Exclusive Interview: Dirty South discusses new single “All I Need”, touring and technicalities
When you think of the more prestigious names in dance music, Dragan Roganović, also known as Dirty South, is certainly one amongst them. Delivering an ever-changing sound over the past two decades, Dirty South, has come to establish himself as one of the industry’s finest and most sophisticated producers.
Dominating the Australian dance music scene in the 00’s, he quickly gained recognition from the likes of Pete Tong and Axwell, initiating his worldwide journey to where we see him today. The acknowledgements haven’t stopped since, landing him collaborations with some of the industry’s most prominent talents including the likes of Sebastian Ingrosso (“Meich”) and Alesso (“City Of Dreams”). He has enjoyed the most multifaceted career so far in creating a film score for the original motion picture “Suburban Cowboy”, and receiving two Grammy award nominations for a select few of incredible remixes he’s done for other artists.
Across his momentous 16 years as a producer, he has released a handful of albums, bolstering his career in 2013 with his first and highly successful album “Speed Of Life”. Here he found himself atop the crest of the wave that was the EDM “Golden Era”. He followed it up with another a year later, dropping “With You” in 2014. More recently, however, he has released arguably his best work yet on both albums “XV” and “Darko” released in 2018. His latest major project came in the form of an intricate EP called “Little Devious” (2019) which saw him complete a 13-date tour with stops in North America, Australia, Mexico and Brazil.
Fresh from the tour, Dirty South has jumped straight back in the studio to work on new music including the new single “All I Need” ft. Marion Amira which he just released a few days ago on his birthday (15th November). We Rave You thought it would be an opportune moment to sit down with him for an exclusive interview and draw out the inspiration behind the new single, his previous work, tours and more.
Firstly, we at We Rave You wish to congratulate you on the release of your single “All I Need”. Could you tell us a bit more about your motivations and inspirations in creating it?
Thank you! So, I just recently released a 4 track EP on Lane 8’s label and the whole EP was instrumental, plus last year I did two albums and the second album was also all instrumental, so I felt like I wanted to do a vocal record this time.
How would you say ‘All I Need’ differs from your previous work on the Darko and Little Devious EP?
I would say the main difference is obviously the vocal and also it’s a little less moodier than the two releases you mentioned.
What drew you to collaborate with Marion on this track?
We collaborated on my second album “With You” where she featured on two tracks, so it was quite natural to work on some more music and see where it ends up. I’m a huge fan of her voice so it was a pleasure to have her feature on another track of mine.
It was a nice surprise to see your previous release coming out under Lane 8’s “This Never Happened” imprint, what is your relationship like with him?
Daniel (Lane 8) is a super nice guy. I’m a big fan of his label so it was a great opportunity to try something different and collaborate with his label. I also did a remix for him last year for one of his tracks “No Captain” so our relationship has been quite naturally building through music.
You’re releasing this track off the back of a 13-date tour around the Americas and Australia, which city was your favourite to play and why?
It was a fantastic tour and to be honest all the shows were incredible, from little intimate shows in Australia all the way to my USA shows and a huge finish in Brazil at the Laroc Club which holds around 5,000 people.
You must bump into many other DJs on your travels, what other artists would you say you admire the most?
My shows lately are mainly my own shows so I don’t get to see many other touring DJ’s but places like MMW (Miami Music Week) in Miami are great where I get to see everyone that I haven’t seen for ages. It’s like a smorgasbord of DJs.
Your new music is very intricate and appears to have endless amounts of layers to it. More of a technical question, what is your set-up like and what would you say are your favourite plug-ins/tools to use?
My main studio setup is a mix of analogue synths all going through an SSL console then into an Apogee Symphony MKII interface, and it all ends up in Ableton Live where I use many plugins from Waves, Arturia, Native Instruments, Universal Audio and many others. The latest synth I bought is a Moog ONE and It’s a beast. That’s probably my favourite synth right now, and as far as tools, I would say Ableton Live together with Push 2 controller is my favourite tool.
There’s a significant difference in the style of dance music you were making back in 2012 to the more sophisticated sound you have now. How would you describe your journey in music and the industry over the past decade?
It’s definitely evolved over the years, but it’s also been evolving way before 2012. So to me it’s a constant evolution from day one. There isn’t any real control on where the evolution goes. I just let the inspiration kick in and guide me, so I never really know what’s going to happen. One thing I can probably say is that throughout all the evolution, I’ve always been attracted to emotional music and that’s probably the one thing that doesn’t change.
How do you see your role in taking dance music forward into 2020 and beyond?
I don’t really think about those things in such a way. I focus more on making music that I love and enjoy right now in this moment and if people love it too then I’m happy. I try to keep it as simple as that.
Finally, we hear you are already back in the studio, what does the future hold for Dirty South beyond your latest releases?
Yes I’m in the studio now for the next couple of months working on new ideas right before I go on tour again for the “All I Need” tour!
Be sure to catch him as the “All I Need” tour heads across the US and into Canada in the new year! As we wait for the tour to get rolling, enjoy the warming, new Dirty South track for yourself below!