Datsik on Denver: "... it’s worthy of being one of the best cities to play in."
It goes without saying Datsik is one of the largest and most influential producers in dubstep’s relatively brief history. Without him — and a host of other dubstep pioneers — all of our lives would be depressingly free of whomps, wobbles and drops.
In only a small handful of years, Datsik skyrocketed from gigging around hole-in-the-wall clubs to selling out massive venues and packing festival stages deep across North America. On March 6 and 7 he is making a highly anticipated return to Denver for two nights of hot and heavy bass at the Ogden Theater alongside ETC! ETC!, Fox Stevenson, and Twine.
Datsik recently took time out of his touring schedule to speak with us about his aggressive sound, ongoing side-projects and his most recent EP “Down 4 My Ninjas.”
How have you as an artist and your music evolved over the past several years? Why would you say that has happened?
I would say that my music has become more geared to the hip-hoppy side of things. I’ve always had a little bit of that in my music, but now I’m in a place where I can reach out to all these rappers that I grew up on and really try to do something cool and different and bridge the gap between the worlds of electronic music and hip-hop. This year and the end of last year, I’ve been really trying to make that my main focus and elaborate on that — trying to do something bigger than what I’ve been doing.
So the change in your music — is that a conscious move or is it more dependent on what’s hot at the moment?
I think every artist — at least every touring artist — is usually trying to stay one-step ahead, or at least incorporate elements of what’s hot into their music. Obviously it’s important, but for me it all stems from what I feel is natural and what I like to do on my own terms. That’s what makes every artist unique — they like to do things by their own book.
You know, that’s why someone will come see me, and then they’ll go see Bassnectar. I mean, we’re different, but we have similarities; we both have our unique identities. I think it’s definitely important to go with the trends, but trends change so much that it’s also important to do what you think is right.
What’s your favorite part about being on tour and playing live?
We try to write music on the bus, but really, my favorite part is that it’s just fun. We all go with the flow, go to big parties, do our thing. It’s cool to have all these artist that I’ve been listening to and are on my label, so it makes for a really interesting dynamic on the bus. For example, right now we have Fox Stevenson from the UK, Kennedy Jones from L.A., and I’m from Canada, and Twine is from Miami, so we’re all from completely different places, but that’s what makes things fun and interesting.
It’s cool that we can find some balance, and we all get along — like Kennedy will be giving Fox Stevenson shit and I’ll stand up for Fox, and then it’ll switch. And I‘ve had the chance to finally link up with Trolley [Snatcha] on the same tour because we actually met on the Internet on dubstep forums, and it’s awesome to finally be able to do a tour with him. We kind of realized that even if we hadn’t met through music, we probably would have been friends if we were from the same area.
How do you like to pass the time in between cities?
We’re constantly working on beats. We got some video games on the bus as well. We’re rolling with two tour buses — one for the artists and one for the crew. We play drinking games. We have minor (and some major) bus parties every now and then. But really it’s all about the music, just going from show to show.
Tell us a little bit about the “Down 4 My Ninjas” EP and how that came to be.
So this EP is really my first attempt at bridging the gap between hip-hop and electronic music like I was saying before. I’ve been playing all of the songs from the EP in my sets, and they’ve been going over really well. So as an artist, trying something that I’m not super comfortable with and then seeing it work on a dance floor is probably one of the most rewarding things I can ask for.
Have you been working on anything else lately (music-related or otherwise)?
Yeah absolutely! I recently started a new alias, which I can’t talk about too much, but it’s way different. It’s all like future garage and deep house — kind of trying to give deep house a more edgy feel. That’s been a lot of fun, so I’ve been writing a lot of that stuff on the bus. It’s a completely different vibe, so that’s been a lot of fun for me — that’s kind if where my head’s at in addition to Datsik stuff.
What can fans expect from the Ninja Nation Tour?
Well we have two shows back-to-back at the Ogden. I have two different sets that I’m ready to play. We might even do something a little special the second night. If everyone’s down, we might do like a back-to-back-back set with all of us.
Whenever we do two shows in the same city, we always make sure that we throw down and do something cool each night, so that the people who come both nights get the best possible experience. And I know Denver is one of the biggest markets and one of my favorite places to play in North America, so I’m really, really excited to come back.
Yeah we like to get crazy out here in Denver…
It’s the truth, man. I think it’s important that Denver knows that too because that’s what keeps it going. When the city knows that, they tend to go extra hard to show that it’s worthy of being one of the best cities to play in. As an artist that makes things fucking awesome!
- by Joe LaFond