10 Questions with ... Duke Dumont
July 28, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) Where are you from?
I'm from the mean streets of London ... London born and bred. I've lived there all my life. It's where I got my education on everything from music to living, but I think I'll probably move to the States. The more time I spend in the States, the more I think I'm falling I love with it and I think I'll probably end up on the West Coast. I love New York -- don't get me wrong, I'd say my soul is probably based in NY -- but for the quality of life everyone goes out to L.A. L.A. is great, compared to London where it's cold and wet. I served my time in London.
2) Are you doing a lot of touring this year?
I'm doing a lot of touring, but nowhere near as much as last year. Last year I did 150 shows, one show every three days ... 110 shows were probably overseas. I loved it, but I really wanted to concentrate on my music.
3) How long have you been DJ-ing for?
I'm 33 years old, and started it as hobby and had an interest in about the age of 14. As a living, it came much later. Because I was a working-class kid, I don't come from money. I had to hold down regular jobs until the age of 24 or 25, but I had been making music from the age of 15 or 16. I did DJ'ing and music at the same time. I made music and DJ'ed I had a passion for both. As a profession I've been doing it for the last 10 years.
4) Your current song is "The Giver (Reprise)," which originally came out and was successful as "The Giver." What made you change it up and put it back out as "The Giver (Reprise)"?
I made it about three years ago as a completely underground house track and it just grew and grew and grew organically. I mean not one dollar was spent on marketing or publicity. It was released on an independent label in Canada and it struck a chord with people. I wanted to give it a new lease on life and be respectful of the original and give it a chance for radio, so I could reach out to a larger market. That's the reason behind the new version. I also just finished my album, which will come some time around October.
5) Is there a name for the album?
It's going to be called Blasé' Boys Club.
6) What can you tell us about Blasé' Boys Club?
Blasé' Boys Club is a record label I run. Historically, all my favorite record labels had an influence to them. My favorite record label ever is Factory Records a U.K.-based label. The whole point of Blasé' Boys Club is to sign a lot of talented guys who are a bit blasé' who do enjoy life, who don't moan all the time and appreciate that we do a job that most people would die for and that we probably have the best jobs in the world, so work hard and play hard, but don't be too highly strung. That's the concept behind Blasé' Boys Club.
7) What's harder, running a Label or DJ'ing?
For the body, DJ'ing; for the mind, the label. I don't even think when I DJ. It's kind of like being a sportsman with muscle memory. I'm not sure that's the best way to describe it, but with the label I have to think and do have to plan out releases and go out and sign new acts.
8) You've been nominated for two Grammys. That must be an incredible feeling?
It is. The first time was kind of like being at Disney; it was a little more emotional. It was interesting. The first time I was like, "Wow, I'm at the Grammys and it might never happen again," so I appreciated it so much. The second time I was genuinely upset that I didn't win; it was an honor to be nominated the second time. I've become a different person and it would be nice to go back next year and be nominated for Best Dance Album. That's the goal.
9) Well you know they say, "The third time's a charm," so that means you are going to win next time!
That's what they say, so my fingers are crossed. If I can get nominated for Best Dance Album, that will mean more to me than any single or anything else. It took a long time for me to make the album. Maybe it happens; maybe it doesn't. I'm happy with my album and I'm never happy with anything, so I couldn't have tried any harder or done any better. I just want to jump into a second album.
10) You mentioned you love New York and that you might move to the West Coerformast. When you are out touring, is there a favorite city or country where you love to be at?
I love countries that are completely different than to what I'm uses to. Places like Tokyo, and I love NY. I'm very relaxed in NY because it is very similar to London. I love Williamsburg, I love Brooklyn, but I'll end up in L.A. For me to keep on making music, I'm touring America as much as I am anywhere else in the world; it'll be a good place to be based.
If we were driving in a car together and you decided to plug your phone in to listen to some music, what would your fans be surprised to hear you playing?
I probably listen to more non-House music more than I do House music. I'm into my Hip-Hop. I really like stoner Hip-Hop; that's the kind of stuff I'm into. Probably way more Hip-Hop than Dance music.
If you weren't working tonight, weren't in the studio and could go hear one DJ play tonight, who would it be?
I was fortunate enough to see Frankie Knuckles before he passed away, and I was even more fortunate enough to have one of the last remixes that Frankie did be a song of mine called "Need U (100%)". I reached out to him maybe a few months before he died and he did my record. For me as a fan of House music, it was a really nice thing to have Frankie remix one of my tracks. That was an honor seeing him DJ, so I think I accomplished my dream.