Back in 2014 when EDM times were simpler and bitbird was a glimmer in the minds of a couple ambitious Dutch dudes, something quite ordinary happened. Two producers connected on SoundCloud and hyped each other's music. The legacy that would arise between Duskus and San Holo was far greater than either artist could ever have known from those early interactions.
The aptly titled "The First Route," with San's comment forever immortalized, became the first track to ever release on the Dutch artist's passion label bitbird. The story of bitbird's subsequent rise is well known. The months and years to come would propel San Holo into superstardom and Duskus from SoundCloud anonymity into the international limelight – all sourcing from a chance encounter in the comments section.
Today EARMILK is proud to premiere the debut EP from Duskus, cute – three soulfully spirited tracks charting the artist's journey of discovery, of both sound and self.
cute is a pointedly nostalgic genre-bender in true bitbird fashion, evoking a vibrant palette of emotion in its mere 12 minutes. A driving bass line kicks off "Find You," buzzing with retro synths and earnest hopefulness. Potent female vocals are introduced and the tempo accelerated in "Closed," which manages to achieve both cinematic vastness and comforting familiarity in its euphoric sound design. "Take Me Home," the highly anticipated San Holo collaboration, does just that, gently settling wayward souls and beckoning us back to where we belong.
I recently had the opportunity to get to know Duskus a bit deeper.
EM: The theme of the cute EP is “finding yourself.” How did the process of writing this music help you dig deeper within?
D: After taking a small break from releasing music, I had time to really think about the future of Duskus, and refine my brand. I think taking a step back to think and realise what you are really doing is important. The cute ep is a reflection of my progression as a person.
EM: You’ve been living in London for the past two years, how did the city inspire this EP?
D: Being in London allows you to meet all sorts of different people, from all sorts of cultures. It gives you more information to explore and allows you to be more open with your options. Meeting these people has definitely opened me up, and has made me realise how different each individual is.
EM: What was the process of collaborating with San like on “Take Me Home”?
D: Working with San is great. It’s amazing to be able to work with him, as he has been a huge inspiration since the beginning. The process of making music with him is very easy going, and always allows me to learn a lot about the creation of music. He has been in the music scene for a lot longer than me, and if there were anyone I would take advice from, it would be him. I’m lucky to have such a driven person in my career and life.
EM: How did it feel to hear “The First Route” was going to be the first track released on San Holo’s label?
D: It was amazing. When i first saw bitbird on SoundCloud, they only had a few followers. But, the image and brand was amazing to me. I didn’t know how big it was going to grow, I just fell in love with the vibe they were going for and I wanted to get involved.
EM: What does bitbird’s success mean to you as the inaugural artist?
D: It means so much to me to see such hard working people get what they deserve. Without bitbird, I don’t know where i would be today. They have given me a platform for my music, and have inspired me on so many levels. I don’t know if I would have been as open to exploring and making music if it wasn’t for them.
EM: For aspiring producers trying to find their sound – what advice do you have?
D: Be different, choose music you really love, don’t choose it because it’s "popular." If you want to make it as an artist, take a sound that is unique and incorporate more "popular’ sounds," this way you can reach a wider audience. People just need a little push in order to like some things.
EM: What’s next on the horizon for Duskus?
D: The future of music, or the past?
cute is available everywhere today.
- Find You
- Take Me Home (with San Holo)