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Echo Daft [Interview]

23 min read

As a silver lining in the underground scene from the island’s vibrations Dinusha alias Echo daft came up with his unique ways into the industry in 2016. As a D.j he was able to earn his spot among the up-comers in a fast growing manner. Becoming one of the most wanted groovers in the progressive community & touching people’s souls with his convincing tunes & melodies, He came up with the idea of initiating his own record label naming ‘AUDIOVEN’. His talent and popularity is based on the surprising playlists inclusive of unreleased music that pushes him through to earn a popular spot in the groove industry Sri Lanka. Producing music has always been in Echo Daft’s veins, Having started producing music and beats for popular media and production companies since 2011, Experience and skills which he carried over when focusing on making Progressive Music. His denition of music has been shared around the world and has signed in with spectacular labels such as Sudbeat, PlattenBank, Proton Music and more. His music been playing by lots of DJs such as, Guy Mantzur, Khen, Hernen Cattaneo, Nick warren, Dj Ruby and more. With the launch of Echo Daft's new label Time After Time happening this week we caught up with the Colombo resident for an interview. Enjoy.

Hi Dinusha, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Well we just finished our Time After Time label showcase gig past weekend with Kasper Koman so kind of in high levels about it and what’s to come ahead! Last piece i listened? Uhm, I was just checking my promo mails and it has to be Agustin Ficarra - Resign from Mango Alley!

How’s your year been so far? And what are your plans for the coming week?

It’s been a rollercoaster year for me also a milestone to many things which i wanted to do musically. Plans for the weekend should be there’s a few gigs lined up as usual, Excited about Alex O’rion coming here in couple of weeks and meeting him personally also I’m scheduled for a Pakistan gig for 24th December! All in all super keen!

Do you consider yourself a DJ or producer first? And which do you enjoy more and why?

Well obviously producer first. Dj’ing just grew in me with time! Uhm I enjoy both more or less but it’s a balance of both. Even if you become a good producer becoming a DJ is a different thing I suppose.

Talk to us about growing up and living in Sri Lanka, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?

Its not the easiest but having a knowledgeable crowd for the underground music scene definitely helps i’d say!

What are some of your best memories from first going to clubs? Were there specific nights or sets that really made you feel you wanted to pursue electronic music?

Well there’s quiet a few! One of the best would be when Khen came here to a club in Colombo and he played one of my tracks “Thank you Grandpa” in his set while I was there! Which I memorably made for my Grandpa who made me pursue into music.

Progressive music is well known for being hugely popular in Sri Lanka over the last few years, how did your country become one the genre’s new meccas of late? What would you attribute that to?

It is! It really is. I think this country has a huge history in-between where melodies played a long part in its musical history. So i think particularly it had grown into people specially on the younger generation!

What have been some of your favourite venues to perform or attend events at in Sri Lanka, and why?

Well as of late i’ve been loving the vibe at Lotus tower which was recently opened for gigs! Also surf bar Mirissa which we kept our TAT label showcase and i would give deer credit to Secret beach Mirissa for afterparties as it is a magical place anyone who’s seen or heard would know!

I find your music connects very well with a variety of themes, what are some of your biggest inspirations when working on new music?

Well i like to blend my music alot with nature! Likely used by many other artists too also analog sounds? For example Kasper Koman, Khen and Guy Mantzur! They’ve been few of my inspirations too.

You have just launched your own record label Time After Time. What led you to start the label and is your first foray into running a record label?

It was a dream come true really! Always wanted to release what i wanted people to hear. Also a cult into this! Hoping it makes and derives what we actually need to put out in space to come!

Please tell us who is involved in the day-to-day operations of the label and what each person’s role is.

Well our team consists of 4! All 4 talented and with amazing music taste of their own. Myself, Jayy Vibes, Chiruka and Kryptone! All 4 of us doing the A&R job for the incoming music so fingers crossed for what’s to come in near future!

In terms of DJs and artists who would say are the biggest sources of inspiration for Time After Time?

Well Guy J’s Lost & Found, Guy Mantzur’s Plattenbank, Nick Warren’s Soundgarden the list goes on… what beautiful music has been released over the years!

What advice do you have for artists hoping to get signed to Time After Time?

Send us your demos? Haha. Let’s keep it rolling 🙌🏾

Is big DJ play a factor in signing something? From someone like Hernan Cattaneo for example.

It is! Because it gives the exposure to a global fan base i suppose that it deserves to get.

What is your thought process behind remixer selection on a given project and how many is too many in your opinion?

With years of music listened i go with the best fitting which or who could make a subtle but surreal or could give the track a totally new outlook! Ofcourse each track is different on its own. Count wise 2 or 3 would do!

You have a new single co-produced with Jayy Vibes ‘Gracias Papa’ which is out this week as the first release on your Time After Time imprint. Tell us about the release and how the track showcases your sound.

This was dedicated to beloved fathers across the world! They had a significant stretch of push to where we are today is as to my thinking, regarding the track i used the percussions to make the groove a more fascinating one! Then synths, pads bass and pluck

What does your set-up like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of ‘Gracias Papa’?

Hs8 studio monitors were used and VST’s used were Hive, Diwa, Kontakt for pads! Also, Akai 49 for midi!

Let’s talk about production for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?

Sometimes i just write according to what comes into my mind. Sometimes you like it less a week later sometimes you tend to like it more. Its different really!

Looking closer at ‘Gracias Papa’, walk us through the production process on the tracks, and if applicable was there anything in particular which inspired the track?

I use cubase for all my productions. Like i said earlier, it was dedicated to our fathers worldwide who sacrificed for us during there times! So wanted to tribute it to them 🙌🏾

Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents or exercise play in the process?

Haha! I’m a coffee person so yeah i do try some coffee in my studio other than that nothing specific. I write to my mindset?

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

The thing is enjoy the most on a track? Groove and bass. If someone else could do? Haha it would be the start and end of a track easily. I’m joking!

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

There are a few specific people that i tend to like and work with in the international arena who I'm exposed to as yet, Guy J, Guy Mantzur, Kasper Koman and Khen! So would be amazing to share decks internationally. Also not to forget my local familía here! Jayy Vibes, Chiruka, Kryptone and Kazko. Not to forget my duo project ‘Yedikule’ too!

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

Its been sometime since i got that sort of time really! Haha. Lately its been music back and forth and vise versa.

What’s a superpower you wish you had and how would you use it?

Well that’s a good question! It would be to read peoples minds as to what they actually are thinking!

If you could travel anywhere for one day, all laws and limitations void, where would it be?

The Swiss alps for sure!

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Sonali, my wife? And Rodha the American bully we have at home. Those two make a good duo for me at home.

What does 2023 hold for both yourself and Time After Time? Anything you can share with us?

Alot of plans made! Gigs, releases! Idea is to break it through to simpler tasks so we reach those milestones and do what we’ve always loved doing! Also, thank you for this interview. Respect and love from this end!

'Gracias Papá' is out now via Time After Time: https://bit.ly/3XtnU95

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