Back when Felix Jaehn put out that breezy, trumpet-heavy remix of OMI’s “Cheerleader,” the fat synths and sharp drops then-present in plenty of big room tracks stopped for a moment and slowed down. The shift let Zedd express his chilled-out side, and opened the doors to Kygo and Marshmello.
Proving tropical house isn’t another flash-in-the-pan dance subgenre, DUSK – a South London duo that put out their second single in February – follows in these large footsteps. A collaboration with Call Me Loop, this Polydor release reflects the same lightweight, effervescent groove and warm-weather vibes.
An emerging act, DUSK has already racked up a few impressive credits. They co-wrote Peking Duk’s “Stranger” and collaborated with M.O on single “With You.” They’ve also had a chance to work in the studio with Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Eyre, Ina Wroldsen, Shakka, and Sub Focus.
As they promote their latest single “New Habit,” we had a chance to talk with the duo about their emerging career:
How did you two start working together?
We met when we were kids and quickly figured out we had a lot of music in common. So, we started creating and it felt right, so we just kept doing it!
While you definitely incorporate pop elements into your tracks, how would you describe your sound?
We don’t like to think about it too hard, to be honest. We go with vibe, and if it feels right, then it must be right! We’ve always had a love for choruses, so I guess that’s where the pop influence comes in. There’s something magic about distilling an idea or melody or concept down to its simplest and most powerful form.
Who are your influences?
Our tastes are pretty eclectic, so, right now, we’re really into artists like Mr Eazi, NSG, Billie Eilish, Diplo, Lauv…we love Koffee and Chronixx, too – they’re both amazing.
Tell us about the creative process for “New Habit.” How did the track start and progress?
This one was kind of went full circle, actually. We started with some chords and got a vibe going, but once we’d written the song, it felt like the production didn’t quite do it justice, so we scrapped it and reproduced around the vocal to find something that really complemented the song. The result is pretty different from where we started, but we think it has turned out great!
What was your process for finding a vocalist for this song?
The process was pleasantly short! We knew we loved Loop and thought she’d be perfect for the song, and when we suggested it, she was well up for it, so it was easy. She’s absolutely nailed it.
How does this track compare to your previous one, “With You”?
This one is less dance floor focused but still really feel-good. We like the thought of brightening people’s days with our music.
You’ve worked with M.O. and Hailee Steinfeld already. What singers would you like to work with in the future?
Good question! Khalid is undeniably incredible, we also loooove Popcaan. There’s also something stunning about Julia Michaels’ voice.
Since it’s nearly the start of festival season, where should we expect to find you this year?
Watch this space! We’re working on our studio tan at the moment – haha
Based on your experiences, where do you prefer to perform – festivals or clubs?
Both have their merits, but there’s something really sick about the direct feedback of being in a club with a crowd and feeling their reaction to what you’re doing. Having said that, there’s nothing like dropping a banger on a beautiful day and watching a crowd of people go off…
For travel, what do you do for packing and grooming?
We’re pretty relaxed about it, especially when travelling, but we use the Cornerstone stuff for shaving and some Body Shop creams.
What are your must-have items for the road?
Noise cancelling headphones! They’ve changed our life – haha. We’ve got the Sonys, and obviously the sound quality is sick but the noise cancelling is unreal – it makes flights almost enjoyable!
What are your plans for a follow-up to “New Habit”?
We’ve got a chuuuuune ready for the next one – can’t wait for you to hear it. You’ve gotta vibe off “New Habit” for now, though!