Updated: Aug 3, 2019
Since embarking out to the Twin Cities at the young age of 20 years old, Thomas Paige has respectfully accumulated over eight years of experience actively DJing a multitude of shows and events populated by the thousands of fans throughout the EDM community. Over the years, Thomas Paige, who we all once knew as the local legend, Tommy Paige, has artistically reinvented himself since resurfacing the EDM scene under the artist alias, Øberg. As a house producer, Øberg has creatively redefined his diversifying style of house music.
With house music in his heart, Øberg brings forth his own assortment of techniques to life as he incorporates acoustic ecology into the music he’s currently producing. As he ingeniously records sounds from nature, the workplace or at home, Øberg has amplified house music in new ways with his gifted ability to embody his own flair to the style of house music he produces and performs. As a producer, Øberg has and continues to expand the horizons of house music. As he continues to test new waters while implementing his own methods of creation into his music, it’s apparent Øberg is in his early stages of what is to become a most prosperous creative career.
Check out our interview to find out what this house head has been up to since first resurrecting under the artist alias, Øberg.
What's the backstory behind your artist alias Øberg?
It actually comes from a hiking trail I used to go on with my family up near Lutsen in Minnesota. I rebranded from "Tommy Paige" a few years ago, and decided to go with something that was meaningful to me. I also enjoy exploring the realm of sound ecology in my productions, so having a name that connected me to the outdoors felt right.
How many years have you been producing and mixing music under the artist alias Øberg? Overall, how many years of experience do you have mixing, producing and/or mastering music?
This will be year 3 under the stage name Øberg, and around the time when I really began to dive into production. So we can safely say about 3 years now! I still haven't mastered the mastering yet, so I usually send it off to my friends, Kyle King or Andrew Hill to complete that portion of the piece.
When did you first get started producing and mixing EDM and why?
About 8 years ago I began DJing which seems like ages now! I was inspired at my first show, Benny Benassi, at the former Spin Nightclub (which is now The Pourhouse). Something about the energy that the opening DJ created blew my mind, and inspired me to want to get up there and do the same.
What genre of music would you classify and/or compare your style and sound to?
I've always been a house head. I really enjoy anything off Toolroom, Snatch, Defected, etc. I gravitate towards that sound most of the time.
What attracts you to the style of genre of music you are known for producing and mixing?
House, house and house. I do dabble in techno from time to time to mix things up. But house music is where my heart is at.
Do you have any genres of music you'd eventually like to dabble in the production or mixing of?
I really love lo-fi and minimal music, but you'd be hard pressed to find a crowd around here that will vibe with that for hours on end. I recently started DJing some yoga classes at special events, and that allows me to play some of the dreamy sunrise tunes that I've been hoarding for years.
What DAWs and/or MIDIs do you personally enjoy working with? Do you have a preference if you had to choose between one or the other?
Strictly Ableton at this point. That's all I've ever used. At the end of the day they all pretty much do the same thing. It really boils down to personal preference.
Do you produce and/or mix music under any other artist aliases? If not, have you ever considered doing so or would want to do so in the future?
Not yet! That would be really fun tho. I have some slower lo-fi stuff that I make just for myself, so maybe that will see the light of day eventually!
Do you play any instruments?
I grew up playing drums, piano, and guitar. I was never a concert level musician, but learning the fundamentals as a child definitely has helped in my later years of producing.
Where is your hometown and where do you reside now?
I grew up in Stillwater, MN. Small town vibes where everyone knows your name. It's a beautiful city, but it doesn't offer much past the age of 18 if you're looking to get into the large scale entertainment industry. When I was 20 I moved out to Minneapolis. I bopped around Dinky, NE, and Uptown. After about 5 years out there I wound up at the Schmidt Artist Lofts in St. Paul, and have been here for about 4 years now.
Do you have a favorite show you've performed at? If so, where and when was this? Why was this an especially favorite show of yours to perform at?
That's a tough one! I'd say Super Bowl weekend when I was able to play three nights at The Exchange and LX Event Center. The most memorable night would be on Saturday when I opened up for Afrojack, and closed it down after G-Eazy. It was surreal being around that many superstars. At one point I was throwing back drinks with some of the Timberwolves players on stage and I was like "what is my life?" That was the biggest booking I had ever secured myself, so that was a big moment for me.
What is one of your favorite tracks that never gets old no matter how many times you've heard it?
"Make Love" by Daft Punk. It has this constant build over the course of the track without ever getting too over the top, and incorporates a bunch of iconic retro sounds.
In what ways has the music scene in Minneapolis helped shape and mold your creative career?
Definitely the support of various promoters giving me some huge opportunities to showcase my talent. I also have to thank Jack Trash for giving me my start. Who knows where my career would be at without his help early on.
Do you have a favorite track or two that you have released so far?
I think my last two -- "Our House" (Øberg's Disko Refix) and "Future Waves". Although I've gotten a lot of good feedback on "URSOUL", but that's not so much of a peak hour tune. I love closing out the night with that one!
How has your style of music progressed over the course of your creative career as an artist?
It's always been house for me. I had my start in trance, which I think most people my age did, but that was short lived. I do listen to the old In Search of Sunrise albums at least once a year tho!
What concert venues have you especially enjoyed performing at and why?
Epic nightclub for sure! I miss that place a lot. That's the stage many DJs I grew up with earned the respect they have from the music community here. Getting to play that main stage meant something special, and you definitely felt you earned that slot.
What single night out has been the most memorable for you as a performer?
I think it was probably when I stepped in to cover for a headliner at Global Dance Festival here in Minneapolis. I was given about a 2 hour notice to get my shit together and perform. It was definitely a trial by fire type of situation. That was the first time I played for over 1K people in a venue. The energy was nuts, and it was a huge moment for me knowing I could play for a crowd that size.
What is one thing you can share about yourself with Turntable Talks that you believe your fans don't know but would want to know more about?
Acoustic ecology! Basically it is studying the relationship of sound between human beings and their environment. So what I've been trying to do more of is recording sounds from my home/work environment, as well as nature, and incorporating them into my original productions.
Do you have a specific destination you'd want to live at and travel to in the future?
I want to travel the world! My hope is that music will offer me the opportunity to do so.
To be honest I'm pretty content living in MN for now, but who knows what the next few years hold.
What is one valuable lesson you've learned while coming up as an active artist in the music industry? Why do you believe this was such a valuable learning lesson for you?
Persistence. One quote that has stuck with me is "persistence has rewarded more people that talent alone ever will" -- Which basically means you can be the most talented person in the world at your craft, but unless you hustle and push your brand you'll never reap the rewards. There is always going to be someone out there who might not be as talented as you, but their persistence is being rewarded nevertheless.
Do you have any plans for the release of new music up your sleeve?
I've got some stuff that I'm planning on releasing midsummer, so be on the lookout for those!
What do you enjoy about DJing in the Midwest music scene?
Being so tight knit with everyone is awesome, it feels like small little family. I feel fortunate to have shard the stage with a great group of people over the last 8 years.
What three tips of advice do you have for artists looking to pursue a successful creative career in the music industry?
1. Have a set goal in mind that you can continuously build upon.
2. Network as much as possible.
3. Stay true to your style, and never compromise for anyone.