Few modern electronic artists have inspired a musical landscape shift like Thomas Jack has. The Australian DJ and producer pioneered the phenomenon known as “tropical house,” a label which aptly captures the sub-genre’s summery, laid-back essence. Culling inspiration from styles as varied as deep house, acoustic rock, and jam bands, he utilizes live instruments including saxophones, flutes, pianos, and guitars, resulting in a sound that’s man-made yet organic, danceable yet prime for chilling. Turn on any Top 40 radio station today and you’ll hear its influence in chart-topping works from Felix Jaehn’s “Cheerleader” remix to Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”.
Jack coined the term “tropical house” three years ago in jest, but it was evident he was on to something when other up-and-coming artists latched onto the label. What once began as an inside joke became a brand, as he launched a mix series podcast in its namesake—which to date has accumulated over 24 million streams—alongside a spate of remixes for One Republic, Of Monsters & Men, and Gabriel Rios; and original tracks such as “Symphony,” “The Final Speech,” and his debut single “Rivers,” which has earned over 50 million streams on Spotify. His performances at major festivals such as Coachella, Outside Lands, and Ultra Europe, as well as an all-tropical house tour—the first of its kind—bring endless summer to all parts of world, no matter what time of year.
Finding kinship in Jack’s taste-making spirit was none other than consummate curator Pete Tong, who has taken the young Aussie under his wing as a mentor, telling Billboard, “He reminds me of myself.” Last year, Tong signed him to Parlophone Records, which is home to his FFRR imprint. Since then, Jack has followed in the dance icon’s entrepreneurial footsteps by curating stages at Electric Zoo and TomorrowWorld.
As tropical house continues to shine in the spotlight, Thomas Jack is now looking past it in an effort to expand his horizons; recent club sets lean more toward an eclectic mix of various sub-genres of house that some fans have never heard before. What he does next, one would be wise to pay close attention, for dance music’s next craze won’t be too far behind.
Saturday, April 8th
Rev Ultra Lounge
731 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403