DVRKO‘s status as a newcomer in the dance music scene isn’t the only thing that makes him unknown. The breakout DJ and producer follows in the footsteps of dance music giants like Malaa, Daft Punk, and deadmau5 by using a mask to conceal his identity and bring an air of mystery to his persona. Although the concept of a masked DJ is a tried-and-true trope in the scene, DVRKO is anything but predictable.
His sophomore showing, “Lights Up,” released June 29, was upbeat and dance-worthy, a surprise from a musician whose signature has become his dark, mysterious, and slightly ominous persona. With the release of just two tracks, DVRKO has already shown musical range and an unapologetic propensity to go against the grain.
Now, the Disco Fries have taken on “Lights Up,” putting their own spin on DVRKO’s follow-up to his debut single, “This is How.” That Nick Ditri and Danny Boselovic of the Disco Fries have earned recognition from several big names in the dance music industry—think Tïesto, Hardwell, and Afrojack, for example—can only be an omen of DVRKO’s future success.
Dancing Astronaut recently spoke to DVRKO and the Disco Fries about their inspirations, creative visions, and the ingredients that bring a remix up to scratch. Read the full interview, below.
DVRKO, what is your history with Disco Fries and why did you choose to have them remix your sophomore release, ‘Lights Up’?
DVRKO: During my sophomore year of high school, I really enjoyed Fries; it’s big room cafeteria music.
Disco Fries, what was your process like in the studio when you approached ‘Lights Up’? How did you put your own spin on the remix while still maintaining the integrity of the original song?
Danny Boselovic (Disco Fries): We approached this remix by avoiding listening to the original version again until further into the creative process. We like pulling up a sound and playing along to just the vocal until something starts to come together. Staying focused on the vocal helps [us] maintain the integrity of the original.
How would you describe your sound for those unfamiliar with it? What hardware and/or software processes and effects do you use, specifically, to get your sound? Do you use a lot of plugins; if so, which ones?
Nick Ditri (Disco Fries): Anyone following us over the years has probably noticed that we jump around in sound sets and genres a lot, but you’ll always notice some sort of unique synth or two that we create from scratch in our records. Sometimes that’s a manipulated sample we fly through Serum and some other plugs to dirty it up. Other times it’s something Danny designs in Massive, but we always try to use one really unique touchpoint in our records that people can identify as a Disco Fries stamp.
DVRKO, can you talk about the lyric video you just released for ‘Lights Up’? What was your inspiration behind the lyric video, and how does it align with your creative vision?
DVRKO: It was originally intended to be a silent film, but we [set it to music] and released the video. We came in under budget so we had some room to finish the song.
Disco Fries, what advice would you give to other producers when remixing a track for another artist? What are the do’s and don’ts?
Boselovic (Disco Fries): One thing that’s usually helpful for us when taking on a remix is to have a goal from the start. Sometimes it’s taking a track geared towards radio and making it work for a club set. Other times, it’s taking it to another genre. As long as you avoid making another version that fills the same space as the original version of the song, you can bring some new light to the song and expose it to an entirely new audience.
Ditri (Disco Fries): As far as ‘don’t do’s,’ we’re not big fans of rules so if anything, don’t let a crappy mix go out the door for the world to hear. Other than that, make it yours and put your stamp on it, whatever that means sonically for you as an artist.
DVRKO, what do you have coming down the pipeline that you can share? Can we expect to see a livestream set from you anytime soon?
DVRKO: [The] next single is “Death March” and it’s dropping in August. There’s a special remix coming soon, too.
Featured image: Kavan the Kid