Q+A... DJDS 🌊🔥
After making a name for themselves in LA’s underground music scene, dance music duo DJDS (Jerome and Sam to their friends) were shot into the spotlight when Kanye West handpicked them to help produce his last album The Life of Pablo. Since then the pair has been experimenting with elegant genre-bending melodies, collaborating with some of the world's most exciting up-and-coming artists. Their latest album is an R'n'B infused mixture of sunny vibes that makes for the perfect springboard into summer. We caught up with DJDS to talk about their favourite spots in LA, soundtracking Yeezy shows and their love for Vans Authentics.
How did the two of you get started as musicians? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
We both started out through the underground DJ / club music scene that existed in LA 6 or 7 years ago. We would make very rough remixes and club tracks to play in our sets. That was the beginning of our experiences with production and sort of led to everything since.
You’ve just released your new album Big Wave More Fire, what can people expect from it?
Big Wave More Fire is easily our best work to date. It's the album we've always wanted to make in terms of it's sound and storytelling. We tried to take everything that we love about music and put it all in this record - to really make a whole new sound for ourselves.
You both currently live in LA, what are some of your favourite spots in the city?
Our studio. The Cactus Store, which sells rare cacti that our friends own in Echo Park. El Porto Beach.
How would describe your style? Any brands/pieces you’re wearing to death at the moment? What does your sneaker line-up for this month look like?
We go from extremely low key to Sopranos characters on vacation. Our favourite brand would definitely be ComeTees and we wear a lot of her shirts in addition to the designs she has made for our album. Our sneaker lineup is basically all Vans Authentics at the moment.
You’ve collaborated with brands like Opening Ceremony, how do you think the dynamic of music and streetwear has changed in the past few years? Any other cool collabs your working on - fashion or otherwise?
Music and clothing feels more connected than ever. It seems like every major artist is doing some sort of Pop-up shop or brand collab these days. It's cool but it's rare to see anything that doesn't feel sort of generic. For this album we asked our friend Sonya of ComeTees to do all the artwork and some clothing designs to go along with it. She's just on a whole different level and nothing else looks or feels like what she does. She's an incredible artist and getting that energy to illustrate what we're doing was a dream come true.
Your work with Kanye is pretty well known, has that had a big impact on your current solo project, or do you think you’ve always had a defined idea of your own sound?
Yeah, we definitely learned so much from working with Kanye and his other collaborators. We've always felt like we had a defined sound of our own but working with him showed us how to really define that and pull off something bigger for ourselves. Kanye has such an ambitious vision for his work and experiencing that definitely gave us more confidence with our own stuff.
We saw you worked on some of the soundtracks for the Yeezy presentations, what sort of work goes into something like that? Is it hard to translate the look of a fashion collection into sound?
We enjoyed that process a lot because it was a chance to do something a little more abstract and loose. We got to take an old demo from The-Dream and stretch it out into this 20 minute piece, sort of just making this heavy, extended remix. It wasn't really that hard to translate, just because we had already sort of been living inside that world for awhile and knew what the feeling needed to be.
Have you got anything exciting lined this summer? Can we catch you in the festivals at all?
We'll be in London soon for some cool stuff and then have some really special shows planned towards the end of summer. Can't wait for people to see the live version of this new album.
Listen to DJDS’ news album, Big Wave More Fire