You guys are in for something extra special; the first EDM artist to be featured on Music Miner. David Heartbreak was kind enough to do an interview via Skype. I’ll admit my knowledge of EDM is quite rudimentary, but speaking with David gave me a whole knew perspective on the genre. He does a fantastic job of explaining what different genres of music are on such a fundamental level that even a person with no understanding of musical composition or production can grasp the subtle differences between moombahton and fidget. David’s attitude on musical exploration inspired me to expand my horizons.
Where did the stage name “David Heartbreak” come from?
It’s pretty much just a pun on my real name, David Hart. Pretty self-explanatory.
What sort of music did you grow up with?
I grew up with primarily hip-hop. R&B, ambient music like soul and reggae, things of that nature. That’s pretty much it.
Are your parents supportive of your musical pursuits?
Ya. The future bass and the ambient stuff like that they’ll actually listen to, but they are pretty much closed off from dubstep, electro, anything with organized noise.
Your parents seem like they are in the group of people who don’t see dubstep real music. How would you disprove this false notion?
The thing about dubstep is that if you change the instruments and swap them out with something else and listen, it is very well written. You can see that from the orchestrated versions of Skrillex. The only difference is they choose different instruments, it’s all the same thing.
Nowadays, you make music from a wide variety of genres. What genre did you start with?
The first music I actually got into making was moombahton, which was my introduction to electronic music.
What exactly is moombahton?
It has changed at this point, but the moombahton started out as dutch house and then Dave slowed it down to 108 BPM. From there, you have people like myself, Munchi, Pickster, and Sabo. We came along and pretty much added our styles to it and ran with it from there. It’s electronic music with a Latin or Reggae vibe, or now that dubstep came, cats are doing it as dubstep at 110 BPM. It’s pretty much the same stuff you make with other genres but it’s at that tempo. Some songs that you make don’t work at 130 BPM but they’ll work perfectly at 110 BPM; there is more space in between the drums so it actually hits harder, the same way dubstep hits harder at 140 then it does at 128; more space for the bass to hit and you can fit more noise in there…if that makes any sense.
What caused you to move towards EDM and away from hip-hop?
I got bored. I never produced hip-hop; I was just big on the hip-hop scene. It was my background for listening to music. Three years ago (before I started making EDM) I was very close-minded to a lot of music. When the moombahton came along, it just opened my mind up to electronic music, and I felt like an ass, like, “Damn, I’ve been missing out on so much good music for all this time”. It was a slap on the wrist for me, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise; everything happens for a reason.
Rapper Deniro Farrar has rapped over several of your songs. How would you classify those tracks?
The stuff that he was rapping on, that’s the stuff I call future bass. You can call it hip-hop, you can call it post-dubstep. The main influence for that style is trance music. I was trying to recreate trance at 140 BPM, but I wasn’t a good enough producer at the time to actually pull off what I was trying to do. I just changed the drum pattern around; that’s how those tracks came about. People liked it; it’s not something for the club, but it’s music that you can listen five years from now and it’s still going to sound just as good.
You clearly have extensive knowledge of musical composition and theory. Did you pick this up in school or on your own?
This is stuff I picked up on my own listening to music twenty hours a day. Sleeping with iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Like I said, I’ve only been making electronic music for two and a half years, and that’s the main reason why I can’t make one genre; my brain won’t allow me to because it’s been deprived of so much music over the years and when I hear different stuff, it sparks something in me that makes me want to replicate it and add my own flavor. This process happens every week; every week I’m changing genres. It’s a good thing and it is a bad thing, but when it comes down to it, it’s what I want to do. Even when I DJ I don’t play more than fifteen minutes of the same genre; I’m all over the place. I try to tell a story with my sets; I’ll go from dubstep to hard electro to moombahton to trap to psychedelic trance. That’s why I change it up when I make music. I mean, I like pizza, but I don’t want to eat that shit every day. I think that this attitude will become a standard in the next year or so; you are going to expect more from your favorite artists. You will expect them to have a collage of music and not just one style. The kids (and myself) have ADD. Because of this, you have to be able to touch every audience. I listen to everything; right now I’m working on a metal track. My friend is in a metal band, and I listened to his stuff and it was pretty good. I know that when I go to recreate it, I’m not a drummer and I’m not a guitarist, but I can elements of it and apply it to what I do and make it Heartbreak. When you recreate a genre in your own way, you have to make sure you are making it correctly so that you aren’t disrespecting the genre.
You have only been DJing for two and a half year and have already worked with Skrillex, Diplo, and other huge DJs. What do you think made you blow up so quickly?
People are always looking for something different. That’s pretty much what it is. Everybody is looking for that spark. If you are a DJ you are always looking for the next sound. When the moombahton came out, that sparked a lot of people who were searching for something different. There wasn’t anything poppin at that tempo (108-112BPM) except for hip-hop and slow Brittany Spears records and stuff like that. It was uncharted, nothing really going on there. If you bumped it up a couple BPMs you had fidget, but a lot of people moved away from that, so it was totally open. We came along with moombah soul and moombah core and all these other subgenres and stuff like that. After doing so much stuff at that BPM, I got bored. If it is no longer challenging then I’ll move away from it. We had done everything there was to do with moombahton; we traveled the world and set the standard. I’ve not put out a record at that speed in awhile, although I think I’m going to put out an EP at that speed in September just to let people know I still got it. You’ve got to grow as an artist; some people want you to make the same shit over and over and over and over again. So as you progress and gain renown, you’re gunna to lose fans you’re gunna gain fans, but you still got to make music for yourself. I don’t follow trends; I try to set trends. One thing about the internet that is good is that you can hear music from every continent, but one thing that is bad is that some people sit around and listen to soundcloud and Youtube all day chasing somebody else’s sound. Chasing a sound that somebody made months ago; just because you hear a record today doesn’t mean that it was made last week. You can never catch up to the current “trend” so what’s the point? I don’t chase sounds, I just make music. Some shit I make is good, some shit I make is bad; I just keep pumping it out till I find it.
What is the hardest part of being a musician?
Moving from the hip-hip scene to the EDM world. A lot of people on both sides don’t think it’s that hard, but it is. Hip-hop is basically complex simplicity; everything is in the right place. In that respect it is the same as EDM, but when you are making EDM beats the beat has to be strong enough to stand by itself. In hip-hop you have three-fourths noise and the rapper is the final instrument. As a result, with EDM you have to know about frequencies and where things sit and compression; it’s a whole different ball game. It took me a couple months but I got it now.
What is your favorite part of being a musician?
Right now, traveling. Dude, I’ve been everywhere. Only places I haven’t been are Japan and Africa. I’ve been to Asia, Europe, India, you name it.
What does the future hold for David Heartbreak?
A lot. I’m real quite about stuff because things change like the wind in the EDM game, so you don’t want to blurt out shit until you get the contract in your hand and it goes down. I got a lot of big shit coming. When I tell you big I mean like… SUPER big.
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