Unless you’ve been lost at sea, you’ve probably heard Datsik’s highly anticipated dubstep masterpiece EP Darkstar. As one of the best-known architects of earth shattering dubstep, Firepower boss Troy Beetles is still running shit in the 140 game and simultaneously blowing up with his successful Ephwurd moniker.
The chameleonic producer and sound-system crusher has some pretty unique offerings on the EP, including special appearances from a wide array of talent like Travis Barker, Trinidad James, Armanni Reign, Soltan and Liinks. Darkstar serves up six contrasting vibes from the elegant “Feel Good” to the neck ache inducing “Get Back.”
Despite being smack dab in the middle of his Spring Loaded tour, Datsik found time to hang with us and discuss the juicy details behind the making of his new EP and his current tour.
This will probably end up being one of the busiest years of my career so far!
How long did it take for you to put Darkstar together?
I’ve been planning it for quite a while. I tend to write tracks way before I release them because it gives me time to sit on them, feel it out, and determine whether they will withstand the test of time or not. The approach is always kind of annoying because it puts big gaps between new music. However, personally I feel like music shouldn’t be rushed, as it’s art and often times creating something that will withstand the test of time takes time itself! (Laughs)
What’s the significance behind the title?
Darkstar is about a balance between light and dark—heavy and soft—because without one the other cannot exist. It also represents a point in my life, trying to balance creating music and art versus touring and life!
The title track is such a massive tune. We know you’ve worked with Liinks before but tell us about working with Travis and coming up with those intense live drums? I imagine the recording process was quite exciting having such a legend on board.
He is such an amazing artist. I had the pleasure of sitting down in the studio with him and playing the track while he worked his magic over the track. It only took him one or two takes to nail it perfectly. Anyone that is able to do that kind of shit with such precision is worthy of being recognized as a total a hall of famer. Big respect to Travis!
When did Trinidad James come into the picture?
Trinidad James and I linked up and actually started working on a different track all together while we were at the Crystal Method’s studio. We worked on it for quite a while and it was going all right. Then I showed him the instrumental of “Tantrum” and he was like, “Yo, this is the shit we should be banging out on!” Sometimes overcomplicating an idea can result in something that isn’t as good as it could be. The best ideas happen right away in one sitting, and I feel like that’s what happened in our case as soon we started on the second track. Shoutout to Trinidad for murking it!
Your collab “No Mind” with Soltan is such a powerful track. How did you first discover his beats?
Soltan is a beast; I stumbled upon him while randomly browsing on SoundCloud and was blown away. His sound design is so next level. We have a release planned for him coming out on FP, which is going to be ridiculously good.
“Get Back” is one banger of a tune! Did you have that “a-ha” moment during the production process
Every time I make a new track I always have to play it out a bunch before it actually gets the reaction I want from it. Over New Year’s Eve I played it and heard an amazingly overwhelming response from the crowd as soon as it dropped. V17 of the track ended up being the one that worked live, so I went in on it and tried to get the mix down as good as possible and “Get Back” was born!
In contrast, your collab with Zack the Lad, “Feel Good,” is downright dreamy and beautiful.
I started this track about a year ago, and played with a million different ideas and vocals and got it to a point where I was pretty happy, but it was missing something crucial. Zack the Lad is one of my favourite producers out there, so I showed it to him and he was like, “Yep I’m going to flip this and turn it into what it needs to be”—and he did exactly that. Zack is my dawg and I can’t wait for the world to hear what else he has hiding up his sleeve.
Man, so you’ve been pulling double duty working on your Datsik and Ephwurd productions. How are you finding a balance in the studio?
It’s always a bit tough to decide which one to work on at any specific time—it’s a matter of what I’m feeling at the moment—but once deadlines start piling up, it’s all about time management. It’s really tricky to find time between all the shows, as Datsik and Ephwurd, to write music for both and tour as both separately, but it’s so rewarding finding the balance and making it all work. This will probably end up being one of the busiest years of my career so far!
Speaking of touring, who did you bring with you on Spring Loaded?
I got my homies Ookay and Drezo, both of whom are smashing at the moment, so it should create an amazing experience. All three of us have a completely different sound and vibe to our sets, so it should make for a wicked dynamic through out each night! On top of that, I am very stoked because they are both super good friends of mine so it will be sick traveling around the country with them!
Finally, do you have any Datsik-approved spring break survival tips?
Learn to party responsibly, stay hydrated, always and get tons of sleep! Yes, sleep. Oh how I’ve missed it.