An Interview With Producer, Songwriter and DJ, DALLASK On His Latest Singles and More!
Posted On 08 Mar 2018
Get to know the producer/songwriter/DJ DallasK who just dropped two new singles – up-tempo house anthem “All My Life” (PRESS HERE) and chilled-out confessional “Self Control” (PRESS HERE). “Self Control” was featured on New Music Friday and they’re being added to lists like “Mood Booster,” “Pop Rising,” and Apple Music’s “A-List Dance.”
DallasK has collaborated with EDM heavyweights Hardwell & Tiesto and worked remixes for The Chainsmokers, Galantis, MGMT, Bebe Rexha and more. He also notably produced and co-wrote the five-times platinum “Work From Home” from pop/R&B sensations Fifth Harmony. Stepping into his artistry for the first time, DallasK has crafted his signature sound which blends the realms of EDM, pop and beyond.
Learn more about DallasK in the following All Access interview:
Thanks so much for your time! We know musicians are busy people so we appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself!
Of course! Thanks for having me!
So where does this interview find you today?
Right now I’m in my studio in LA. On my second coffee, because it’s Friday so why not. I have a songwriting session at 2:30 then we’ll see where the night takes me, this is my last weekend off from shows/travel for a while.
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? What is one big goal you have for 2018?
2017 was a year of a lot of growth for me as an artist, even though I only had a couple remixes released. Basically all of the music I’m releasing this year was created during the first couple months of 2017 then it took some time to get back to being an independent artist (which I couldn’t be more excited about) and to develop my voice as a singer and produce all the records out to where I was happy with them. So for 2018, I’m most excited about being able to finally release everything I’ve been working on. A big goal I have is to put out more music this year than I have in all my previous years combined, and to play more shows than I have in any previous year.
Growing up, did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would have? Has music always been a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
It still is pretty crazy every day to me that I get to make music for a living, but if I really look back, I’ve been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember. I wanted my parents to buy me turntables when I was in elementary school, they bought me a guitar instead, which I’m very thankful for. From then, I played saxophone in middle school, was in bands in high school, began making music on computers when I was 14 and started DJing when I was 16.
How did you come up with your artist name? Was it hard to find a name that summed up who you are an artist and the kind of music that you make?
I wish I had a better story for this. My real name is Dallas Koehlke. My last name is pretty hard to pronounce (Kel-Key) so I just shortened it to K. And I’ve stuck with it ever since then.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city has influenced them as an artist. How do you think your home has affected you and your music?
Well I was born in Detroit, which has a super rich musical history and I was a student of that later in life, but I moved to Orlando, Florida when I was 5 and I consider that to be my hometown. I think Orlando’s musical footprint has influenced me in so many ways, we were one of the only cities in the US to have a FM dance music station in the early 2000s and that was my first introduction to electronic music. We also were the epicenter for pop in that time period (Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears, etc.) and I think that’s where my love and study of Pop music began. It was also a haven for emo and post-hardcore music that I was a part of in my high school days and dirty south hip hop which was very influential on my production style today.
Let’s talk about your newest music, “All My Life” and “Self Control.” They both feature you singing for the first time. Why did you decide to sing on these two tracks? Where did the inspiration for them come from exactly?
Well, I wrote both of those songs with co-writers, and both originally had other people on the demos. When I was finishing them, I had the chance to perform at a writer’s event for my publishing company at Soho House. They wanted me to play some of the songs I’ve written for other people and at first I was a little hesitant. But, after a little practice, I decided I would sing the songs. I performed Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” which I co-wrote and co-produced. It was really well received and that gave me the courage to sing on my own records going forward.
The inspiration for All My Life was writing a song that everyone could relate to, the feeling of something building to a moment where everything connects, whether that’s a relationship, a personal journey or something else. It’s up to the listener to decide. Self Control is about the temptations we all face in our relationships, whether it’s looking for something outside of what you have now, or something toxic that you can’t control yourself from continuing.
Besides your vocals on these new songs, how else do you think they are different than anything else you have previously released? What else are you currently working on? When can fans expect more new music from you?
I’m definitely taking more risks production-wise on both of these, they’re unlike anything I’ve put out as far as style is concerned. I’m working on a bunch of new songs some are even further than what I’ve done in the past and some are good ole club bangers!! Excited for all of it, and using my voice as the glue for everything I want to do creatively. More music is coming very, very soon.
Where do you find that you have the most fun- on stage performing, making music videos, recording in the studio or elsewhere?
They can all be fun for different reasons. On stage performing is the most adrenaline based and the biggest rush before. But I also like to say that I’m addicted to the feeling of making a new piece of music or idea that you’re excited about. Your mind races with all the infinite possibilities and I think it’s the only way to keep your momentum up over the ups and downs that everyone experiences. Music vids are fun, too! I don’t think of myself as much of an actor but I love bringing songs to life on video.
How active on are you on your social media platforms? How important do you think it has been to your career so far? Do you find that it’s hard to update all of them all of the time?
I’m not as active as I’d like to be, it’s hard to live your life and simultaneously think about documenting it. But, I really try to write everyone back who comments or sends me a message. In many ways that connection is more important to me than posting a dope photo.
We are living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that music is going to reflect these challenging times?
Music is definitely an escape, it always has been and will remain that. I think it’s very interesting that artists can use their platforms to spread messages and stoke change and that brings me a lot of joy. I think with everything going on today we will see more songs of protest whether they’re subversive or more direct.
I understand that you co-wrote Fifth Harmony’s smash, “Work From Home” so I would love to know what goes into writing such a catchy song? Can you talk about how it came together?
For the last four years, in tandem with my artist career I’ve also been producing and writing for other artists and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many of the top people in that space. The song came together very organically with some of my closest friends at a writing camp. Ammo (one of my main collaborators) hosted it and the crew was Jude, Explicit, Brian Lee and myself. The whole song probably took less than an hour to write, it almost felt like we were totally synced up with each other, everyone playing their part. Most days in the studio aren’t like that so you can usually tell something special is happening when a session feels like that.
You have collaborated with so many incredible artists so I am curious to know who you have learned the most from over the years?
I’ve probably learned the most from Tijs (Tiesto). Talking to him about the business side of music, longevity as an artist and how to stay positive through it all, I’m really thankful for his help.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Daft Punk, Kanye West, and M83 are my three all-time favorites. They inspire everything that I do and would obviously love to work with them in the future.
What do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I hope people can either feel better after listening , or feel connected to a message within the lyrics or maybe just even bust a dance move on the street.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself or your music?
I’ve done a lot of talking today but one more thing I would like to say is thank you to my fans for the support and listening to my music, and to All Access for this interview!