Dec 17, 2011
interview
Chuckie

Chuckie is a name that has been dominating the EDM world since his 2009 smash “Let The Bass Kick.” Now, the Dutchman aka Clyde Narain is out to conquer the US clubs one city at a time. Read on to learn about his DJing strategy & what he thinks the Internet has done for new artists.

Chuckie - Who Is Ready to Jump (Original Mix) [Big Beat]
LessThan3: Everyone associates you, Sidney Samson, and Afrojack with the Dutch house sound, but clearly it’s gone way beyond that. How big would you say Dutch house is now and what really defines it?
Clyde: As you can see in the Top 100, Dutch house is strongly represented in all kinds of directions, from the more trancey stuff to the electro stuff and even the deeper stuff; even hardstyle is in there right now. There isn’t even a definition for Dutch house now—it goes way beyond that. There is a lot of talent coming from Holland so people are starting to notice it. It’s hard to define it other than that the artists are Dutch. If you look at Dutch DJs in general though, we don’t like to think in boxes. Even if you look at Tiesto’s old career and now, there’s a big difference. We know that the crowd expects a certain kind of sound so we stick to that, but most of us are multi-talented. I like to do deep house sets and tech house sets, but of course people don’t know me for that. That doesn’t mean I can’t produce it or play it though.
LessThan3: We’ve seen that Dutch house artists have recently worked with a lot of pop artists. Do you feel this helps the dance music community?
Clyde: Yesterday, I prepped up this new single I’m doing for T-Pain with Pitbull. It’s crazy that we get these opportunities to work with these kinds of artists. It’s really good for electronic music in general, because I believe that everybody gets exposed to electronic music in a different way. Some of them find it on the internet, some might find it because it happens to be in Rihanna’s new single or they happen to know David Guetta—everyone has their own way of getting there, and that’s quite cool. Some of them get exposed because it’s on Top 40 radio or the Billboard Hot 100; it’s an interesting development to watch at this point.
LessThan3: You’ve been rocking a lot of massive festivals this year—Coachella, EDC—what can you say about the crowds in the US? How well do they know your tunes and how receptive are they to the music?
Clyde: People in the states are very receptive. They treat electronic music like it’s something totally new. When something’s new there’s always a sort of hype around it, and it’s really cool to see how in America people just lose their minds. Electronic music has been big in Europe for a minute now, so nothing is new to us. People aren’t spoiled, but they’re less surprised. That’s the big difference with the states. That’s why in general most of the DJs like to play in the states; people are just very receptive and updated with the music. That’s because of the Internet—it’s way easier to stay informed.
LessThan3: There are also a lot of new genres coming up and a lot of genre mixing. Like in your remix of Made of by Nause, you worked in a nice dubstep drop.
Clyde: In general, I think there are some gaps that are getting filled right now. There was a whole generation of people who loved metal or rock music who now, through Skrillex, found dubstep. It has the same energy that rock music dide. It just keeps on developing, and that’s the cool thing about electronic music in general.
LessThan3: So when are we going to hear some Chuckie moombahton?
Clyde: I’ve been playing it every now and then but I like to stick to the four-to-the-floor stuff. I do some edits and some productions but I don’t really put it out there. I think I may like four-to-the-floor too much.
LessThan3: Which genre do you draw the most inspiration from?
Clyde: Nowadays, I’d have to say tech house. It reminds me of the old Chicago/Detroit stuff. It takes me back to the days where it was all about the groove and not about about “oh he’s playing this big song”—it’s the essence of what made me fall in love with electronic music.
LessThan3: Any producers that you want to shout out in tech house right now?
Clyde: One of my favorite has to be Sebastian Leger. His productions are outstanding—he’s been one of my favorites for many years.
LessThan3: You were just saying that tech house takes you back. What was the first record you ever owned?
Clyde: B-Street Soundtrack. On vinyl.
LessThan3: Did you hear the news that top labels are widely abandoning the CD format by late 2012? What do you think?
Clyde: The record companies are going to try everything they can to try to get the sales up, But you can’t stop technology. There will always be a way for people to get what they want, so it doesn’t matter.
LessThan3: In the electronic world it’s a much different situation with labels—smaller, more independent guys. What do you think the role is of a label in today’s world?
Clyde: A label should be the portal to the rest of the world to expose good artists; don’t try to hold them back because you want to be bigger. EDM is one big culture right now that has been inspiring and helping each other, and it’s really amazing to see. The key is that good music keeps coming out and people get inspired by it, which leads to more good music.
LessThan3: You mentioned that the internet is helping surface new music out there. Can you elaborate on that?
Clyde: The Internet has been very helpful for a lot of newcomers. Back in the day, as a newcomer, you never had the same resources for exposure as the big artists. Now you do, so it’s all about how you play the game and how smart you are. How you’re gonna make that noise to be heard by the rest of the world.
LessThan3: Do you think that those tools– a Facebook page, a Twitter account, etc.—are adequate for you?
Clyde: Yeah, it just keeps on developing though. It was a really big breakthrough when Twitter came out. It gave us a voice and a direct contact with our fans, so that has been really good. Now it’s all coming together and facing toward Facebook. In general it’s good for artists regardless of what you’re doing, and I’m sure one day there’s going to be some new thing that’s going to be even more helpful.
LessThan3: You’ve been picking up a lot of steam the past few years. Where would you say you’re trying to be in the next five years? What are your long-term aspirations?
Clyde: I just want to keep making good music. My foremost passion is the art of DJing itself. Right now production and DJing are merging, but they are quite different. For producing you have to be in the studio, but for DJing you have to be touring and putting yourself in front of crowds. For the next few years I want to be doing residencies in key territories like New York, Miami, LA, etc., like I’m doing now, but in a different way, so that people come just for the music and for the new stuff. I want to play different stuff, be more experimental, and create a platform where I could invite whoever I want to and still have people be receptive. If something is fresh and new and everyone is this receptive, at a certain point people are going to get tired. You won’t see this now, but in the future you will. History repeats itself. You have the same thing in Europe. There will be a point where everyone is used to everything already. Even if you look at Holland, we have such a vibrant club scene, but now it’s slowing down. You don’t get people out of their house as quickly now—it’s harder to impress them. I want to build solid, quality nights. I just want to do the big residencies and then have time for the studio and developing artists.
LessThan3: Are there any developing artists that you’re spending a lot of time with lately?
Clyde: Right now I’ve been spending a lot of time with a guy I met in Los Angeles named BetatraXx. I’ve been sharing my experiences with him—hooking him up with people and collaborations and also giving him the time and space to develop his sound even more. Sometimes you hear a potential in somebody and you know you can take it to the next level, so I just give him the resources that I have and hopefully we can get something really next level out of it. I’ve taken him to Europe—it’s good for his perspective to see what’s going on with the rest of the world.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Clyde: Smack My B*tch Up by The Prodigy. I remember when I bought a sound system for my car back in the day and that’s how I sound tested the car—with that CD.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Clyde: Dirty Funkin’ House
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