Mostly known as the pioneer of the global bass genre, David Starfire comes to Gravitas Recordings with his newest musical creation, Future Self. Influenced by the culmination of his musical training and experiences with orchestras, marching band, sound design, EDM, and world music, David nods toward his years of music production to create a familiar, yet divergent release through three collaborative tracks and three innovative remixes. Throughout Future Self, David's artistry stems from areas such as Bulgaria, the Middle East, Australia, India, and Africa to transport listeners into a cinematic and ethereal universe that merges with dubstep, trap, and global bass sounds.
Opening up the EP with a 2,000 year old “Vishnu” mantra from the temples of India, David Starfire and featured Mumbai vocalist Shri pay respects to the principal deity of Hinduism as powerful 808s are launched. David collaborated with Bulgarian vocalist Sonja Alexandra Drakulich, from the internationally acclaimed world music ensemble StellaMara, in “Izgrejala” to merge heavy trap music with cinematic theme music. Instrumentation from master oud player Jef Stott and Australian world-renown didgeridoo player Ganga Giri are presented in “Osho,” which gradually accelerates from a steady rhythm to expeditious global dubstep intended for the dancefloor. For the first remix off of the EP, Boston’s Zebbler Encanti Experience teleports David’s ethnic “Primal (feat. SOOHAN)” into space. Fellow ethno-group DISSØLV fulfills its mission to stimulate minds and ears with its remix of David and Justin Terranova’s “This Sound.” Wrapping up the EP, Baltimore/Los Angeles global bass producer SOOHAN presents a fast-paced and lively remix of David’s song, “Jungle (feat. Patrick D).”
To truly capture the cinematic universe that Future Self resides in through its cover art, David Starfire enlisted the help of digital artist Beeple, who has notably worked with artists such as Imagine Dragons, Louis Vuttton, Deadmau5, Skrillex, Zedd, Taio Cruz, Amon Tobin, Wolfgang Gartner, and more.
Keyframe caught up with David Starfire to discuss the new album, giving back, and upcoming projects.
"David Starfire remains at the forefront of the global bass movement by delivering electrifying performances, releasing unique work, and collaborating with world-class artists,” says Julian Reyes of Keyframe.
What was the inspiration behind 'Future Self'?
The inspiration was to create music that was the culmination of all of my life and musical experiences. I’ve traveled around the world recording musicians and have been creating music my entire life. Growing up I was in the school symphony, jazz, band, marching band, rock band, and was also into electronic music. I wanted to bring it all together and the main focus for the EP was to have a cinematic feel. Besides world instruments, there are lots of strings, huge toms, and ethereal vocals from Bulgaria and India that give the songs an epic electronic-soundtrack feel. Some artists that are direct influences are Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, and Lisa Gerrard.
'Future Self'' contains three remixes with Zebbler Encanti Experience, Dissolv, and SOOHAN. How did these come to be?
SOOHAN and I have been closely working together the past year and released a comp together called “Circulate Vol 1” on Gravitas Recordings. It focused on underground Global Bass dance music from different artists around the world. I’ve been friends with Dissolv and ZEE for quite a while and had talked about remixing tracks for each other or collaborating. This seemed like the right time and I'm happy to have them on this release. I’m currently in the studio working on a remix for ZEE right now.
You recently curated and released a benefit compilation, Circulate Vol. 1, where 100% of net proceeds went to funding an after-school music education program. We appreciate your dedication to doing good and would love to hear more about it, and any other work that you support.
I'm a big believer in giving back to others and the Circulate Vol. 1 release was a wonderful project that SOOHAN and I spearheaded. The idea was to give awareness to Global Bass music from around the world and to raise money for Beyond the Grade, which provides lessons and instruments to underserved kids in Austin. A few years back I released an album titled “Karuna” and was a benefit album to raise money and awareness for Burmese refugee children in Thailand for the “Thai Freedom House.” I went to temples and border zone areas and recorded with Burmese refugee musicians, then went back to LA to produce an album. 100% of the profits when to Thai Freedom House and I even gave an Ableton workshop to the kids there. I feel that more artists should give back and unfortunately don’t see much of that happening and I hope to inspire other artists to give back.
What can attendees expect from your ongoing 'Future Self' tour?
I'll be performing the tracks on tour and have added live drums along with my electronic hand percussion module. I’ll also have dancers and guest singer for select shows. I’m very excited about some upcoming shows with Beats Antique on 12/30 in Felton, CA and NYE in Santa Cruz, CA.
Anything else on the horizon? Shout-outs or anything that you'd like to share?
I have new music coming out with my side project the Dub Kirtan All Stars and features the amazing singer Jai Uttal. I’ve just started a sample pack company called “Loops for Good” with Black Octopus Sound that will be giving 10% of the profits back to various organizations. I’ll also be creating tutorial videos and music lessons, as well as offering mixing and mastering services to the public. If anyone is interested, contact my manager amrita.mgmt[at]gmail[dot]com. Big shout out to Gravitas Recordings and they are really awesome to work with!