Finnish kingpin Darude has had an extremely busy summer, standing in the middle of his “Endless Summer” tour at the moment, which takes him all around Europe, Australia, and North America. In addition to his intense touring schedule, Darude has put out a brand new dance floor killer. Showing his affinity for the harder side of electronic music, Darude teamed up with Australian electronic maestro Zac Waters and vocalist Enya Angel for his latest effort.
Titled “Singularity”, this high energy track features eerie, extended synths and simple yet catchy vocals from Enya Angel. The song drops into a raging, hypnotic groove sure to keep everyone on the dance floor. Undoubtedly a production that will see a lot of play-time on festival main stages across the world, it is also an impressive serving in terms of the style of Darude. An absolute taste-changer for the scene, “Singularity” has ticked all the boxes to be on top of the charts at the end of the month. If not then don’t be surprised to find it on top of your playlists.
We caught up with Darude to discuss his latest single as well as current projects. Check out the full interview below.
Congratulations on your latest track “Singularity”! Can you tell us how this track came to live? Is there a special story that comes with this single?
My Australian booking agency and Zac’s management are connected and when we were prepping for my Australian tour I told my manager to put out feelers if there’d be anyone interesting interested in a studio sesh while I’m there and that’s how we connected. Zac and I had a great day at the Ministry of Sound studio in Sydney! We talked ideas and listened to each others demos and sounds first. I actually did very little production wise in our initial session, I just sat back and let Zac be in the driver’s seat. 🙂 I’m a Logic guy, Zac uses Ableton Live, which I know a good bit as well, so we decided to use it. He is so freaking quick with it, it was natural to have him be in charge of the actual manual input and such. Also, we chose as our starting point something he’d prepped earlier and then we started discussing and trying out ideas on top of that.
In this first and only face-to-face session we decided to go rather hard and straightforward in the drops and have a melodic trancy breakdown and build. I had this guitar like synth melody that I’d been saving for a good while and it fit perfectly this track and got even better when Zac re-did it with a real guitar. After that session we continued online exchanging files via a common Dropbox folder and conversing via Facebook Messenger. Zac put the basic arrangement and instrumentation together and I had my hand in the production and mixing, too, especially with the vocals and final mix and adding a bit of ear candy here, a synth layer there.
While definitely not an afterthought, Enya Angel’s sweet vocals were added in later, as initially the track was an instrumental with some small vocal samples to spice it up. The vocal makes the track way more user friendly and softens it just the right amount, gives it a real story and meaning, I’m very happy how it all came together!
I love the shared responsibility of a collab, as in most cases, like here, it leads to less stress about getting stuck or having doubts about something. When you let go a bit and let the other one tell you what they think should be done, the project goes forward all the time. Zac’s style is not something that comes to me naturally, so doing a track with him forced me outside my usual ways of working, which is refreshing and obviously opens my mind to new sounds and ideas and gives me a chance to learn new things, too.
What would you say was the main ingredient that made the track suitable for both clubs and big festivals?
I don’t know exactly why, but the drop to me is suspenseful or even haunting somehow, so I think it’s the tension of the drop and the release of the breakdown, and the fact that while the second break and build are longer, it’s still a very straightforward track all in all, no huge surprises, so it’s user-friendly for many environments 🙂
What is your approach when you start a new track? Do you have a workflow process that helps you get into the studio and get things done?
It changes from track to track. These days I tend to have more of a goal or at least partially formed idea when I start working on a track than I used to early on, when it was mostly trial and error, doing everything on the fly. I usually don’t have a genre pre-selected, but I just make music and see what direction it takes me. Often I have a harmonic idea in my head, or actually usually recorded in my phone, which I got somewhere hearing a sound, a piece of music in the background, a rhythmic element of some sort (like a train clacking away, or car tires on uneven pavement etc) and I hear something in it, then try to make a memory mark by recording me humming, singing, badly beatboxing etc on top of it then and there. I often also say something like “try a Moog like bass on this, a super saw synth on that” etc. I have a Logic template with some of my fave synths and basic drums and loops pre-loaded and all grouping and routing done, so I don’t have to miss a creative moment messing with technical stuff too much. At the same time, my music making has always also been about tech tweaking, I get kicks out of that, so in good amounts that also is inspiration for me, to be able to program some “manual” stuff as I go, that’s part of the vibe. I also re-use a good bit of good things from my earlier projects, like effect sounds or vocal effect chains, which is so great about the current DAWs, you can easily save full channels of plugins and bring them over one by one or in bunches from other projects. That speeds up my workflow and also helps with consistency sound wise and quality wise.
What can we expect from you in 2017? Any big project that stands out for you and you would like to share with us?
I’m on somewhat of a collab kick currently, as in addition to a solo track or two I’ve got collaborations being planned and worked on in various phases with Uberjakd, tyDi, Orjan Nilsen, Tom Fall and Funkagenda to name some. No release dates or other specific public plans set yet, but looking at releasing at least two tracks this year still.