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London Summers Talks Inspiration and Working With Top DJs

Dance music fans may not know London Summers‘s name yet, but they’ve likely enjoyed his creative output in large festival crowds.

Since 2015, the producer/songwriter (born Jamal Simon) has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with top Belgian DJs Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, helping pen their Tomorrowland anthem “Stay Awhile” and Mike’s solo single “Memories.” The tracks have earned support from some of the biggest names in the EDM world, including David Guetta, Afrojack and Major Lazer.

On Friday (June 22), the sibling DJ duo dropped their latest single, “When I Grow Up,” featuring Wiz Khalifa, which Summers also co-wrote. “We (want to) speak to a whole new generation of kids, give them positive vibes and inspiration,” Vegas said of the song in a recent Billboard interview.

Summers also teamed with Ryan Pownall and Justin Strong to co-found Social Giveaways, a global social marketing company that regularly partners with celebrities, influencers and brands to help grow their clients’ digital footprints.

SPIN caught up with Summers to learn more about his background and musical journey.

How did your upbringing in Canada shape your music career?

Some of the first memories I have as a child revolve around music. My father was a musician and owned a studio, so it felt like it was always a part of my life. Luckily I have an amazing mother who is my backbone and always has supported me no matter what. Without her I don’t think I would have ever done it. Canada is also one of the most multi-cultural places in the world. The melting pot allows you to be exposed to so many things. I think that has opened my eyes to so many different genres and musical styles which I can tap into while making music.

What drew you to working with other artists?

I feel as an artist, I am a little timid. I have released a few solo things on The Fader and BBC, but when it comes to my personal art, I am very shy about it. I think that’s why I have worked behind the scenes so much… it’s much easier for me to write for someone else than for myself. It’s a lot less pressure.

Which artists do you consider inspirations?

I have to say Drake and The Weeknd just for what they have done to put Canada on the map. In terms of my personal preferences, I listen to a lot of retro music like Tommy James & The Shondells and indie pop like Tame impala and Oscar and the Wolf.

What else is inspiring you to make music these days?

I feel like everything inspires me. We are living in some of the craziest times ever. The power of the Internet is a beautiful thing in my eyes. It’s allowed me to connect with people in many parts of the world and allowed me to travel to places I’d never imagined. I feel like art is always a reflection of the times and these are some crazy times. It’s hard not to be inspired.