Our favorite producer/farm animal is back and is demanding your attention with the prowess of his latest track, mix, and, now, the interview we were able to snag with him on his project – Digital Farm Animals. The London based artist recently paired up with vocalist Yasmin on their hit track "Didn't Know", and after over a year has passed since his last official release, we were more than ready for this. It's no surprise, DFA didn't disappoint. If you haven't checked out the track yet, be sure to make your way over to his brand new mix below where you'll hear him kick things off with "Didn't Know".
Below, you'll also find DFA's comments on what we can expect from him this year, how some of his best collaborations have come about, and who he'd like to team up with next. Don't forget, we've also got your first listen to The Didn't Know Mix. While we're used to DFA sticking to the synth and electronic sounds we've become accustomed to hear from him, you'll detect some more distinct dance and house vibes in the mix that fit nicely alongside his original tracks and remixes. You'll definitely detect some well-known tracks every so often, but for those that you don't recognize, don't worry, we've got the tracklist at the bottom of the post. Press play and read on for more from DFA.
EARMILK: You just released "Didn't Know" with vocals from the talented Yasmin. In fact, it's the opening track on the mix we'll be featuring, too. Please tell us you have an array of releases planned for us this year. Albums? Remixes?
Digital Farm Animals: Ha! No playing about…It's actually been about a year and a half since I have put any new material out properly other than a few remixes, so this is all really exciting for me. I've spent a big chunk of that time producing and writing for other people's records, which has been amazing and has helped me hone and develop my own sound. I've built up a pile of records which I'm finally happy with! This is going to be an exciting year. That's all I will say!
EM: What sort of touring/performances can we expect from you this year?
DFA: The performance side of things will get going after the release of this EP. We have a bunch of ideas that we're currently working on for live shows –we want to incorporate my vocals into the DJ set and further down the line expand into our full live setup. As for DJing, we will definitely be playing more this year! We supported Gorgon City last month. I almost forgot how much of a buzz it is to be in front of a crowd.
EM: What's the creative process like for you in the studio?
DFA: I've been extremely lucky to have worked with some amazingly talented people recently, in and out of the dance/electronic world and it really varies so much depending on who you're with. I grew up as a guy who made beats at 3am on my laptop fiddling with hi hats and snare drums for hours on end. But now I find myself concentrating much more on the song first and worrying about all that stuff after. Chords and vocals are ususally the beginning for me. It's also been a lot more collaborative recently, which has invited lots of new sounds and ideas into my music. I've just been over in LA writing and we've done loads with live instruments and used recording techiniques that are very new to me. It's been crazy!
EM: You've been working with some pretty rad vocalists from the start (MNEK, Yasmin, etc). Did you have these vocalists in mind when creating your songs or how did these collaborations come about?
DFA: The thing with MNEK was quite a while back and that actually just came about from being in the studio next door to him. He just happened to pass through and liked what we were doing which was pretty cool of him. As for the Yasmin thing, I had been a fan of what she was doing and we reached out to work with her. The track was all done from scratch though once we got in the session. I like writing with the artist when I can, it's much more personal.
EM: Dream Collaboration?
EM: Do you prefer doing shows or being in the studio? Why?
DFA: They're very different experiences for me. I'm much more seasoned as a producer/writer, so it's more natural for me. I've always been pretty much obsessed with creating music and that will never change for me. It's like having a magic wand and being able to create anything you fancy from nothing- I still find it fascinating.
But playing live gives you perspective and I suppose gives purpose to what you do in the studio. It's incredibly important to understand how your music is received and it's an amazing feeling when people appreciate your hard work and passion. That's a feeling you don't necessarily get from being locked away in a studio!
EM: What's your favorite farm animal? And why?
DFA: Pig. Just is, innit.
EM: What was one of your top albums or artists from the 90's?
DFA: Moby's Play. I was actually listening to this today! Genius stuff.
EM: What current artists do you look to today for inspiration?
DFA: Ah that's difficult as there's so many. Disclosure, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Paul Epworth, Kaytranada, Jimmy Napes, Pharrell. I realize that I've basically just named the biggest artists in the world, too.
The Didn't Know Mix Tracklist:
1) DFA x Yasmin – Didn’t Know
2) Icarus – Missing You
3) NVOY – Going On
4) Sam Smith – I'm Not The Only One (Armand Van Helden Remix)
5) Dosage – Just Like That (Apres Mix)
6) David Zowie – House Every eekend
7) DFA – Unreleased
8) DFA – Unreleased
9) KOA – All of my love
10) Jacob Plant – Ice Cream
11) Mercer – Turn it up (Tchami mix)
12) Sirus Hood – Magic Stick
13) Kölsch – Punchbuggy
14) Dusky – Yoohoo
15) Elderbrook – How Many Times (Andhim Mix)
16) MORRT – Want U
17) DFA – Unreleased
18) Kiwi – Llama (Rory Philips remix)
19) Style of Eye – More Than A Lover
20) Blvcktune – Hit The Club
Digital Farm Animals
The Didn't Know Mix