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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
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DATSIK talks music, anime, and video games ahead of Boston show

DATSIK+is+playing+at+the+House+of+Blues+in+Boston+on+Jan.+22.+Doors+open+at+7%3A00+p.m.+and+the+show+starts+at+8%3A00+p.m.+Visit+Ticketmaster+for+more+details.

DATSIK is playing at the House of Blues in Boston on Jan. 22. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts at 8:00 p.m. Visit Ticketmaster for more details.

Canadian producer DATSIK has been gaining fans with his rowdy dubstep since 2009. The artist, born Troy Beetles, has frequented big-name festivals like Coachella, Ultra, and Electric Zoo, and collaborated with artists such as Diplo, KRS-One, and members of Wu-Tang Clan. Now with a style that incorporates hip-hop, DATSIK is set to play the House of Blues in Boston on January 22, the first stop on his Ninja Nation Tour.

Mass Media: How did you begin creating music?

DATSIK: “I was really into hip-hop like Dr. Dre, Biggie [Smalls], and Wu Tang [Clan]. First I screwed around on Fruity Loops [software] trying to replicate that same kind of feel, and then just got really into production.”

MM: There is a lot of hip-hop in your newest release, Down 4 My Ninjas. It seems you’ve gone full circle.

D: “Now that I have connections I can meet with these guys who happen to be really cool; like KRS-One and DJ Paul; super awesome, humble, legends of the scene. We did some crazy crossover stuff and it was a big milestone for me.”

MM: What was working with KRS-One like?

D: “I met KRS-One through a friend and ended up on the phone with him for two or three hours. He’s such an interesting dude. He was like, “Let’s just do a straight-up collab.” 

MM: Has anything stayed constant in your sound?

D: “I guess I’ve always kept it a little dark.”

MM: How would you define ‘dirty’, an adjective often used in dubstep circles?

D: “Dirty is a cool word, but it’s almost an indescribable feeling at one of these shows. Dirty is like gnarly, it sounds awesome. It’s crazy loud, and it’s in your face.” 

MM: Let’s talk samples and the moods and atmospheres you evoke.

D: “Every song is different; it’s a progression of moods during sets. I travel with this big stage called the Vortex; a tunnel of light. It changes based on feel. Euphoric songs are pink and warm, and the drum n’ bass phase has vibrant colors and flashes.”

MM: I hear a lot of screeching, apocalyptic, and robotic sounds in your music. Do you like SciFi shows or video games?

D: “I grew up watching anime like Dragon Ball Z, and Gundam, and Halo was my favorite video game. I like those dark and mechanical sounds, and I try to make them pleasing by hitting harmonies [with multiple samples]. Like a sample of a robot walking; throw in little zaps of electricity, add a high-pitched “beep” on every step.”

MM: If your albums were video games, what would they be?

D: “Down 4 My Ninjas would probably be Mortal Combat; Vitamin D, MegaMan. Let It Burn would probably be Dante’s Inferno.” 

MM: Does your music have cross-appeal with people who listen to other genres?

D: “Yeah, it’s humbling. People into Wu-tang, or Gundam Wing hear my music and say ‘I don’t know how this works, but it does.’ Some people don’t give dubstep a chance and it’s like, ‘Whatever’. But listening to dubstep on a computer is like watching an iTunes visualizer on an 8-bit screen. You won’t see the depth. I’m not talking gnarly noises, I’m talking straight-up bass. [laughs] Like, the PK sound system that I travel with will make your organs explode.” 

MM: What’s been your favorite festival to play at out of Coachella, ULTRA, Electric Zoo, or others? 

D: “All these festivals are magical and amazing. My personal favorite is Shambhala in Canada. It’s in a forest. Everyone there is chill and such a free spirit. It’s so fun.” 

MM: How are Boston audiences?

D: “Kids at Boston shows are always energetic and super excited. I really can’t wait to start [the tour] off with you guys.” 

MM: What else is planned for 2015?

D: “We got this thing on Firepower [Records] coming. It’s the label’s hundredth release, called Shellshocked Legends Compilation, and it [features] all the founding members. I’ll also be doing some really big covers with some hip-hop guys [in 2015].”

MM: Has founding Firepower in 2012 brought you any successes, challenges, or growth experiences?

D: “It’s been a positive experience, but time consuming. Helping people make their passion their living is the most rewarding thing ever. There’s going to be a lot of really exciting stuff coming out in 2015.”  

MM: Any specific names to look out for?

D: “Yeah, look out for Protohype, Getter, Fox Stevenson, Lazer, and Truth. But I support everyone on my label.” 

 

This interview has been condensed. You can read the full interview online.