Thanks to technology, making a hot electronic dance track is often as simple as downloading music-making software onto a computer. But given the extreme glut of emerging producers flooding the scene in the wake of the current EDM craze, it takes more than big beats and a wicked drop to catapult a new artist into the stratosphere populated by artists like Deadmau5 and Skrillex.
For emerging Montreal producer David Audet (better known as David A), it was a clever sample from a Youtube video of Skrillex profanely rapping an announcement for a European festival. Audet flipped the sample into a pulse-pounding dubstep track that’s raised his profile above the EDM fray and positions him nicely to make his move from the bedroom into the big leagues.
“It goes back about four or five months ago,” said the Canadian producer by phone from his home studio in Montreal about the song “Skrillehammer,” generated from the aforementioned Skrillex sample and available on his Facebook page as a free download. “Me and my good friend and partner Adam Greenburg were in Toronto before a gig when a friend in Norway sent us that promotional link with Skrillex rapping. We thought it was amazing that he did that, and Adam had the idea of sampling it for a song. That’s it.”
Posting the track (his first) on Youtube with the hope of getting the attention of Skrillex, the tune generated a respectable 4000 views in the first week of being released. David A was already hard at work on a second song when Skrillex discovered the video and tweeted it out to his more than 2 million followers.
“He sent the tweet around 11:30 at night on September 18 while I was washing dishes,” Audet remembered. “I got a Youtube comment saying ‘Skrillex sent me here.’ It took me a while to figure out what that meant. Then I went on Facebook and saw the quote from Skrillex. About 20 minutes after that, I had over 600 Youtube comments and the views just shot up immediately” (the clip has now been watched more than 221,000 times).
HAHAHA this is why it should be illegal for me to rap ...but this guy actually made a SOLID track! fb.me/1f97k4j7t—
Skrillex (@Skrillex) September 19, 2012
While Audet has yet to meet or be in contact with Skrillex, he’s already gotten calls from L.A. to put him in the same room with the EDM superstar. But while the young producer is immensely grateful for the career boost Skrillex has generated, David A wants to be known as more than just “the Skrillex-sampling guy.”
“The plan is to keep on doing what I’m doing and concentrate on my work,” Audet said. “I’m not necessarily worrying about this whole Skrillex situation.”
A tour through David A’s Soundcloud page finds a wide range of productions, from remixes of hit songs by Justin Bieber to manic mash-ups featuring Jay-Z, Far East Movement and Lil Wayne.
“I’ve been making music my whole life,” he added. “I started to play piano when I was five. The production work started when I was about 18 years old, and I’m 23 now. I produce all sorts of music for all sorts of people. It’s only been a few months since I’ve started working on this project.”
Audet’s future plans include finishing up as much new music as possible, with the idea of releasing tracks “on a constant basis,” he said finally. “We’re still figuring out what we’re going to do next. ”
More evidence that even in the fickle and unpredictable world of music, a good idea (not to mention an inspired sample) can go a very long way.
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local