After the second day of Basslights, we were fortunate enough to catch an interview with Datsik. Datsik is without a doubt the Pablo Escobar of the dubstep game. His filthy tunes have earned him a seat on the iron throne.
EDM Sauce: Who do you prefer, Pretty Lights or Bassnectar?
Datsik: It's very hard for me to say one or the other, because I like both of them for their own reasons. I've always been partial to Bassnectar because he's one of the guys who got me into what I am doing. When I was like 17 or 18, I would go to Bassnectar shows . Bassnectar would come through to Kelowna, which is my hometown and I would see him a lot. He's basically a legend, and seeing what he was doing really inspired me and kind of drew me to what I'm doing. For me, I'm very partial to Bassnectar. Over the last couple of years, I've become really good friends with Pretty Lights and I haven't really seen him too much before that, but I really like how it doesn't matter how long he plays and he always has the crowd captivated. Pretty Lights is a really good performer, and seeing him live changed my misconceptions of what he did and played. So to see him, and to be friends with him, and to see the kind of numbers he does makes it really hard for me to pick one or the other, especially cause I'm friends with them both and wouldn't want to pick sides.
EDM Sauce: You are known as a huge Wu Tang fan, how does it feel to be playing with GZA?
Datsik: Pretty fucking awesome. Obviously Wu Tang are legends, and they have always been a huge inspiration for me. I played one show with GZA already in DC, and I got to hang out with him afterwards and swap digits and stuff, and chat with him a little bit. It's really cool to have him on the next three shows in New York, Philly, and Boston and I think it will be absolutely insane. It's cool to be able to play on the same stage as a Wu Tang member.
EDM Sauce: What is new about the Vortex, and how do you use it to enhance your performance?
Datsik: We basically gave the Vortex an overhaul, and made it bigger and better, and added a crazy lighting package to it. It's crazy as fuck, if you haven't seen it, you really need to.
EDM Sauce: Who is Bear Grillz?
Datsik: He's a bear that lives in the woods, and he has a pet duck.
EDM Sauce: What's in the works for Firepower records right now?
Datsik: We get so many sick demos now, and the biggest thing for me is making sure I play the tunes that I'm signing. So tonight, I played a bunch of new tracks that have been sent, and they sounded pretty fucking awesome on the system, so I'm pretty stoked that it's going to be a future release. We try to maintain a certain level of quality, and all the kids want to be on Firepower cause it means they can potentially tour with us.
EDM Sauce: Do you personally go through the tracks sent to Firepower?
Datsik: Yeah, I go through it all. My label manager basically goes through and listens to all of them and the ones that stand out get put into a big folder, and when I have time I go through them all. It's time consuming, but if you want to run a good label you have to do that.
EDM Sauce: What is your favorite track to play at a show?
Datsik: It's hard to say, usually it changed pretty rapidly. I don't play the same set too often, I tend to change it quite a bit every time I play. Obviously the staples are “Swagga,” and the track “Scum” that I did. I really like “Scum,” cause it's super swingy and laid back. I also like dropping hip-hop in here and there, I closed with that Biggie mash-up, so I like playing hip-hop as well.
EDM Sauce: Name your top three up and coming artists.
Datsik: I would probably say Protohype. I really like Getter's stuff, so he's got to be on the list as well. The Frim, it's hard to say because there's so many good ones. I just got sent this new EP from these guys called Twine, they're really fucking sick. They sent me five tracks, and I played four of them tonight.
EDM Sauce: You are known as one of the most hard working musicians in the game. What are your
ultimate goals as a musician?
Datsik: It's funny because I've been asked this question before a long time ago, and it was to work with Bassnectar, and to be playing my own shows, and to have my own label, but now I have those things. Right now I'm kind of like “what do I want next,” and ultimately I think it would be cool to make a production school and select five or six kids and try to teach them stuff that I know. Moving forward, I don't really know, I kind of want to move more into a hip-hop direction and start making more of it. So that's where I'm heading.
EDM Sauce: People have been saying that dubstep is dead. What do you have to say about that?
Datsik: It's evolving, dubstep is not dead. It's just taking a new form and has a shiny new name. Trap is basically bottle service dubstep, so honestly I think moving forward it's going to come back. It's not that dubstep is dead, it's just that someone needs to breathe some new life into it, and instead of new producers trying to copy Skrillex, they need to try to do something different, and then dubstep will stay alive.