We’re very happy to be joined by Dillistone this week, who has recently brought us a fantastic EP titled 3rd Culture Kid. Written from a personal perspective and taking a meander through several genres, the producer and DJ fills us in on the making of it, as well as a little bit more about himself as an artist.
Take a read below…
Many thanks for joining us! How would you best introduce yourself?
It’s an absolute pleasure! I guess my first SoundCloud description did it best, so “A lovechild of Copenhagen, Shanghai & London” but I’d have to add Berlin onto that list now. I gotta stop moving so much…
What is the Dillistone sound all about? When did you start making music?
For me my sound evolved a lot throughout the past years. I started producing when I was 15 and wanted to play my own songs when I was DJing in clubs in Shanghai. Back then it was a lot of heavy dubstep and trap, then it went a bit more future bassy, then slower and more spacious with big reverbs and now I’m somewhere in between I guess. What is most important for me, is for the song to have a soul, for you to get that yearning feeling in your solar plexus you get when you don’t know whether you want to cry or dance.
This EP was more about testing out new ways of doing that, this time with a lot more distortion and big bold sounds and lyrics.
What do you love most about doing this as a job?
For me I guess its the fact you get to spend all day with amazing artists and all you are there to do is to create something special. There are not a lot of jobs where you get to come home after a full day with something to show for all the hard work you put in.
That and the fact that I get to sit in a studio all day drinking coffee and messing around with sounds. It’s my teen dream come true.
Where did your musical love story start for you? Do you remember any key early influences?
A lot of my love for music initially came from the people around me growing up. I’ve had the honour of being taught by some of the most fantastic people, who, even though they were classically trained and had no clue what was going on, let me abuse all their expensive equipment and would support the technical journey I was on with the creative musical side too.
I unfortunately blew a couple of very big and expensive Yamaha speakers in the pursuit of learning how to side-chain, and they just laughed and let me use the smaller ones while we waited for them to come back from the shop.
But the biggest moment for me was when I saw Gold Panda play his track ‘You’ live in a field in China. I just remember thinking “Wow, a song can sound like that?” and from that day on it was all vocal chops for me. I’m in vocal chop rehab but it’s so hard.
Who or what are you currently really into, music-wise?
At the moment I’m very into Joji, Jon Bellion and Shy Martin. But I’m keeping an ear on Former Hero and Underscores, two artists really pushing the boundaries of sound.
3rd Culture Kid is out now and a brilliant EP! Did it take you long to produce?
Thank you so much! It took me longer to produce than to write funnily enough. I’ve been working full time as a songwriter and producer for a while now, so I’ve become more and more critical of my own work and it took a long while to get the sound that fit the EP. I think there’s like 10 different versions of ‘Priority’ on my hard drive, but they weren’t the right one.
‘Fuckboy’ was by far the easiest, when I had the arpeggio weaved in with the bass I knew it was there.
What message do you want it to convey to listeners?
This EP is about self-reflection on having been raised as a third culture kid, the positives and negatives and the person I became – good or bad, because of it. I guess if you could somehow frankenstein ‘Fuckboy’ and ‘Priority’ together it would be the perfect description.
It’s about growing as an individual, recognising and rising above your past and through it coming closer to yourself. Throughout my life, if I was unhappy in a situation I would just move country, but I’m done running now.
Are you happy with the end result?
I don’t think you’re ever truly happy with something, I sang and wrote most of the EP while producing it too so I have a weirdly intimate and critical relationship with every beat in a bar. But with that said I am so proud of how it turned out, it’s a coherent piece of work that reflects a really important time in my life, and I can’t wait to sit down when I’m 80 and play it through.
Who would you love to remix or collaborate with?
On a production level I would love to work with Flume, Gold Panda or Evil Needle – they were my biggest inspirations while I was learning how to produce and a big part of the journey I’m on. I’d love to remix Sam Fender, I think that would be sick, but really I would die for any sad song with a unique voice.
What do you have coming up next?
At the moment I’m working on 5-6 tracks that will start dropping later this year, with some amazing features from super talented artists I’ve worked with. I’ll be returning a little bit to my older vibes sound-wise, which is exciting and I’m hyped to get the first track out there.
Is there anything else we should know about you?
I literally just ate like a whole box of Merci chocolates while replying to your amazing questions. Not sponsored, I paid for them pinky promise. Also I love Your EDM and hope you have a great day!