What sparked that desire for change from being a former Hollywood Talent Agent to becoming a highly talented DJ/Producer? I loved being an agent and I still love Hollywood. I still live here and most of my friends are in the movie business. Working so closely with actors helped me realize that my passion is in creating art directly. When I was in college I dabbled in music production and felt like I had some unfinished business there. I always loved making music but never dedicated myself fully towards it. It was difficult to quit but worth it in the long run. I am here to make music and I know that now.
As an artist you’re renowned for your genre-bending approach. What are the styles that you are drawn to and like to merge? Growing up in Indiana I had no exposure to dance music. I mostly listened to hip hop, rock and some pop, I didn’t even come into contact with dance music until college. I’ve always had an appreciation for music subcultures even if the genre isn’t something I am head over heels for. I would get bored if I worked in the confines of any one genre, so when I am listening to different styles of music I focus more on how it makes me feel than what genre it is. If it’s a feeling I want to integrate into my own work, I will pursue it. I see artists like Kanye or Drake experimenting with different music genres and I think DJs / producers can do that too. I recently produced a cut on GASHI’s new album 1984 (‘Funeral Friends’) and I don’t think that would have happened if I restricted myself. Being open to multiple genres enables me to work with more artists, which is why I got into this in the first place!
Since your entry onto the DJ scene, you’ve received ground-breaking support from iconic artists. What has this journey been like? Very long and difficult. I didn’t attempt to get to A-level artists until I knew I had great stuff. Funnily enough, when you make something great and put it out there they usually find you. Most of them don’t tell you they are going to play your song out, it just happens and you find out later. So the best thing to do is just to get it out there and start building. I started reaching larger audiences by entering remix competitions and doing bootleg remixes. Most DJs are constantly inundated with music but will listen to a bootleg remix of their own song because they are curious. Before COVID I tried to make bootlegs that I thought would sound amazing live, and some of those bootlegs were made official.
Can you tell us the driving forces behind ‘I Want Your Body’? What I love about ‘I Want Your Body’ is the contrast of tension in the verses to the rolling bass in the hooks. The verses are quite sing-songy, to me it feels like Koolkid is setting up a question and prepping us for a big reveal. We abruptly halt with the titular phrase ‘I Want Your Body’ and boom we’re in the drop. The gang vocals contrast nicely with a stripped down bass I think. It’s a really special song.
What was it like having your latest release ‘I Want Your Body’ signed to Spinnin’Records? Spinnin’ is iconic, I’ve been listening to their releases for years and have always been a fan. They’ve launched so many artists that I look up to and respect, so I am very happy to join the ranks. But more than that, I am happy to be working with a label that believes in the record and sees the potential in it that Koolkid and I do.
Can you tell us more about how your collaboration with Koolkid came about? After lockdown started and studio sessions stopped, I got this vocal from Koolkid and fell in love with it immediately. We started going back and forth on the idea and it was seamless. I totally understood what he was going for and he totally understood what I was going for. For me that’s the best way for a song to come together.
Have you spent a lot of time in the studio during lockdown? It’s literally the only place I spend my time other than an RV trip that I did last week. Lockdown has been so hard for a lot of people, but I have gotten a ton of music out of it. You will be hearing the result very soon!
What do you have in store release wise and are there any other exciting projects on the horizon? I don’t know what I am allowed to say but I have originals, collabs, remixes and productions for other artists all on deck. I also consider my Instagram page to be a work of art in and of itself, I think you will get what I mean if you check it out (@dddarkheart).
Finally, do you have a quick message to your fans? I have fans?