TMN: Hey dude! First off, thank you so much for being our artist of the month for January, and for letting us come on board for the Ninja Nation tour.

Datsik: Absolutely. I appreciate all of the support!

TMN: Let’s talk about the upcoming Ninja Nation tour, which kicks off this week. What can fans expect from this tour?

Datsik: Well, first of all, this tour is going to be louder, bigger, and it’s going to have different, crazy, and awesome artists. Some of them are from Firepower and some of them are just homies. We have Kennedy Jones, we have ETC ETC, TRUTH, Barely Alive, Bear Grillz, Twine, Trolley Snatcha, Fox Stevenson, and I think that’s it. They all rotate in and out of the tour.

I’m super stoked. We just upgraded to Vortex, so we have some 3.0 now, and it should be pretty crazy. It should make for a pretty fucking awesome experience!

TMN: It’s a big tour! You’re doing a lot of different dates. It’s definitely not just handful of shows, you’re touring from this week until the middle of April.

Datsik: Yeah, I think we have roughly 60 shows!

TMN: That’s intense. You’re going to be a road warrior for the next couple of months!

Datsik: Yessir! Going to be out in the cold, wet weather that is everywhere except for California right now (laughs).

TMN: Speaking of ninjas, “Katana” should be our theme song. What was the inspiration behind that tune? How did you come to work with Mayor Apeshit.

’Datsik – Katana (Feat. Mayor Apeshit)’

Datsik: Well, I think I was kind of screwing around on the keyboard and I found this really cool sounding asian-style string pluck sound. I just found it while scrolling through presets. I started writing this super asian-style melody and was like, “this is hella Wu Tang sounding.” I made the bones of the track and sent it over to my homie, Mayor Apeshit, who’s a really wicked talented MC.

Literally an hour later, he sent me these vocals that were just ridiculous. I’m really thrilled with being able to incorporate those old-school, Wu Tang-esque elements into something that’s modern and gnarly as fuck.

TMN: Side note, is Mayor Apeshit the best name…ever?

Datsik: Yes. I would say so. It’s quite fitting, considering the nature of the track!

TMN: We love seeing you collab with hip hop acts, as we know you’re a huge fan of that genre. We interviewed you some time back and talked about this very subject. We’re curious, since 2013, have you developed any new favs in the hip hop world?

Datsik: It’s been interesting because since I moved to LA, I haven’t really thought of the whole networking thing. I thought it was kind of cliche. I find that being in LA, having my own place and my own studio, it’s been so natural to work with other artists.

All the stuff – being able to work with KRS-One and DJ Paul – that stuff all came very naturally. I ended up just talking to them and they’re the coolest people ever. DJ Paul came over the other day, it was his birthday eve, and we were chilling in the studio.

’Datsik – Get Smashed (Feat. DJ Paul K.O.M Of Three 6 Mafia)’
’No Requests (ft. KRS

I think that’s the way that you get good work with these people. Instead of paying some outrageous fee, just make it natural. Try to get to know them. I think that’s ultimately how the best music turns out – when it’s not forced. It’s more about making the connection.

Music is an art. You can’t really force it. It’s a delicate process.

I have a couple more exciting things coming up, but I can’t say too much about it just yet though.

TMN: Speaking about LA…when you think about it in your head, you know there’s tons of industry people out there, but you can’t imagine how much different it can be than other cities. It is though!

Datsik: Exactly! You just end up running into each other. I just bought a house that was just recently built and I had them build a full studio that’s detached away from the house. I’m located close to this school in North Hollywood, Icon Music School, and it’s cool because all these kids that go to the school moved around the area. Now that they’re all done with school, these kids come over and show me their music.

My place has has become this little hub. People can come over and hang out, play music as loud as we want, until whatever hour we want in this bomb shelter studio. I never envisioned it being this sick.

TMN: It seems like your sounds have gravitated towards a fusion of dubstep and hip hop. Is this somewhat of a circle back to your roots?

Datsik: Absolutely. When I was young, I used to make all kinds of hip hop beats. Being in Canada, I didn’t really have much access to rappers. Living here, being the position that I’m in, I now have the ability to work with people I’ve always wanted to work with.

I think it was a matter of timing and waiting till I was ready to show my tracks to the right people. It’s all kind of worked out, and I’m really happy. It’s like crossing one of those things off my bucket list. I’m fortune to be able to do that.

TMN: Can your fans expect any surprise live guests this tour that may or may not rap live over your beats?

Datsik: Yeah! Definitely. You can expect a couple guests.

TMN: Haha. We didn’t know if you’d reveal that or not. Glad we asked! How’s the label treating you these days? Any new “must hear” acts our readers should be hip to?

Datsik: We’re coming up on our 100th release, which is a big milestone for us. It hasn’t been that long, but we’ve putout a shitload of quality music and we have some pretty diehard fans. That’s based around just the label too, without my involvement (other than me selecting the tracks).

We have this new compilation coming out called Shell Shock Legends, and it’s basically all of the OG Firepower artists putting together a giant, 10-track album of all original stuff.

As far as artists go, the couple that will never leave my list of favorite artists are: Antiserum & Mayhem, Fox Stevenson, Protohype, and this new artist called Planet Neutral, whose music is like Flume on steroids. Those guys are all killing it right now.

TMN: We’re sure you’ve gotten this a lot over the past, but we’re genuinely curious. Where do see the dubstep genre evolving too? We know it’s lost a little bit of steam in the mainstream community.

Datsik: You know what would be really cool? You know how deep house has blown up over the past little while? It’s become really popular amongst hipsters and posh people, as well as other people who want to get away from the more aggressive side of dance music. I’d really like to see deep house elements played at at 140. Like, traditional dubstep, but brought back with more deep housey elements. Have that kind of dubstep listened to by all these hipsters and scarf wearing mother fuckers.

I think it would be cool to see it come back that way. Genres come and go. You look at deep house and this new future bass stuff. I really dig that. I’ve actually started a new alias where I’m screwing around with all of that, and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve been writing these half time parts, and it’s like hella dubstep but really slowed down and different. I’m really enjoying making that.

It’s an uncharted territory. I feel like all the drum n bass producers have already revealed themselves. I feel like all the really sick dubstep producers have already made their mark. It’s hard to reinvent the wheel.

It’s not that it’s stale, it’s just that…so many people…when Skrillex came onto the scene, so many people were trying to copy him, and it kinda led to the death of innovating. I think with this deep house/garage shit, it’s bringing it back full circle to where it started. It’ll be interesting to see if it brings back the old-time, original dubstep.

TMN: Alright, now it’s time for a few non-music related questions. What’s the one thing you miss most about Kelowna?

Datsik: All my friends. I grew up in a place of 140,000 people. All of my friends are talented people who are into cool stuff like graffiti or breakdancing. Everyone is super nice and super cool, and that’s how I got into music. I have such an awesome posse of friends.

I see them once a year, but I miss them immensely. I wish they were down here with me. I guess it makes it that much more special when I see them.

TMN: Conversely, what’s the one thing you love most about LA, now that you’re living out there?

Datsik: I love the fact that instead of going out and partying, I just bring friends back to my studio and party there. I think LA has allowed me to do that. The fact that I’m so close to all my homies in Firepower and all my new friends is just really cool. LA has really opened up some new doors of creativity for me.

TMN: Favorite video game at the moment?

Datsik: Halo is my all-time favorite. I’ve been playing a lot of Destiny right now though.

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