D-Wayne has been making waves in the EDM scene since being selected to join the Jacked team by Afrojack himself last year. He’s worked on high profile projects such as remixing Tiesto, Jennifer Lopez and Afrojack & Chris Brown’s collab “As Your Friend.” We caught up with the skilled producer for a chat about working with Afrojack, creating his own sound, and ghost producing for others.
You and Afrojack collaborated on the track “Freedom” off his album ‘Forget The World,’ how did that track come together?
I performed at the EMAs this year in Amsterdam and we met up right afterwards. Usually when we are together we just open up our laptops and we start working. Right after the EMAs we hit the studio in Amsterdam. I think the initial plan was to stay for one week but in the end we stayed for like two months. We had a lot of fun creating tracks every day. We would wake up at 3 or 4 and go to the studio at 5 and stayed working until 7 or 8 in the morning. “Freedom” was our two ideas together, then Jack threw down some vocals on it. He is also on my next single, the anthem for Electric Run in the Netherlands. I’m actually flying down tonight for it because I’m the European headliner for the party tomorrow in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands it sold out right away – 15,000 people. I’ll be closing out the main stage.
Electric Run is kind of like a marathon with an EDM twist.
Yeah, everyone is running. It’s like 5 km and when they finish they just have a party. It’s a really cool concept because I’ve ran a marathon that was 5 km and when it was finished I was so excited and so full of adrenaline. I like the idea of crossing the finish line and then having a party.
What was the production process like for your next single?
What I want to do with my tracks right now is work towards my own sound. I want to add a touch of organicness to my tracks so live instruments for example. We had an electric guitarist write with us and Jack is singing on it. Jack is an artist who comes from the rock side of music and that’s what I found really interesting about the collaboration. In music there are no rules and you can collaborate with anyone. That’s what it was like when we were together in the writer’s camp. We all came from different sides and we just started writing and this is what popped up. It was an inspirational process as well because it changes your whole mind set about producing music. I’m really excited about the track.
It sounds like you went about it the right away and didn’t try and force anything unnatural out.
Yeah because right now everyone sounds the same. Martin Garrix respect to him for “Animals” because he came up with something completely new and he did it really well but right afterwards you had so many copycats who made “Animals 2,” “3”,”4,” “5,” and so on. I want to do something new. The only advice Afrojack ever gave me was when I first started working with him and that was to stay true to myself. That’s what I’ve been doing. Music is my hobby and my job right now. I just want to make what I like. Staying unique might be hard in the beginning because you want to get the recognition for your hard work but in the end it will pay off because people will see that your sound keeps evolving and it’s your own sound. Eventually you will get more fans.
For sure, think about Avicii last year at Ultra. He came on with a country music band and people were shocked and didn’t like it at first. He had a lot of hate on his social media pages from angry fans, then flash forward a few months later and he had the #1 album and the #1 single on iTunes in almost every country. In the beginning people didn’t know how to take it because it was so different.
Respect to Avicii. He took a big risk and now it’s like a big fuck you to everyone.
Definitely, so if you could be any animal what would you be and why?
I think I would like to be some kind of bird or something because I really love flying. I think being up in the air with all the silence is so peaceful. My life is very hectic right now so peaceful time is good.
What’s coming up next for you?
“X-Ray Vision” on Wall Recordings and then the Electric Run anthem we are waiting to get signed. I have about 5 or 6 tracks ready to release. I did a track with Marcus Schossow – he’s a really great guy, really amazing and such a funny guy. I also have something coming out together with Leon Boiler.
Leon Boiler the old-school guy? He’s very out spoken.
Yes, he’s very outspoken and one of the few guys that’s maybe suffering from being too unique. The shit he makes is awesome. We made a really nice track together and it’s going to be on Wall Recordings. There’s also a track coming out together with Far East Movement for a single on their album. They are great guys to work with and have a great team behind them as well. I actually made a trap beat for them.
Yeah, people don’t really know that I make a lot of different music. I make commercial tracks as well. Sometimes I even just do classical stuff on the piano. I want to make what I like. Sometimes I’m in the studio and I make some weird trippy shit too.
What do you do with all that other music you make?
I keep it and sometimes we send it out to labels. Some of the labels have sent out my new beats to some pretty big artists and they are writing on it.
I guess that’s kind of like ghost producing. How did you get started ghosting for others?
When you start producing people start getting excited about your tracks and people just email you. I mean it’s not like my main priority but I still do it for other people. I don’t think it’s a bad thing as long as people say they use a ghost producer. I’m not anti-ghost producing. In the end it’s about the music and the way people market themselves. I had a panel with Markus Schultz and David Tort and a guy from the audience asked how do you build a loyal fan base. They were like the best way to do that is to be unique and have your own unique selling point and sounds. I took the mike and was like I totally agree but nowadays the music is the essence but it’s such a small part of it. It’s all about social media these days. It’s so important to connect with your fans and engage them. The market in the industry is just changing. Ten years ago there weren’t marketing and PR companies doing social media for artists but right now they are just popping up everywhere.