Popping onto the scene back in 2018, DEXTER KING quickly proved to be one of the most promising producers in the world of electronic dance music.
Being one of one first to break into China’s budding dance music culture after graduating in 2012, he began residencies at some of the most prominent venues in China, opening for the likes of Zedd, Steve Aoki and Diplo.
By 2019, he had toured 200+ club shows, 60 festivals, and made history by becoming the 1st Chinese artist signed to Monstercat where he immediately became a fan favorite with his exhilarating releases “Get To Know You,” “Only You” and “Unbroken”.
Fresh off of the release of his collaboration “Take Me Into Space” with Dada Life, we took the time to get to know DEXTER KING a little bit better!
DJ Life Mag: Who or what introduced you to the world of dance music?
DEXTER KING: Jamiroquai & Daft Punk. Back in 2001, Jamiroquai’s album ‘A Funk Odyssey’ came out and completely changed my life. Growing up practicing classical piano, I almost became a robot, but Jamiroquai’s music enlightened me and spoke to me like nothing else could. For a 13 year old kid, it felt like going into space listening to this whole album. During the same year, ‘Discovery’ by Daft Punk released as well, it hit me even harder because it just sounded harder, better, faster, and stronger than anything I’ve heard, that’s when I started to try and remake their music with Fruity Loops and started this magnificent journey of making dance music.
DJ Life Mag: What made you fall in love with dance music as a whole?
DEXTER KING: It was the first few festival gigs that got me completely hooked, I could never imagine such a way to share love.
DJ Life Mag: What led you to pursue a path in music?
DEXTER KING: The 4 years of university was my transformation from a kid who loved to show people what he made in the bedroom last night, to a professional music producer / DJ. As a kid growing up in China, I fought as hard as I could while everyone told me making music was just a hobby, not a job. I guess who led me to pursue a path in music was the people who told me not to make music and get a “real” job, because every time I heard something like that, it just reminds me of how much I love music and want to carry it on.
DJ Life Mag: What is China’s electronic music scene like?
DEXTER KING: China’s electronic music scene is better than ever because these sounds are slowly making their way into people’s lives. It’s growing very gradually though.
DJ Life Mag: What does your studio setup look like these days?
DEXTER KING: I have two studios, one at home and one at work, both have super simple setups. As long as I’ve got the best acoustics that I’m used to, I’d like to keep things as simple as I can. I don’t have midi keyboards, which my friends think is weird, because it reminds me of the long years of hardcore piano practice. I’ve found out that the less my body does, the better my brain works.
DJ Life Mag: When you have a rough week or hit a wall creatively, how do you get back on track?
DEXTER KING: To me, music itself is the best key to open up hidden doors in minds, crate digging always puts me back on track and helps me generate ideas, of course with a little help from real espressos.
DJ Life Mag: Tell us about your new single “Take Me Into Space” with Dada Life and how it came together.
DEXTER KING: Monstercat told me that I had a chance to make music with Dada Life, I got so hyped and made 5 demos as the initial ideas and sent them to Dada Life. They picked one of them, which was called “In the Dark.” It was my favorite one as well because the quarantines had me feeling like I was stuck in darkness, so the sounds in that demo came straight from my heart and I guess they felt it too. So with the stems, they took it to another level which blew my mind, they added so much energy and character to the track. Then, we decided to change “In the Dark” to “Take Me Into Space” and recorded the top line, to turn negativity into positivity.
DJ Life Mag: Dada Life are legends in the world of dance music who have been at it for well over a decade now. Did nerves play a role when working on your collaboration?
Surprisingly, I was too stoked to think about that, I didn’t want to waste a second. I’ve been playing their music in every single show I’ve played since 2011 since they released ‘Kick Out the Epic MF.’ In this little Chinese DJ’s mind they’re like Tony Stark and Hulk, so yeah this encounter felt unreal to me. The moment I knew they picked one of my demos I flew out of my chair, then went back to working on the song immediately. No words can express my respect for them.
DJ Life Mag: Monstercat has become a staple within the world of electronic music and gaming; how does it feel to continue to have releases on the powerhouse imprint?
DEXTER KING: Every time I release a song on Monstercat I feel stronger as a human being, the vibe I’ve got from the whole team is so encouraging. The amount of love Monstercat puts into music gave it the essential upgrade, which made the biggest difference.
DJ Life Mag: Last but certainly not least, what does DEXTER KING have in store for 2023?
DEXTER KING: Apart from a lot more shows and new music than 2022, I’ll be in a new Chinese music-producing reality TV series as one of the music producers in 2023. The last series in 2022 was a success, I made so much music with producers and singers I’ve never met before, and I can’t wait to be a part of the upcoming one.
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