UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

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 7:00 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.