An Exclusive Interview with Dubstep DJ Extraordinaire: Datsik
(By Groovey) British Columbia’s Datsik is one of dubstep’s brightest and most ballistic rising-stars in the scene. In just a few short years he has gone from obscurity to international fame. His debut album Vitamin D was released on Dim Mak Records and has several major level collaborations on it including Jonathan Davis and Infected Mushroom. Datsik has also launched his own label called Firepower Records and has signed talent like Getter among others.
You played Red Rocks a little while back. How was that?
Datsik: Aww Dude it was absolutely mental. I had heard about the venue from tons of different people but seeing it first hand and playing it was just like next level shit. It was crazy; it had sold out in advance 9400 tickets or something like that. It was crazy I had never seen so many straight up dubstep kids in one place that were there all for dubstep. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen.
What brought you to dubstep? Why do you play what you play?
Datsik: Because it’s like a crazy hip-hop, electronic, super bass infused hybrid of like everything. It’s got a little bit of everything and there’s so many angles to dubstep. There’s the hip-hop side of things, there’s the metal side of things, but it all revolves around one central idea and that’s an insane amount of bass and that’s the reason why I am drawn to it. It’s a crazy free form of music.
So you really can come at dubstep from any direction then.
Datsik: Yeah exactly, for example, me, I come at it from the hip-hop side of things. Excision approaches it from the metal side of things. So there’s all different ways to approach it.
Tell me about your new album Vitamin D that you released in April.
Datsik: I released my album with Dim Mak and that was awesome. It did really well. We went and toured the country: U.S. and Canada and it was crazy. Something like 40 some-odd dates in fifty days. It was one of the craziest experiences I have ever had.
How did you even survive that tour, man?
Datsik: (laughs) I barely did, man. But it was good. So many good memories. All the people at the end of the tour were all good friends of mine at the end of the tour and the whole thing was just a positive experience.
What else are you working on for 2012?
Datsik: I have a record label called Firepower Records and I am basically promoting young kids that are blowing up right now. I’m planning on doing my own tour and I’m going to have some insane new production and we are going next level with all of it. Have a stacked line up that just travels around the country and it’s going to be really sick and I’m super super excited about it. Big things ahead!
So if you were to design your ultimate stage set up what would it be?
Datsik: I will give you a couple of hints. It’s definitely going to be video mapped, it’s something that hasn’t really been done before, and I’m trying to infuse lasers into the whole mix as well.
Now what about upcoming releases for 2012?
Datsik: I’m putting together my next EP right now and it’s coming out on my own label. I’ve always done the dubstep side of things but on this EP I’m going to try and do all genres. Like a couple dubstep tracks and some 110, some drumstep and maybe some electro as well.
What’s coming up next for your new label?
Datsik: I have a couple new kids that are going to be emerging soon the next release on the label is by a dude from California named Getter and after that Terravita. They are all young kids that turned out this music that I am liking and it turns out they are under 20 and it’s mind blowing. If can help them on their path in any way I will do it.
You’re obviously extremely busy so how do you juggle your career with running a label?
Datsik: It is actually quite a bit to handle especially because I am just starting the label. For me it’s a lot to take on but thankfully I have a great crew who handles half of it. It has reached the point where the ball is rolling, and once the ball is rolling and I can get a few more people involved then all I have to do is pick the artists and pick the tracks and then they can do the rest. It’s baby steps but it is definitely getting there. This first release has already gotten a lot of hype. I’ve been telling tons of people about it and a lot of people are excited about it. So I’m pretty excited myself.
Now where do you draw your own creativity from?
Datsik: Well I have always been into hip-hop; I made hip-hop when I was younger. So now it moved into dubsteb somehow and I pull inspiration in from a lot of things. Primarily hip-hop but also other bass artists. It’s hard to say. It’s been a pretty crazy road and there has been a lot of things that have inspired me along the way.
You have only been at this for a few years so it’s gotta be pretty cool to be hitting it this big this soon.
Datsik: It’s definitely cool. I just got into dubstep at the right time and especially in North America where it just exploded and now I’m kind of just riding the wave along with the other dubstep artists of the moment. So no one knows where it will be in a year or even six months because the genre has evolved so fast and who is to say it will stop evolving that quickly. Nobody knows where it will be so I am just enjoying it while it is here and who knows what will be next.
Now if you were to describe dubstep to someone who has no freakin’ clue what it is how would you do it?
Datsik: If I were to explain it to say for example my mom or my mom’s friends I would basically say that it’s a slowed down super heavy bass form of hip-hop with crazy morphing bass lines and really slow drums but they feel like they are going fast. Whenever I try to explain that to someone they are like, “What?”
Anything else you would like people to know about?
Datsik: I would say just keep your eye on releases from the Firepower camp because there’s going to be some good shit coming. I will be putting out a new EP very soon, I’m not exactly sure when, and keep an open mind.