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Embracing the present: A conversation with Dilby

Hailing from New Zealand, Dilby has gained recognition in the underground music scene for his fusion of classic house and techno with a modern twist. His talent and passion for electronic music shine through in the innovative soundscapes he creates in his studio.

Photo credit: Dilby – Official

Dilby’s music deeply resonates with listeners, earning him a prominent spot at the top of the charts on Beatport. He is one of the highest-selling artists in the deep house genre.

Through collaborations with renowned artists and impressive remixes for Mihai Popoviciu, Oliver Schories, Collective Machine, Tom & Collins, and more, Dilby has garnered the admiration of influential DJs such as Hot Since 82, Diplo, Mark Knight, and Nicole Madouber.

Since relocating to Berlin in 2012, Dilby has become a favorite in the city’s vibrant house and techno scene. He regularly performs at top clubs and festivals.

Notably, Dilby’s latest EP, ‘Organika,’ is now available on Steve Bug’s esteemed label, Poker Flat Recordings. In an exclusive interview with EG, the artist discusses his latest release, his musical journey, and exciting future projects.

EG: Hi, Dilby, Welcome back to EG! It’s always a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you right now?

Dilby: It’s great to be back! I’m currently in Berlin where I’ve been based for the past 10 years or so. I’m taking a couple of months off touring to focus on new music for next year. I’m still doing shows around Europe but keeping it pretty chilled. I have to say, I’m looking forward to escaping the European winter when I get back on the road in late January for a summer tour in Australia and New Zealand.

EG: It’s been quite the year for you…congratulations on becoming the No.1 Deep House artist on Beatport for the last 12 months. How do you feel about this particular honor? Were you expecting something like this to happen so fast?

Dilby: Thanks, it has been a whirlwind of a year! Of course, I’m very proud of these kinds of achievements. Not really for the accolade itself but more because it means that people are resonating with what I’m doing musically.

EG: Now you’re behind your new ‘Organika’ EP, which is out now via Steve Bug’s Poker Flat Recordings. Congratulations, again! What has the initial reception been like so far?

Dilby: Yeah, it was a bit of a surreal moment when Steve said he wanted to release the EP. Poker Flat Recordings is such an iconic and influential label, so it feels like a real achievement to be working with them. The response has been pretty phenomenal with support coming from some of my biggest inspirations including the likes of John Digweed, Joris Voorn, Danny Tenaglia to name just a few. Both tracks have also done really well in the charts, which is always a nice bonus.

EG: So, what can your fans expect to find on ‘Organika’? What’s the inspiration behind them and how was it when you’ve played these tracks live?

Dilby: I would say the tracks are both in my signature style, maybe with a slightly more peak time edge. I have been actually playing both tracks for over a year. I often sit on things and slowly refine them over a year or so, but to be honest, both of these tracks made the cut from the first test run, which was unusual (laughter). I write a lot of music, which I test out in my sets, but not all of it sees the light of day.

“The more I can just be in the moment and focus on writing music for myself, the more it connects with people”

EG: Also, your recent release, ‘Trippin’, was No. 1 on Traxsource and No. 5 on Beatport. Last time we spoke, we talked about the pressure of replicating the success of earlier releases. Is it still something that you try not to pay attention to? Or has the sustained success changed that?

Dilby: I think as I’ve matured as an artist, I have really tried to distance myself from that kind of pressure. When I’m in the studio, I try to have the mindset that my job is to write the music, not to judge it. That’s up to the listener. I have found that the more I can just be in the moment and focus on writing music for myself, the more it connects with people. I’m not sure if that’s any kind of secret to success, but it seems to be working for now, and it allows me to enjoy the process.

EG: Has your process in the studio changed since the last time we spoke? How have you evolved as an artist?

Dilby: I have really been enjoying working with vocalists over the past year or so. It definitely presents new challenges and requires a different set of skills than writing heads-down club tracks, but it has been super rewarding and lots of fun. I have a bunch of projects I’m finishing up with various talents, including DJ Rae, Shyam P, DNCN, and Starving Yet Full (a collaboration with my good friend Sydney Blu).

EG: What do you think about the current trend that has seen these larger-than-life visuals take center stage? Are they overwhelming the musical aspect instead of just “enhancing” the musical experience? Are they the future of electronic music?

Dilby: I guess it’s a product of how huge electronic music has gotten in the past few years. I think it definitely has positive and negative aspects. There is some amazing visual art being showcased, but on the other hand, a lot of gimmicks too. I guess it’s kind of necessary to deliver something more at the insane scale of some of these parties, and I think it makes it more accessible for mainstream crowds. I don’t think the current wave will last forever though, trends come and go, and bubbles burst. It’s the way of the world.

EG: Also, the incorporation of AI in electronic music seems to be on the rise, whether it is in the music, the album covers, and beyond. Do you have a particular stance on this?

Dilby: I think there is some really amazing technology emerging, but also a lot of hype around the whole subject of AI. At the end of the day, I see it as a tool like any other, and there are some exciting possibilities to use it creatively.

EG: Finally, can you provide some insights into what’s next for Dilby? What’s in store for 2024? Where can your fans catch you next?

Dilby: As I mentioned, I have a summer tour in Australia and New Zealand kicking off in late January. Then, we have shows in Mexico and South America being finalized, so 2024 is already looking exciting. There are lots of cool releases in the pipeline, and it looks like I’ll be launching a label in 2024 as well. So, plenty to look forward to!

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Dilby! We wish you all the best for the future. Take care!

Dilby’s ‘Organika’ is out now via Poker Flat Recordings. Stream and download here.

Follow Dilby: Website | Spotify | Soundcloud | Instagram

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