If you wanted to know anything about how the power of one good sync in a car commercial can propel a group from relative obscurity to a world-wide success, then our chat with Dirty Vegas co-founder and lead vocalist Steve Smith is a must listen for you.
In this podcast, Steve and SyncSummit/Sync Exchange founder Mark Frieser discuss the band’s beginnings, how the iconic usage of their song “Days Go By” in a Mitsubishi ad led to massive global exposure, a huge fanbase, an RIAA certified Gold Album that spent 19 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart, a 2003 Grammy for Best Dance Recording and the importance of sync to their long-term success in the notoriously fickle dance/EDM market.
And it wasn’t just Dirty Vegas that benefited from the sync, so did Mitsubishi Motors. The ad was a crucial part of a three-year ad campaign conceived by Deutsch, Inc. for Mitsubishi Motors that saw brand awareness in the us increase from 44% to 60% and perhaps most important, saw sales rise by 70%.
That, my friends, is the power of music and messaging. And that’s the power of sync.
We hope you enjoy the podcast.
Dirty Vegas and Steve’s website and social media are:
In this Discussion, Steve and Mark cover:
0:00 – 1:30 – Intro to Steve and his career.
1:30 – 2:00 – The importance of sync to Dirty Vegas’ career.
2:00 – 3:55 – How “Days Go By” went from club track to sync success through a Mitsubishi ad.
3:55 – 4:30 – What happened after the sync – by the numbers:
- Debut Album: RIAA Certified Gold (500K units)
- Billboard Hot 100 Charts: 19 Weeks
- Peak Sales: 70,000/week
4:30 – 5:10 – The importance of the sync in “Days Go By” becoming the first EDM Billboard Top 20 hit.
5:10 – 6:00 – Why the “Days Go By” sync was pivotal in growing an audience for Dirty Vegas’ music.
6:00 – 7:50 – What was the public reaction to the hearing the music in the commercial.
7:50 – 8:15 – Becoming part of the national zeitgeist – the Dave Chappelle Parody.
8:15 – 10:00 – What did the Mitsubishi sync lead to in the long term for your career?
10:00 – 10:50 – The evolution of how bands and the public see sync as a career move and its importance.
10:50 – 13:00 – Why sync is an essential part of artist promotion and development today.
13:00 – 14:05 – How sync is used as a part of a long-term strategy.
14:05 – 16:10 – Dirty Vegas’ current projects, releases touring and albums:
16:10 – 16:55 – Wrap-up.
Steve Smith Bio
Whether performing at the world’s most famous music festivals or playing intimate acoustic sets, Steve Smith has done it all. The Grammy winning Artist has also composed for television and film and remixed Platinum selling artists such as Madonna and Justin Timberlake.
Following a bidding war for the band Dirty Vegas in early 2001, Steve and his bandmates Paul and Ben Harris signed with legendary UK label Parlophone- home to The Beatles, Coldplay and Radiohead.
With the release of their first album, the band went on to tour the four corners of the globe, developing a reputation as a powerful and entertaining live act. In a two year meteoric rise, the band headlined their own worldwide tour and also supported such artists as Moby, Underworld, and Groove Armada.
Dirty Vegas stole the show at a number of international festivals including Coachella (USA), V Festival (UK), Roskilde (Denmark), and Fuji Rock (Japan).
In the same period, memorable performances on late night TV shows such as David Letterman and Jay Leno demonstrated that Steve and his partners were more than just studio musicians.
This climb to the top of the charts ultimately garnered the band three Grammy nominations, landing the
Grammy award for “Best Electronic Song”. Dirty Vegas was the first electronic act to be nominated for a Grammy and the first recipients of Best Dance Recording.
Other awards came along as well including Playboy magazine’s “Electronic Artist of the Year” and three “Dancestar” awards.
The band released their second album in 2004 sending them on yet another world tour resulting in their song “Walk Into The Sun” hitting the Billboard Dance Chart at No.1. Other songs from the acclaimed album were used in major television shows such as “The O.C”, and “One Tree Hill” as well as the films “Running Scared” and “Goal”.
In 2006 Steve moved to Boston, Massachusetts. Feeding off the musical inspiration of his new surroundings and joining forces with producer Anthony Saffery (“Cornershop”), he began creating his first solo album, “This Town”.
The song “Late Nights and Street Fights” from the album was chosen by FOX TV to be the title theme to their new show ‘Standoff’. The title sequence and song were nominated for an Emmy in 2007.
In 2008, Steve toured the US for “This Town” highlighted by performances at the Sundance
Film Festival and the South By Southwest Music Festival.
With Steve back on the scene, Dirty Vegas partner Ben Harris encouraged the band to reform and they soon hit the road again to play shows the world over including performances at Glastonbury and Creamfields, as well as DJ shows on every continent.
April 2011saw the release of the third Dirty Vegas studio album, “Electric Love”, released on Om Records. Upon its release, “Electric Love” entered the US i-tunes Dance Album chart at no.3 and Los Angeles radio station KCRW made their single from the album, “Little White Dove”, its “Record of the Week”.
The band subsequently embarked on a full US tour including New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix and
Washington D.C. and festival performances such as Ultra Music Festival, Coachella and South By Southwest.. The tour was highlighted with a performance at the New World Symphony Hall in Miami FL with a 30 piece symphony orchestra. International success came as well with ‘Little White Doves’ reaching No. 6 on South Africa’s 5FM’s National top 40 chart.
Billboard Magazine recently named Dirty Vegas as the No.6 “Best Selling Electronic Artists of the Decade”.
Following performances in March 2014 at South By Southwest in Austin, TX Dirty Vegas released
their latest E.P “Let the Night” to great success. The band again reached no. 3 on the US i-tunes Dance Album chart. As of May 2015 the lead single from the E.P “Let the Night” has officially reached Gold status in Italy.
In March, 2015, Dirty Vegas were special guest performers at the Grammy museum in Los Angeles.
Currently, the band is preparing to release its fourth studio album and they continue to perform throughout the world. This year includes performances in India, Russia, Abu Dhabi and Italy, Sardinia, and Singapore.
Always moving forward to bring his creativity to new heights, Steve Smith continues to share his music with larger and larger audiences throughout the world.