Q&A with DUKE DUMONT
Posted On 04 Feb 2016
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, All My Life, allaccessmusicnicole, AlunaGeorge, Amnesia, Bat For Lashes, British, CHICAGO, Coachella, DJ, djing, Dubai, Duke Dumont, EDC, EDM, English, Exchange, Falling, French, garage music, Grammy, Grammy Awards, HAIM, house music, I Got U, Ibiza, iTunes, KC & JoJo, KC and JoJo, Lily Allen, London, Marvin Gaye, Middle East, Missy Elliot, Mystery Jets, Need U, Need U (100%), New York, New York City, NYC, Ocean Drive, Output, Paris, Producer, R&B, Santigold, Songs In The Key Of Life, Soundcloud, Spain, Spotfiy, Stevie Wonder, Talking Book, Terminal 5, The Neptunes, Three Six Zero Group, Timbaland, UK, UK Garage, United Kingdom, Won't Look Back
DUKE DUMONT, real name Adam George Dyment, is best known for the 2014 singles “Need U (100%)” and “I Got U” – both of which hit No.1 on the Official UK Chart.
Meanwhile, his third single “Won’t Look Back“, released in 2014, hit No.2 on the UK chart. All three singles hit No.1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart. And if that wasn’t enough, “Need U (100%)” was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 for Best Dance Recording. The single, “The Giver (Reprise)” is out now on Blasé Boys Club / Virgin EMI. Dumont’s latest single is entitled, “Ocean Drive“.
UK-born Three Six Zero Group recently signed the British artist to its management roster. Three Six Zero, founded by Mark Gillespie and Dean Wilson in 2007, is now a partner of the powerful Roc Nation group. Its management roster includes Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Slaves and HURTS. In a statement, Three Six Zero said:
“Duke Dumont is an extraordinarily talented producer and we look forward to working with him to build on his already significant success.”
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa recently got to catch up with the uber busy DJ between international flights and DJing gigs. Enjoy their interview below!
How are you doing today, Duke? Where does our interview find you and what’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hi Nicole! I’m good. I’m currently on a plane from London, heading to Dubai to DJ.
Duke, you have been on tour for what seems like forever! This past year, I got to see you absolutely slay it at Coachella and you’ve been quite busy on the festival circuit playing at EDC, and all over the UK and Ibiza. What was the highlight for you in 2015?
I’ve been djing as Duke Dumont for 10 years. The last 4 years has been non-stop traveling around the world. In 2014, I did 150 show in a year. There are a few noteworthy highlights from the last year and the live show at Coachella is up there! The Terminal 5 in NYC and djing at Amnesia (Ibiza), Exchange (LA) , Output (NYC) were standout shows as well!
You are best known for singles: “Need U (100%)” (which was nominated for Grammy), “I Got U” and “Won’t Look Back.” And you have remixed songs for Lily Allen, Mystery Jets, Bat For Lashes, AlunaGeorge and Santigold to name a few. For those that are not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start in music?
Remixes helped me early on, understanding and learning the craft of producing . Getting the stems from a Missy Elliot song, to a band like HAIM gave me an insight into the DNA of how these records were made. Its helped me gain an understanding to what it takes to make a great sounding record.
Who or what as the catalyst or inspiration for you to want to life this musical gypsy life?
“I didn’t choose the musical gypsy life, the musical gypsy life choose me. In a sense, that is true . My only goal was, and still is to be one of the best and most proficient record producers in the world.”
I have been djing since 15 years old. For me, production and djing go hand in hand, as it keeps my ear closely in tune with musical trends, and having a good knowledge of music helps me understand what makes a good record. I’m fortunate to travel and experience the world, and make a living from it.
What did you learn between your previous releases, collaborations and playing live that you felt you wanted to infuse into your latest release, “Ocean Drive”?
I learned to not make music with fear, and not only chase hit records. My objective isn’t to be the biggest producer/ DJ in the world, but to be the best.
“Ocean Drive” is my most ‘mature’ sounding radio song to date. You don’t often hear a Top 40 song anymore with a guitar in. But I didn’t really care to much about appeasing the current zeitgeist.
My objective is to make the best sounding music I can, and be on the cusp of creating the next zeitgeist. This will sound arrogant , but before ‘Need U (100%)’ there was no house records that got to No.1 in the charts. Before ‘I Got U’ there was no tropical house. Ocean Drive will spawn copycat records, which will inevitable be commercially more successful , however that is exactly how I like it.
Who have been your musical influences growing up?
At a club music level, I was raised on UK Garage and Chicago based House music. When I was just getting into production, the likes of The Neptunes, Timbaland, etc. were making commercial music with their fingerprint sound, and that approach inspired me.
Marvin Gaye is an artist who I always seem to revisit once a year. I still don’t feel that I’ve scraped the surface with his catalogue of music.
Nowadays, everything is so instant…you push a button and it’s yours ala Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud etc. What was the first album (you can remember) that you spent your hard earned money on back in the day and bought for yourself?
Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key Of Life, on a double CD.
I still rate Talking Book as a better album, but I love the social commentary that ran throughout S.I.T.K.O.L .
What was the first song you fell in love with (that you can remember) and why?
I’m a massive fan of late 90s and early ‘00s R&B. I remember KC & JoJo’s “All My Life” was the first song I taught myself to play. I don’t care if people find that corny. 🙂
I know it changes with your mood and day to day, but who is in your current playlist? Any artists or genres we might be surprised to find in there? (HAIM “Falling” remix, perhaps? 😉 )
Definitely not my remix of HAIM as you suggested. I don’t sit and listen to my own music. Once I’ve recorded a song, I become very divorced from it, as I feel it would hinder staying productive , in addition to it being vain. 😉
My playlist is pretty much Soundcloud. For me, its the best resource of music, listening to new material, and following artists I have respect for as musicians.
What’s on tap next for you? What are you most excited about this year?
Same old…a perpetual cycle of production and djing. I am probably most excited about moving to Los Angeles. A change of scene will rejuvenate me.
To stay connected with DUKE DUMONT , visit his socials below:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Soundcloud