Duskus on Dance eJay, Romantic Raves, and "Let Go"
London-based electronic music producer Duskus released "Let Go", the second single off of his highly anticipated Healers Vol.1 EP on April 21, 2022.
Duskus has made waves in the EDM scene since his start in 2015, collaborating with DJ Mag for his first live show and capturing the attention of Spotify Viral 50 USA. With each new release, the producer has attracted millions of streams and thousands of new fans across the globe. In addition to his collaborative releases with artists and producers like Taska Black and San Holo, Duskus has graced world-renowned stages, including Coachella's legendary Do LaB Stage.
"Let Go" harkens back to Duskus' musical adventures as a teenager, paying homage to the iconic 2000s UK rave scene. The track explores the beauty of music within a minimalistic space, with ambient synths and an electronic kit beat that tickles that perfect spot in the brain. Despite its simplicity, the single brings forth a subtle, yet playful dynamic range, and a sense of whimsy lost in many recent rave tunes. "Let Go" is a blissful, stripped-down reintroduction of the beloved Duskus sound–the perfect precursor to the upcoming Healers Vol.1 collection. The single's release also signaled the launch of Duskus' appropriately named Romantic Rave monthly event series, with resoundingly emotive performances sure to make you laugh, cry, and (most importantly) dance.
We spoke with Duskus about his influences, latest music, Romantic Raves, and more. Check out the full interview below and stream "Let Go". Let us know what you think.
At what age did you start making music?
I started having guitar lessons from around the age of 10 but started making music on
the computer from around 15.
Who or what were your first inspirations?
My first inspirations were acoustic, mainly guitar players, such as Andy Mckee and
Sungha Jung. I spent a lot of my childhood watching acoustic covers of songs and trying
to learn them, while also writing my own little things. When I was about 12 years old, in school we had a software on the computers called Dance eJay, and it was like a little DAW (digital audio workstation) for kids. I remember making music on this and it was literally the most fun I had ever had on the computer. But yeah, following this, my first ever electronic influences would have been Skrillex, Deadmau5, Tiesto, et cetera. "With You, Friends (Long Drive)" was the first Skrillex song where I heard vocal chops and that track inspired me to start learning how to make music on a computer.
"When I was about 12 years old, in school we had a software on the computers called Dance Ejay, and it was like a little DAW (digital audio workstation) for kids. I remember making music on this and it was literally the most fun I had ever had on the computer."
What drew you to electronic music, specifically?
I think it was the idea of being able to make an entire little world on your computer (that you
could show to your friends). The fact that I could export a song I had made and listen to it
anywhere was the coolest.
What is the first piece of music you ever wrote or worked on?
It was probably a little chord progression thing I wrote on guitar. Nothing crazy, but my first
Ableton idea was probably some sort of complextro or melodic dubstep.
How would you describe your sound? What is "Romantic Rave"?
I’m definitely going more rustic with my sound right now, bringing old, detuned, saw waves
back from classic synths like the Juno. I really like decorating the ambience with those
80s vintage sounds while still keeping a more modern core. Most of my new songs are
4x4 and have either my voice or a vocal chop as the main lead. Romantic Rave... it's in the
name, I guess. It’s an emotion which is portrayed through old school rave music. It's something you can cry, dance, and hug your friends while listening to... I want all my
friends to be able to play it. It's also the name of a monthly rave I'm setting up for me and anyone who wants to attend.
"Romantic Rave... it's in the name, I guess. It’s an emotion which is portrayed through old school rave music. It's something you can cry, dance, and hug your friends while listening to..."
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I feel like I change what I’m listening to every week lately. I'm always listening to different styles... Recently I have been listening to some trance–there’s this really cool trance artist called TDJ who has some really sick stuff. I’ve also been listening to a lot of old DJ Falcon stuff. I’m a huge fan of Tourist's new track “Your Love” and I love Caribou, too. One of my favorite tracks of all time is Mystic-Force's "Mystic Force (127BPM Mix)". I've also been listening to some really chilled ambient techno stuff–there’s this artist called DJ Healer who I like. I don’t idolize anyone, but I do get inspired by songs.
Why do you love music?
I love music because it can usually enhance an emotion I want to feel or it can allow me to escape one. There’s nothing like music… you can create some very specific emotions felt just by listening–there’s no drug that does that. You can make someone sad, happy, or angry. Music is very cool.
Who is your dream collaborator?
I’m not sure, to be honest! Doing something with Caribou would be really cool.
Tell us about your latest single, “Let Go”.
I wrote "Let Go" on tour. I think it was a product of not having any equipment except my
laptop and headphones (like the old days). I wanted to test and see if I could make something really simple sound cool... I guess this is what came out of that. I called it "Let Go" as I was kind of letting go of trying to make some grand production or song.
"I wanted to test and see if I could make something really simple sound cool... I guess this is what came out of that."
How has your sound evolved over time (especially in relation to the single)?
I guess it’s just gone a little more housey and UK. I don’t have as many huge build ups and I kind of like having drums throughout the track more. My kick drums also seem to be deeper now days.
Is there anything you can reveal about your upcoming EP?
It's lots of different vibes collected into the theme of healing. All the tracks work together, but they can also stand on their own. The idea of this EP is to heal the soul.
What’s next for Duskus?
I’m just going to be writing more healers and songs I love while playing them out at Romantic Raves and wherever I get booked. I’m also working on putting together my first headline tour in the United States. Hopefully I can do one in the UK soon, too.