Digging in with Daraspa and discovering music that hits your core.
Daraspa’s music has the ability to make you experience a variety of emotions; from uplifting and light to deep and dark, he manages to infuse all of it with soul. His FRISKY show Halcyon continuously features distinctive tracks that comprise a complete journey, taking you from highs and lows with seamless transitions. His productions follow the same path, providing music with purpose through a variety of styles. With music often referred to as sentimental, intimate, and soulful, the Amsterdam based artist is focused on producing tracks that provide that something special. His latest release on KDB Records “Vesturgata” is no exception, featuring deep melodies and flowing rhythms with storytelling atmospheres.
With so much going on, I was excited to catch up with Daraspa to talk about his music and more:
Thanks for catching up with me Daraspa, what is new and exciting in your world?
Hi Lauren. Yes great to catch up. Thanks for the invitation! I just came back from Dancefair 2017 that was held in Utrecht in the Netherlands. It’s not far from my hometown Amsterdam. I followed some masterclasses and attended some great interviews and product exhibitions. The masterclasses were particularly very interesting and gave me a lot of inspiration to work out new ideas and finish off tracks that were not finished yet. It was also great to see that the dance industry has evolved into such a variety of styles and audiences.
You have a distinctive sound that I love, there’s a beautiful darkness to it that goes deep within and brings the music to your core. Do you feel you have a developed a certain sound over time, or has it always been what you’ve resonated with?
That’s a big compliment. Thanks for that! It’s great to hear you are experiencing it like that.
Electronic music has been very close to me since it started basically and since then I have been interested in a lot of music that developed from it. Without mentioning every influence I think the love with darker music came to me as a young boy when listening to The Dire Straits and Prince. After that I really fell in love with Massive Attack. At a certain point I also got a great interest in soulful house played by the likes of Tony Humphries. From that I developed more of an interest into the more deep progressive vibes from Sasha and Digweed. A couple of years ago I really got touched by sets from Tale of us, Blancah and Soul Button. One other big influence that has affected me is ethnic music. I got lots of music from Fela kuti for instance. These tracks are like 20 minutes sometimes and can really get you in a flow. I guess what all these influences all have in common is that it is soulful and able to touch you emotionally.
What are your goals when producing a track or building a mix?
On a production level I think my most important goal is to make something that can stand the test of time. On a short term my originals and remixes have to be able to still touch me after I played them a couple of times. If not, than it probably will end up in the bin. I can make tracks very fast but after that I have to step away from it for a while to give it a fresh listen and see if it still is interesting enough.
As for my sets the goal is similar but I also try to tell a story. A little journey of an hour where I can build ups-and-downs in emotion. I love going a bit more hypnotic or even melancholic in my sets. If I can accomplish people closing their eyes, relax and just experience the mix as a journey than the goal for the set is absolutely accomplished.
What can you tell us about your release on KDB Records? It’s a fantastic EP – how did it come about?
Last year I worked a lot on tracks and ideas that is more in the area of deep and aethereal house. After I made a couple of tracks in that genre I felt the urge to send it to some labels just to see where I stand at that moment. So I send the tracks to only two labels and one of them was KDB which was on my radar for a while. I love the unique style of the label and the music they bring out. Pavel (Trockensaft), the label owner- really liked two tracks and from there it all went pretty fast to be honest. In less than a month the release was ready. Very happy about the whole process and I hope my other new tracks will be picked up like that. We’ll see how it goes. More stuff is definitely coming!
What do you think are the most important things for an artist to keep in mind when working on music?
Most important thing is to listen to your body I guess. At least that is the one for me.
If the track has that special element in it your body will tell you.
If there was one thing you’d like listeners of your music to feel after they hear it, what would it be?
I really liked what you said in the beginning that my music has the ability to bring you to your core.
I hope that listeners feel more inspired, hopeful and full of energy after listening to my music!
I think you accomplish that well, I am excited to hear what’s next!
Check out the last episode of Halcyon now: