Interview Series: Duumu.
Charlie Kurata aka duumu is a Paris native; full-time student and part-time producer extraordinaire, his unique sound design, composition, and strong knack for insanely catchy melodies have positioned him among some of the most exciting up-and-comers on SoundCloud. Paris (and France more broadly) has of course been the victim of senseless violence and atrocities recently, but as duumu is quick to point out, such dark times only strengthen the support and love between those in the tight knit SoundCloud community of both producers and fans.
Music, the universal language, is that which connects us all – duumu just happens to be more than fluent in the stuff. This inextricable bond between music lovers worldwide is evidenced by duumu’s relationship with his close friend, London-based Stereo Cube, with whom he collaborates on a regular basis, among myriad others.
Duumu has an eclectic, fantastical soundscape which blends elements of grimy basses, heavy future saws, and soulful electro leads, resulting in tracks that draw inspiration from a variety of sources, but nonetheless sound unlike quite anything else out there.
In his most recent single, “Bathtub Galaxy,” duumu punctuates an awesome plucky jingle with pitch-bended 808s and immaculate vocal chops. “Candycane Oasis,” meanwhile, melts your face off with its crazy future chords and raspy bass line, but retains a distinctly melodic and happy vibe.
Likewise, his contest-winning remix of atura x ANTI-HERO’s “Distant” hits incredibly hard and manages to blend funky melodies with crazy low-end glitchy goodness. It’s his ability to draw from such a variety of sounds and emotions which really sets duumu apart from the crowd – we can’t wait to see all that he has in store!
Read on for the full interview below.
Many people consider music production very glamorous, but it’s easy to forget that the overwhelming majority of producers are either in school (like you) or working day jobs – is it ever tough to find the time for music?
Yeah a lot of people forget a huge number of us are still in school and shit hahaha.
Um I’m studying for one of the most demanding high school diplomas right now which means I get home around 6 on school nights and do homework for at least an hour or two so I don’t really have the time then (unless I procrastinate, which, oops, I do a lot) but most of the time I produce during weekends.
You’ve spoken about the difficulties of juggling collabs and individual work – how do you strike that balance?
I made a tweet a few days ago to put on hold all the collabs I had planned but not started. Over the last few weeks I’ve had a lot of people come to me and want to collab and I kept saying yes until I realized I had way too much on my hands and it was stressing me out.
So right now I’m finishing up five collabs I believe and I’m gonna stick to my own content for a while. I don’t really know how to strike said balance because I haven’t struck it myself hahaha.
The SC community is super tight-knit and spans the entire globe – what’s it like having tons of super close friends with whom you make and share music but have never actually met in person because they live on the other side of the world?
Funny enough, my best friend is actually an internet friend (though I’ve met him irl twice), he used to be my boss, he managed a record label I was part of, the label died off but we stayed friends and as of me writing this, I just came back from a week over at his place in the UK.
But I haven’t met a lot of my internet friends and in most cases it’s alright because we manage to maintain the friendship, in other cases it’s harder bc we’re really close and it hurts not being able to see them every day, this is actually the case with the girl who does my art, Karla (WHOM I AM NOT DATING). So I mean for the most part it’s just become a part of my every day life. Talking to them on facebook or skype has become like seeing people at school.
What do you want a listener to feel while listening to a duumu song?
Well until now most of my music as duumu has been more fun stuff which is definitely something good but I’ve always dreamt of being able to make music that inspires calm and coziness and nostalgia or whatever, tennyson are probably my favorite duo and definitely my biggest inspiration because their music, whatever song it is, brings me peace, it makes me feel like I’m in a wood cabin with a fire and it’s snowing outside and I’m listening to their music.
Or whenever I listen to some of their songs I think back to my early childhood and stuff idk hahah… But yeah so that’s the type of shit I wanna make (I’m working towards it).
Given such an abundance of great artists in every genre imaginable, do you struggle with trying to hone and craft a sound that is unique and distinguishable as your own?
I don’t think so no. I don’t really try to have my own sound. everyone knows every song ever is just a combination of what the artist has been hearing. For instance, the two songs that got me to start making bathtub galaxy were “Show Me” by Herzeloyde and “I Want to Take You Everywhere” by Swell.
My style is just all the music I listen to mashed together.
If you could be anywhere in the world 5 years from now, doing anything you’d like, what would you choose?
I’d love to see myself in a little house somewhere not too far from a town making music for a living from my house. Cus you know… as are many artists I’m a hell of an introvert :’)
In the wake of so many senseless tragedies – something with which you’re probably all too familiar as a Paris native – what, to you, is the importance and power of music to raise our collective spirits and spread positivity?
It’s funny, earlier today I did a voice interview for my friend’s podcast and he asked me a similar question and for some reason I never anticipated any questions about this yet here it is.
I think something that was so heartwarming for me was seeing so many people posting songs and when the stuff happened on November 13th, seeing as I live 20 minutes away from where it all happened I was quite frankly terrified, so seeing all the support was so amazing so I think just the fact that this really really underground community we have is so tight knit that we feel so strongly for others is just amazing.
Say you blow up and start making music full-time – how else would you spend your time?
If I blow up, I’d probably finally have the time and money to go around and spend lots of time with all my friends I was talking about earlier. Stay one month somewhere then one month somewhere else etc. Since I can make music on the go, I’d have my income and I can finally spend time with my best friends.
. . .
Show duumu some love:
(And check out our full SoundCloud Artist Spotlight playlist for duumu here.)