How’s it going, DUX? We really enjoyed your recent single ‘Lady of The Night’ featuring Stan Taylor. In the past you’ve connected with Stan on a couple songs, how did you guys initially connect?
Stan and I met through mutual musician friends a couple years ago. We started working on tunes right away, and actually dropped an EP together in ’16 called ‘Remote Controlled Hobbies’. We’ve become great friends, so getting to work on so much music together at this point is an awesome bonus.
We noticed that ‘Lady of The Night’, went pretty viral on Facebook a little while back, how did that feel?
The views and likes are always great, but what I enjoyed most about that whole experience was fans from all over the world reaching out, and sharing what the song meant to them; how it helped them, or moved them, or the video inspired them. To me, that’s the best feeling in the world, to know I’ve touched someone else. As an artist, I can hope for nothing more!
How is the music scene for an upcoming act like yourself in L.A.? Is it ever overwhelming?
I think working in any field of entertainment in LA can be a bit overwhelming, just because there are SO many people there doing it. I think the important thing to remember, is to focus on your own journey, block out the noise, and be inspired by the success of those around you, not discouraged. As they say, it’s difficult to win your race if you’re too busy watching the other runners. I think no matter what music scene you’re in, if you keep your head down and work hard, good things will happen.
Do you prefer to play live or to create and record in the studio? What’s the difference, energy wise?
I love both for different reasons. I would say what initially brought me to music was working in the studio, making beats, and eventually writing songs. It’s a special feeling to get ‘in the zone’ and work on something I’m really enjoying. I forget about time, problems, really just about anything other than what’s in front of me, and that’s special. Performing live is also an amazing experience in and of itself. Getting to play your music for other people, to perform and connect with an audience is amazing; one of the best feelings in the world. So yeah, I love both the same, but for I guess, different reasons.
What can fans and readers expect to hear on your new album and where can they find it?
My new EP ‘Sarita’ is a collection of songs I’ve worked on over the last couple years. The album is groovy and fun for the most part, but the songs hold a lot of meaning for me. Every song I write says a lot about the story I’m trying to tell, and always comes from my heart. So I guess in a couple words fans and readers should expect: feeling and honesty…and good vibes! haha. I did a pre-release of the album last week, so I basically leaked it to fans for free. It will be on all streaming at the end of this month: Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
Your sound is very varied, with many apparent influences, who were some of your favorite musicians to listen to growing up?
I listened to everythingggg growing up. Early on, my Dad would show me a ton of funk and rock and roll: James Brown, Cream, Little Feat, Hendrix, etc. My Mom on the other hand was more into R&B and Singer/Songwriters: Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell. For me, that somehow translated into a love of hip-hop, so I grew up bumping east coast rap and boombap; Wu Tang, Biggie, Big L, Nas, etc. As I started getting more into music, I grew to love all things funk and soul; I really have a deep appreciation for music from the past. I listen to a lot of 70s soul and rock & roll, synth funk from the 80s, 90s hip hop. For current music, I like anything that blends these genres. But yea, for me, I’m really eclectic; I love just about every kind of music and I think that shows in what I write.
If you could collaborate with anyone on just one single who would it be and why?
So I think my answer is a bit obscure, but I’d have to say an artist from the 80s that I really admire who went by the name Kashif. He was actually a really heavy producer, working on all kinds of synth funk and pop hits from the 80s. He also had a pretty solid solo career writing his own songs as well. His versatility is amazing, and his songs are incredible. He’s been a huge influence on me, especially over the last couple years. I would’ve loved to get an opportunity to get in the studio with him!
What does the name DUX stand for or mean to you?
DUX is about creativity. Honesty. Being who you are, and saying what you feel. I’m always really honest with my music; I’m not aiming to sound like anything else, just trying to put down what I’m feeling, and that’s what DUX represents for me..
When and how did the term alien funk come into play for this project?
Alien funk is a term I coined when trying to describe my music. I think in general, all my stufff falls into the funk/r&b and pop realms, but with a little twist. My music is not entirely conventional, and I enjoy using weird synths and soundscapes in my stuff. That’s where the alien part comes in. I came up with the description early on, and I think it just stuck!
What DAW do you use while creating music? It all sounds so organic and well put together.
Thank you! I use Logic when I’m working in the studio. I find it has a lot of amazing tools for producers and writers. For this last record, which was mixed by my good friend Shachar Boussani, we mixed everything in Pro Tools, as that’s what he prefers to use. Before becoming an artists and releasing my own music, I worked as an engineer for many years in studios around LA, so I’m pretty comfortable with all DAWs. But yea, Logic is my preference.