Hey DCPA, welcome to One EDM! What’s been happening in your world lately?
Moving into summer, I’ve been busy promoting my latest EP – Inflection, DJ-ing at weddings, corporate/private gigs and spending time with my dog Tipsy! I’m fresh out of another busy season in my career job as CPA, just promoted to Senior Manager for Whitley Penn LLP in Dallas, TX. I’ve also been working on another single and a couple of remixes – I hope to release later in 2019!
Congratulations on your single ‘Celebrate’, what inspired the record?
‘Celebrate’ is the 4th and final track of Inflection. I wanted to end the EP with a break from the more serious, story driven elements found in the other tracks. I wanted to end on a dose of feel good electronica, a hands in the air burner. A simple, driving, 80’s inspired bass line carries the track, accompanied by an energetic and industrial beat, melodies and a vocal by MISHA influenced by 2000’s dance pop, all which lead into a modern club anthem / festival drop.
Generally, you’ll hear a mix of genres in my tracks and sometimes a heavy gaming influence. I wanted the ‘Celebrate’ instrumental to sound like it could be on the next Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack, so you’ll notice some similarities in melodic style and synth design.
Can you share with us a little about your journey as an artist, to date?
I grew up in a family of musicians in Aledo, TX. Started with piano classes as a kid, then playing trumpet in an orchestra and jazz band and then classical guitar in high school. At 17, I became interested in electronic dance music, excited about the possibilities of modern production with DAW’s like Logic Pro and FL Studio. Early influences were ATB (still my #1), Daft Punk, Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, Eric Prydz, Benny Benassi, Basshunter and composers of my favorite game soundtracks. I took a music tech class, learning how to emulate their sounds byproducing concept tracks of my own.
In 2007 I shifted my focus to an accounting career,studying at Texas Tech and worked in the field since 2011. After discovering my own sound, I decided to pursue my passion in music once again – so, began producing and releasing music as DCPA. Since 2016, I’ve released 16 tracks and lucky to have played in several venues – hasinspired me to take my music career as far as it will go.
What first influenced you into the music industry?
I’ve always dreamt of creating and operating my own musical ecosystem – but never really certain how that would look. After learning a few instruments and performing live with different types of acts, I realized the best route for me was taking a producer role. As one person, I needed a creative way to showcase full productions and experiment with more than just traditional instruments. I noticed the DJ market had filled that same void for other producers, creating a viable outlet for musicians working in the background. So much investment has gone into the festival and club scene in America – after attending countless events myself – I felt it was the right time and place for me to really go for it as I may have an audience already waiting for me.
It’s actually kind of crazy seeing how well the music side has fit in with a full time career. The networking and business development aspect integrate almost perfectly, allowing for a lot of very interesting conversations takingplace. Through DCPA, I hope to inspire others – offering a unique lens for exploring music and showing that one does not always have to follow the beaten path.
Can you tell us about your production process, do you also write your own songs?
Yes, I compose and produce all of my own music in my home studio. My strength is in instrumentals; for vocals, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with several incredible singer/songwriters around the world. Usually start with my instrumentals and feel for the track, then add a lyrical structure around it. Sometimes, I will get a vocal pitched to me and I’ll produce the instrumentals around it – like my previous release ‘Dance Free’ worked with Mike Cruz on track and vocal, over a few studio sessions.
The end part of the process is having a more experienced producer do a final mix together with last editing from me and the vocalist. It allows the finished product to really be scrutinized until it is the best representation of the initial concept with minimal deviation from the original coremix.
It’s always interesting to see how the dynamic of the production changes when you involve, embrace and implement other artists. I believe most goals are best achieved through collaboration. It can grow you exponentially as an artist, a way to build on and create the best possible version of your music for others to enjoy.
What’s the scene like in your homeland, currently?
The festival and club scene is bigger than ever. Now a lot of people appreciate the uniqueness, scale and intensity of a premier electronic music production vs traditional concert. Seeing a lot more DJ integration with festivals like Austin City Limits now, historically built around pop, rock and hip hop.
Locally in Dallas, TX we are seeing a constant revolving door of underdogs and well-known acts. A new concert venue pops up every couple of years while others improve tech and production value to compete. A lot of night clubs have replaced bars and day clubs have been on the rise. Dallas has always been a hotbed of electronic music, but the scene was not nearly as commercialized until recently.
There is some saturation in the market happening; but, forupcoming DJ-producers like me, it’s an incentive to try new things. The dynamic as a DJ is great from an opportunity and exposure stand-point. Now that I have a full mobile DJ setup, I have a lot of flexibility for the independent gigs.
If you could provide some advice to other aspiring artists, what would it be?
Respect the career aspect. Define what it is you want out of your music career early on, set realistic goals and stick to them. I think the biggest thing people struggle with in a music career is unreasonable expectations and lack of follow through. A lot of bedroom producers get lucky but consider that luck is just the intersection of effort and opportunity. With that mindset, you gain more control, and getting “lucky” becomes only a matter of time.
It’s a subscription world now and so you need to be consistent with your content and be willing to play gigs. You can build an online following on social media, but need real content to back up your persona as an artist. Find ways to finish your tracks with the tools you have available to get your content out there! Play to your strengths to command attention, don’t overspend on production tools as a shortcut for experience. Master core concepts so you can apply them in more creative ways. Learn lessons from the successes and failures during the previous lifecycles of your productions.
Nothing says more about your music than how an audience collectively reacts when you’re playing to them in public. Be open to performing just about any gig even if it’s a free house party for a friend. You’ll get a lot of referrals that way.
And finally, what’s next for DCPA in 2019?
I’m working on some new tracks and a remix or two from my EP Inflection. I’ve got weddings and corporate events in the works – would be great to book some festival and club shows too! October I’ll be heading to ADE to meet up with my production team at Nimble Agency and DCC Studios.
Check out ‘Celebrate’ below