Toronto’s DATA-X recently released his new single “Trigger”, a wound-up festival banger meant for jumpy college freshmen.
No stranger to underground culture, he’s played alongside A-Trak, Chase B, Da-P and CYBER69 across North America. His Remix of “Jealousy” by Roy Woods debuted on HYPEBEAST and was the last time he released original music. Last year, he partnered with DJ/Creative Odalys Pena and FRESHMILKLAB for his Future R&B ‘001‘ Mix, introducing acts like Plaza, Teddy Fantum, Anders and The Lust God to an alternative world audience.
His new Single “Trigger” is straight unabashed turnup-ism. Co-produced by STRETCH, it was released along with the “Power Lagos 2020: Full Attack” Spotify Playlist highlighting Afro Soca, World Bass, and Baile Funk. Listen to them as we talk to both artists about their production history.
The Knockturnal: How did you start producing? when?
DATA-X: I’ve been DJing Tech House since 2007 and most of my production acumen is from that. I didn’t start making full hip-hop beats, fully sequenced, till about 2013 when I got good at Ableton. I’m surrounded by literally 30 producers all the time so my modus operandi is always to collab first, finish beat last. A lot of the time, i’ll introduce an aesthetic to a session that’s beyond the obvious like theme, mood direction, percussion style, mix/master assessment stuff like that.
Stretch: Burning CD’s. I would download mixtapes/albums, print out the artwork, and sell them at school. In 2005 I was 15 I got a job saved up for a numark CDJ system and MPC1000. Learning to DJ making my own mixes led me to audio software like Cool Edit Pro, Fruity Loops. I continued teaching myself those programs making beats and recording ideas with rappers and singers I met from school.
The Knockturnal: Who have you worked with in the past?
DATA-X: I’m all over the place to be honest but some people i’ve worked with are BatmanOnTheBeatz, Gravity Twins, Roy Woods, Sha Hustle, Rashad Husein, Omari Jabari, Neako, William Darc, Raz Fresco, Yonge, Dimi, Supa83… tons more.
Stretch: A few of the artists I’ve worked with in the past include Coleman Hell, Sha Hustle, Roy Woods, Derek Wise.
The Knockturnal: Let’s talk about your history. How did you guys first meet and then work together creatively?
DATA-X: I met Stretch through Wes (who happened to be the go-to tastemaker in downtown at the time) on College St. during that crazy 2014 summer. Stretch was a pretty legendary guy at the time with OGs like DZY and stuff, he had all the best machines, drums tougher than bricks all that. Stretch would just pop off whenever he wanted and I would offer suggestions or chime in here and there. I generally liked everything he played.
Stretch: Mu (DATA-X) and I go back 4-5 years. We met through a bar/club in Little Italy (Toronto) called Weldon Park at the time. Above the bar I had a studio set up where we developed and collaborated with a series of artists. The bar and studio combination became a music hub in the city summer 2014.
The Knockturnal: What is the most critical element to producing in your opinion?
DATA-X: Kick gotta hit. The worst is when clean beats have weak drums, can’t do anything with that.
Stretch: Music Theory.
The Knockturnal: Would you say you have a signature sound?
Stretch: Vocal mixing has always been my strength. I like distorted bass.
DATA-X: I’m too unskilled as a producer to have a signature sound but I like smooth shit with an 80s vibe & modern percussion. “Trigger” is probably none of that but that’s because it’s a concept song. The more complex stuff comes next year.
The Knockturnal: Do you have any other collabs on the way?
Stretch: Swagger Rite has a project coming together that I’m excited about.
DATA-X: A lot of stuff in the pipeline but it’s not confirmed so no point talking about it. I probably will have a surprise remix dropping at some point. I have my responsibilities to ADULT HEAD. I intend to do a proper EP with Gravity Twins that’s for sure. I have a lot of projects I’ve either executive produced or sequenced that aren’t out yet so we will see.
Follow DATA-X on Soundcloud. Files from Nathan Legiehn, Brendon McDonald and Haleema Khan.