Fresh off the success of his Vitamin D LP, Datsik touches down with Kmag as he prepares to take Europe by storm next month, most notably with his headlining slot at the NASS action sports and music festival.
First off, big up on the huge year – things have continued to just grow at an exponential rate for you as an artist – looking back, talk a bit about how the journey has been from that very first show at Shambhala on now to where you’ve just released a massive debut LP and are headlining festivals and gigs around the world?
It’s been crazy; everything that has happened so far has been an absolute blast. Every single show is different in its own way. I am overly thankful for the opportunity to work off my passion and live out my dream!
Speaking of which, the line-up for NASS is looking crazy heavy. How does it feel to be headlining the UKF stage on Saturday night? Are you planning on sticking around to check out some of the events? Are you into any extreme sports yourself? Does stage-diving count?
I would love to stick around if I have enough time! On this run we are doing about 14 or 15 shows in 15 days which means I won’t really get to hang out all that much in between. As far as action sports, I’m big into snowboarding and used to dirt bike every day. I wouldn’t call stage-diving an extreme sport, but I have jumped out of a plane once and fell in love, so I guess you could say I’m a bit of an adrenaline junky when the time is right.
Now on the off-chance that there’s a UK reader considering on attending NASS but unsure which stage to hit – let him or her know what sort of vibe you’ll be bringing and what they can expect?
I play a lot of heavy dubstep (of course), but mixed with a lot of other genres. I jump around the map quite a bit, playing mostly everything but I would say hip-hop would be the added spice. But yeah vibe-wise, it’s all about having fun innit.
I know in the past you’ve stated that your sound is “dark and robotic” as well as “funky and gangster” – how do you see your artistic output connecting with that of your hip-hop influences, especially when it comes to Wu-Tang?
Let’s see, I would say tunes like Firepower and Invaders would be prime examples. Firepower more-so on the hip-hoppy tip, and Invaders on the robo-funk tip. I love implementing hip-hop into everything I do because its where I came from and how it all originated for me. I try to keep it gangster but not lose touch with the people who started liking my music from the beginning! My big influences are Wu-Tang, Big L, Snoop, Dre, anything along those lines!
Related to this, what is it about dubstep that keeps you coming back for more? In other words, as a producer, why not hip-hop or even drum & bass?
It’s the bass. Dubstep in my opinion is still a total free form and hasn’t quite yet been fully stamped as one thing or another. I also do write a lot of “drumstep” which is close enough to drum & bass, and I also do write hip-hop in my spare time as well. I like them all, but I guess dubstep is the platform I use to expand and translate my ideas from other genres onto the dancefloor.
Collaborations play a huge role in your output as an artist – you’ve worked with so many talented artists along the way – is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you’re still itching to get in the studio with? What sort of heavy studio time (and with who) do you have booked in the near future?
Method Man would be epic. Also rolling out the Firepower tour in the fall, I might have a super special guest (GZA) on a select few dates. But ‘shhhh’ that’s still a secret for now. There are also other dope things in the works, I’m gonna have to wait a bit until they come about!
Are you still finding time to indulge in your love of gaming? In other words, are we taking you away from quality Diablo III time right now?
[Laughs] Actually no, I already hit level 60 on my wizard. Now it’s back to the beats, unless I’m in an airport that is.
Of course, the big news is the success of your debut album, Vitamin D – what sort of feedback have you been getting on the LP and most importantly, what should we be looking out for in the future?
I was stoked it got such a good response. The way I wrote it was basically trying to keep it as “old school Datsik” as I could, and it got a wicked response because I did so. Obviously I had a couple other collabs with Infected Mushroom and Jonathan Davis which were a bit different but what’s the point of an album if you don’t experiment a little bit! But yeah, the next EP is gonna be all genres, I think I might do like two dubstep tunes, one 110 tune, a 128 tune, and maybe drumstep as well, just to do something fresh. Also look out for new heat from the Firepower camp coming soon.
As Told To: Chris Muniz
Read original interview sent to us from Kmag