the word ‘future house’ because house is the future. We’ve been living in the future since 1982.” – Kaskade

3. IMS Engage 2013: Skrillex In Conversation with Jeff Rosenthal

Now an eight time Grammy winner and household name beyond just the electronic music realm, it’s hard to imagine a time when Skrillex could be $30,000 in debt and a relative nobody. Three years ago – before Justin Bieber – Skrillex sat with Jeff Rosenthal, Co-Founder of the Summit series, for a conversation between two equally passionate, young forward-thinking minds.

Coming from a background of the no rules, indie music world, Skrillex explains what it took to become the “Skrillex” that people know and love today. Rosenthal supplied his own perspective, possibly one that entrepreneurs from across industries could relate to. He explained that his Summit series lost money during the first year, but with persistence, his venture has now become a huge success expanding across new cities each year.

“You know how people say keep it real? Well don’t do that, what you have to do is keep it surreal, and do things that are a little bit beyond everyone’s imagination.” – Jeff Rosenthal

2. IMS Engage 2014: Diddy In Conversation with Guy Gerber

2013 saw the surprising pairing of Diddy and Guy Gerber come together at IMS Engage, an unforeseen duo which teamed together for a track titled “11 11”, released in 2014. IMS brought the duo together for an open conversation about how the unlikely duo united.

A hip-hop leader and pop icon in his own right, Diddy gave plenty of credits to the electronic music world, explaining his fascination that sparked on the island of Ibiza and “falling in love” with the famed club, DC10.

Upon initial glance, Diddy might seem like an outsider of electronic music culture – but quickly, he proved exactly why he’s known as an iconic not just of hip-hop, but of music overall. After sharing his stories about diving head first into the beloved party scene of Ibiza, Diddy provided his own insightful perspective on the real value of talents within the electronic music scene.

“It’s all about the spiritual aspect of this music – playing from the heart and experiencing true emotions. I am always looking for DJs/producers without a set format, who aren’t afraid to clear the dance floor, who are fearless.” – Diddy

1. IMS Engage 2015: Quincy Jones In Conversation with Pete Tong

There are music icons – and then there are music legends.

Quincy Jones joined the IMS conversation in 2015, ready to share a lifetime of insight not only as the man behind Michael Jackson’s hits, but also as one of the most celebrated producers in pop music. It was only right for Jones to sit in conversation with the voice of electronic music Pete Tong, who supplied the right questions to find out Jones’ valuable thoughts on modern dance music.

“Dance music is the most powerful music on the planet, it really is.” –Quincy Jones

The entire room was locked into Jones’ every word, especially as he began to dole out advice to any music industry hopefuls and up-and-comers that might be listening in the IMS audience.

“Our entire business in music – in entertainment – is about a song and a story. That’s it. You don’t call anyone until you have a great song and a story.” – Quincy Jones


Curious to see more pairings from the IMS Engage archives? Find more pairings below.


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