Tech House Duo Pods Discusses Their Sound and DJing In Chicago

Pods is a DJ/producer duo from Chicago that has quickly become a recognizable name in the city’s tech house and nightclub scene.

If you’ve been out in Chicago the last few months, you might recognize the name Pods. Playing weekly at clubs like RocBar and Flash Dance Club, this DJ/producer duo has a tech house style that is clearly resonating with crowds across the city.

Dom Fortuna and Mike Lelito have been friends since childhood. Dom found his passion for electronic music during his time at University of Arizona, where he helped booked artists like Whethan and Wax Motif at his fraternity. Mike has been producing music since high school, and chose to end his career as a Marquette University basketball player to focus on his dreams of being an artist.

While they’re currently known for their live DJ sets, Pods has been busy cooking up new music in the studio for years. Starting in 2017 with a future bass and deep house-inspired style, they’ve posted several successful remixes for tracks like “Better Not” by Louis The Child and “Messy” by Kiara. More recently, the duo has focused on a tech house vibe similar to John Summit or Ship Wrek.

Currently located on the north side of Chicago and consistently getting booked for gigs across the city, Pods is definitely on our radar for 2022. Listen to their exclusive Premier EDM DJ mix below, and keep reading for our interview with these exciting new artists.

Over the last few months, you’ve released several tracks including “Dazed”, “Dimension”, and “Golden Ticket”. What’s the vibe that you’re going for in these productions? How would you describe Pods’ sound?

We actually have been going through a transition period recently that is very exciting for us. In the past, our sound has been more of a deep house focus, but now we have been producing a ton of tech house that we really can’t wait to release. “Work” is probably our favorite track to date as it carries a groovy baseline with crisp drums.

What are some of your favorite venues to play in Chicago, and do you have a most memorable set from your career so far?

Dom: The nightclub scene in Chicago is electric and that’s what makes it so fun. Truly everywhere we have played has been memorable in some way. The list of our favorite venues goes on and on. We have so many spots to thank, like Flash Dance Club and Joy District. As far as our most memorable set, it was an incredible experience to be able to fly down to Tucson, Arizona in November and open for Tchami at my alma mater.

Mike: The Chicago nightclub scene is nothing short of a great time. A few of my favorites are RocBar, Joy District, Hubbard Inn, The Dime, Flash Dance Club, Chop Shop, and many more. It has been awesome meeting so many new people and seeing people come out to show some love.

You guys have known each other since grade school but have only worked together as Pods for a few years. How does your lifelong friendship contribute to your success as a DJ duo?

D: Mike and I grew up together and we have had a close friendship since grade school. I truly believe that is why it’s so easy for us to work together. We push each other day in and day out, but most importantly, the communication between us makes it super simple to plan out new visions and ideas.

M: We’ve known each other for as long as I can remember. It’s been easy to bounce ideas off of each other while always asking questions to make sure we we’re on the same page. It’s nothing short of efficient when working with Dom and I truly couldn’t ask for a better partner.

Looking forward to the next 5-10 years, what are some things you hope to achieve as Pods? And who’s one artist you’d like to collaborate with one day?

D: Being from Chicago, it has always been a dream to play at Lollapalooza. Playing in front of thousands of people in your hometown is a feeling I want to experience. Also, securing a residency in another big-name city is on the list for me. For collabs, the first artist that comes to mind is John Summit. He has a creative and unique style that I love.

M: Man…we have such a long list but we try not to get too caught up in looking ahead. We’re just trying to enjoy the process of everything, but we do have big goals. Personally, one of mine is to get booked at music festivals like Spring Awakening and North Coast within 5 years or so.  

One day I would love to collaborate with Ship Wrek. They’re another duo that mainly produces tech house but started with future bass & deep house. We feel that we are in a similar transition period with our sound and would love to create something with them!

Finally, what do you think is one quality that sets Chicago’s music scene apart from other large cities?

D: I believe Chicago being the birthplace of house music is what truly sets it apart. I also believe the sheer amount of talented artists that come out of Chicago, no matter the genre, sets us apart as well. Chicago has been phenomenal and we hope to see what other cities have to offer soon! 

M: Chicago carries such a rich history of music as a whole, especially for house music. I would say the one thing that separates us from a lot of other cities is the people. The amount of love & support we have received over this past year has been nothing short of amazing, and I hope we can continue to carry on the culture of house music here.

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