When Pete Tong met royal couple William and Kate at an event last year, William was "quite engaged in conversation about clubbing and electronic music," he says.
"He was very enthusiastic," Tong says. "He wanted to meet a few of the DJs and I was one of them. I didn't have to tell him what I did or who I was."
Tong isn't boasting. His story, rather, illustrates how deeply England has embraced electronic music. Even Princes William and Harry are into club music, partying in Ibiza, Spain.
Let's put that in perspective. America took until last year to turn the whole world of DJs into radio stars.
Yet Tong has run an electronic music program on BBC for 20 years. He scored the music for the 2009 thriller "Harry Brown." He's a behind-the-scenes kind of director for the William Morris Agency.
Now here the Brit comes to the Strip, beginning his first DJ residency, "Pete's Pool Party," Sunday at Encore Beach Club.
This is only natural. Vegas has propelled DJ culture faster than any hot spot in the country. Hotel clubs and pools have turned Vegas into the Ibiza of America in a mere three years -- starting with visionary Paul Oakenfold's "Perfecto" splashing into the Palms in 2008.
"For years, (European DJs) were saying, 'What could be the Ibiza of America?' " Tong says. "We were all saying, 'Nah, it's never gonna happen' -- but really, Vegas is that."
It was last year when Tong decided Vegas was his next stop, when he was bowled over by the "revelation" of Encore Beach Club on Labor Day, he says. On that holiday, superstar DJ Kaskade was set to spin, along with Dirty South.
Tong was asked to spin at 1:30 in the afternoon. At first, Tong was confused. He thought no DJ fans or dancers would stir at that hour.
He said: "I like Kaskade. I want to be polite. I'm not being a moany artist. But why am I being put on so early?"
He was told: "Don't worry. Just trust us."
"And there were 8,000 or 9,000 people in swimming trunks going crazy that early," he says. "And I was like, 'I get it. This is what I want to do more of.' "
Outside of Ibiza, Las Vegas is the city spending the most money on electronic artists, he says.
"To be compared to Ibiza, where the season runs four months and is, like, 10 big clubs and 20 little spaces all running seven days a week," he says, "is pretty impressive."
This brings us to a relevant point on the Strip. As Tong correctly assesses, tourists have been baited to clubs with sightings of Kim Kardashian and other celebrities for a half-decade.
But that's changing.
"In 2011, it's Tiesto, and (David) Guetta, and Erick Morillo, and Kaskade, and Deadmau5," Tong says.
"I don't know if those (DJ fans) are gambling at the tables, but they're certainly filling the hotel rooms."
I can personally back that claim up. I've interviewed clubbers leaving celebrity-marquee clubs to seek out clubs with better DJs and dancing.
This represents a near seismic shift. It was exactly a decade ago, in 2001, when Tong played a special show at Luxor's club Ra, where few people even knew they were in the presence of a living legend.
I remember that night. A friend called to tell me Tong was there. I raced over. The floors were sticky, as always at Ra.
Tong remembers about 800 people in the club, and he believes probably 700 didn't know who he was. They were tourists just happy to be partying.
He and promoter Billy Richardson's crew then went to Drai's Afterhours, where a DJ played techno while people danced "in couples," he says.
"It was the most bizarre night."
That club culture dynamic has completely blown up.
"Now you're getting these (huge club and dayclub) spaces, and 80 percent of the people know why they're there. They know the DJ. They know the tunes. And they know what's going on."
Tong -- who is working on a new movie score and will release new productions within a month with Felix da Housecat -- says the Vegas mindset is finally like Ibiza's.
"The infrastructure is 50 times bigger than Ibiza. And the pool party spaces are wow, amazing," he says.
"In many ways, Vegas is way ahead on certain things.
I think that's why we (DJs) all want to do it. There's a lot of European DJs headed" to the Strip.
"We want to see if it's for real."
Doug Elfman's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.