Stephane Deschene (aka Damn Kids) is an emerging producer/DJ hailing from Toronto, Canada, that has made a fair amount of noise over the last year since the release of his debut EP "Yema" via the Provoke imprint. Acts like Pleasurekraft, AC Slater, Dave Nada and DJ Craze are a few notable names that jumped on Damn Kids' upbeat bassy trap early on and things have been on an upward trajectory since. With trap being the talk of the town (and the universe at this point, jeez!), I caught up with Stephane who gave me the dish on the genre, its popularity in Canada, his new EPs and why he really calls himself, "Damn Kids."
…electronic music is loud and bassey and really in your face so it seemed quite fitting to take the name of what so many already call the kids who listen to it.
So what's up with the “Damn Kids” handle, any significance behind it?
It just came to my head one day. Once high school ended me and my DJ partner decided to break up our duo, and we were thinking of DJ names for him when "Damn Kids" popped into my brain, he turned it down as a potential name for him so I decided to take it myself. As for significance I think Damn Kids represents me and anyone who listens to my music or electronic music in general. For people looking in from the outside, electronic music is loud and bassey and really in your face so it seemed quite fitting to take the name of what so many already call the kids who listen to it.
You integrate a lot of different sounds on your new EP. Most artists typically keep to a certain style. Would you say yours is trap or are you still experimenting with sounds?
The basic idea behind "Centoro" was to put out three really different tracks in feeling and mood, but still have a consistent sound and theme throughout all the songs. I really like mixing different types of tracks on releases. I try to keep my music pretty broad genre wise. I'd rather keep a distinct sound while merging different genres, doing one genre just seems so limiting to me and I'd probably quit music if I had to stick to one. Trap is really fun because it's such a good tie between electronic music and hip-hop, but I wouldn't say I'm just a "trap guy." I've always let hip-hop influence my music, and I've been making hip-hop beats since I first started producing... I've just let it bleed into my music more these days because it works.
Why are all these damn kids raging to trap, what’s so cool about?
Trap in the electronic music world (trap is much older then this new "EDM"-ed out trap music) is just a perfect tie between dance music and hip-hop. It's aggressive but at the same time it's a hip-hop BPM so it's slow and you can vibe to it. As a result you get both the raver kids and hip-hop heads in the same room which is awesome to see. In Canada it's been really well received. Every trap show I've been too here is completely rammed, so I think I can safely say that Canada is definitely down for trap music.
Interacting with the crowd is key, it makes your set much more memorable than being that guy staring at his laptop/mixer the whole time.
Could you give us names of three emerging artists that you are currently listening to?
I honestly don't really listen to any electronic music unless I'm at a club or preparing a DJ set or something. For music in general, these days I've been really liking Bad Bad Not Good, A$AP Rocky and TNGHT. Not really "emerging" considering their all pretty well established.
Was Avalon your first big show in the US? What advice would you give young producers while preparing for major shows like this?
Yeah playing Avalon was my first US show ever and it was definitely a good way to start. As for playing bigger shows, I'd say try to play as much of your own stuff as possible. People can't really get mad if you’re banging it out but it's your own stuff. Also interacting with the crowd is key, it makes your set much more memorable than being that guy staring at his laptop/mixer the whole time.
Do you have any music production secrets/tips that you’d like to share?
Learn the difference between referencing and emulating. I see too many producers try to recreate other tracks to be "competitive" or whatever. Don't worry about what’s big now, focus on making something unique and really try to build your own sound.
What is your next step? Any collaboration in the works? Possible tour?
I'm wrapping up 2 EPs at the moment that I'm super excited about, I've put more work into them than any other release I've done so to get them out is going to be really awesome. I'm finishing up my second EP for Trouble & Bass which is going to be some moodier bass tracks, and I'm also just putting the last touches on my next EP for Provoke, which is going to be the "spiritual successor" to Kavoda/Bakba. As for touring, it is definitely in the works and dates should be announced in the near future.