I’m here with Dinje, we’re at Vision Studios. We just listened to a couple absolute bangers so stay tuned because there is fire in the vault! I just want to start by saying “Started from the bottom now we here! This place is phenomenal. How you living? How you been? What’s good?
Man it’s been a wild year. The last time you were at the studio with me it was at the OG studio, no Aircon and that.
Yeah last summer it was hot. [Laughs]
Yeah that’s where we got Sauna Studios from, but now we got Air Con now. [Laughs] It’s been good though man, it was a quiet music year but then we just dropped Couple Hunnid and that’s travelling really well so no complaints. And now we got a couple single ready to go.
Did you also drop Ghost Mode too?
Yeah we dropped Ghost Mode too. I hell like Ghost Mode but didn’t travel as fast as Couple Hunnid is travelling right now.
F*ck streams. What’s your favourite song?
Funnily enough right now I’d say Couple Hunnid. For me, on Couple Hunnid I was able to show my engineering skills, my production skills, my rap skills but also my skills as a melodic singer. That’s the first time I’ve been able to show all of my elements in one song. It’s just an amalgamation of all the thing’s that Dinje has done, all in one spot.
So you’re mixing, mastering, writing, recording? Doing it all on your own?
Basically. I’ve got people that help in terms of borrowing their ears. Like right now I’m showing you. But at the end of the day the final person that mixes and masters is me.
Do you have any mentors that you want to shout out? Any close friends or peers that you look up to and draw from?
I always say this in the least cocky way: people in Perth inspire me and when they do it’s dope but when I started making music I didn’t start with any Perth inspiration, so it’s not like I’ve followed the journey of this Perth artist and followed them; I came from Ireland when I started making my own music at 11. It’s good to see that the city’s buzzing and that’s dope and that keeps me buzzing, but no one else’s direct music is like “I want to make music they’re making”.
So since 11 you’ve been writing raps?
When I was 11 I had one of those USB condenser mics and I used to record through Audacity. 3.12
That’s sick man, everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Kelly Slater didn’t catch a barrel on his first wave. How long have you been producing for?
Around the same time period, around 13. But this is the first time I’ve produced my own song. I’ve never felt confident enough to rap on my own song. I’ve always felt like my skills as a producer weren’t as strong as my skills as an artist, so I always jumped on other producer’s beats.
So Ghost Mode is someone else’s beat?
So this is a real turning point? This is a new Dinje?
Kinda. This is where I wanna go from now on. I’m not saying I won’t use other people’s beats. But this gave me the confidence like “Oh people do like my production”
I think there’s something behind being 100% self-reliant. You don’t have to wait for beats to clear or jump through other people’s hoops. You can just play your own game.
When you’ve got an idea you can just run with it. Only downside is it just takes longer sometimes because there’s less people helping out and you’ve got to put in the extra time
Yeah that’s the thing, it’s all about hours. Have you got alot in the vault?
A few yeah. It doesn’t mean much because I’m always changing my sound and want to elevate. So a lot of what’s in the vault will stay there. But in terms of the sound I’m doing now I still got 8-10 tracks. It used to be a lot bigger, like 100 tracks.
So it’s Super Saiyan Dinje 2021? Levelled up, ready to go?
In some aspects… I’m still never going to release as much as I used to. Like the year I released 3 EPs in a year? That’s never happening again. Because even though it was dope to get that much music out, we couldn’t make the music move as much.
Those were the stepping stones you needed to get to here though.
Yeah, it established myself as an artist. But now when I release, I only want to release when I got the sauce. I want to release hits.
I know what you mean. I’ve dropped 2 EPs and now I’m just going to release singles. Build a buzz.
And it’s so much easier to push a single. You only need 3 minutes of attention as opposed to 21. And I feel when you’ve got a few popping singles then people will pay attention to the body of work. So if I can have a few singles pop next year, then we’ll drop the EP. The main plan is to move singles.
I just think the singles game is a lot better when you’re starting out. Otherwise you put a lot of money and time into 5 songs, drop it as a project, and then the lead single gets some shine and the rest fall under the radar.
I completely agree. EPs are for your cult fanbase, and singles are for your mainstream push. But until you got your cult fanbase, it’s not a huge fanbase getting the EP. But I’ve been there. Every new artist wants to release that body of work and feel accomplished. But until I did that, it was a massive thing on my mind. I had to release the EP. But then once I did it, it was done.
Couple hunnid is doing really well since it’s dropped, congratulations.
How’d the song come about? What was the inspiration?
Take yourself back to peak lockdown, when everyone was staying inside and going outside for essentials. Back when people were fighting each other for toilet paper. Me and Drowzee were trying to be good citizens because a lot of people we knew were still out at the parties. So we spent 6 days straight in the studio, basically no sleep. On Day 3 I made the beat for Couple Hunnid and we came back to it the next morning and Couple Hunnid came out. Full freestyle, no written.
I love that because I think sometimes those songs are the best because they’re more what’s felt rather than what’s hyper-analysed.
It’s in the moment. Whereas when you write, you filter. When you freestyle that’s how you felt at the time. Couple Hunnid could mean you got a couple hundred dollars on you, it could mean your outfit is worth a couple hundred; it depends however which way you want to take it. I wasn’t thinking too much about the lyrics when I recorded, but it was along those lines.
I feel like you’re tapped in and the stars have aligned for Dinje. What’s different in how you’re moving these days?
Well for one, working on my own production will change the formula of how we’re going forward. It’s not as generic in sound production. [pauses] Man that’s a deep question… I shed a lot of that ego I had as a younger artist coming up. Like we were talking about before, having to prove something and all of those things I felt I had to do led me down a certain path doing EPs and all that. But I’m content with who I am as an artist and my skill and ability and respect level now. So I just make what I want to make. The music I truly want to make. It’s not for you, it’s not for a postcode, it’s not for him. It’s for Dinje. If you like my music, good because I like it. If you don’t, I don’t care. I’m done with caring with trying to please with numbers. Whereas younger artists come up thinking analytical, but I’m done with that.
That’s a massive shift. People that don’t live in a way to please other people and are totally content with themselves, they’re a threat to everything. You can’t control Dinje!
You can’t control Dinje, that’s fire! [Laughs]
You’ve mixed and mastered for a lot of artists this year. What are some of the favourite tracks you’ve worked on for other people?
It sucks because a lot of my personal favourites haven’t released. But if we’re talking about how the city responded to some of these songs? Cloud Dstrct got playlisted for Peppermint Gum, Coastline also moved. Those two have moved really well. Built For This by Yourboymars which I master engineered has also done really well this year.
But a lot more stuff coming?
Yeah a lot of it hasn’t come out and a lot of my personal favourites sit there.
I feel like it’s been that sort of year.
Everyone’s preparing for 2021.
Everyone’s getting stuff back on track, getting locked and loaded.
The situation is a bit f*cked. If you gave your all to 2020, it’s not going to give back. So you have to play it smart.
I definitely had some positives come out of covid, you had Couple Hunnid. Any other positives to come out of this pandemic?
A lot man, a lot of mental growth. That weird time period of not going out and having to sit in isolation? There’s nothing left to sit and think! Like “I’ve been on this Earth for 23 years, what the fuck have I done?” You start to reevaluate. From there a lot of positives came out of it: engineering, the new studio, Couple Hunnid.
So what can we expect from you in 2021? Big Year?
Yeah man it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Obviously 2020 was a weird year for everyone but we this year we tryna make some moves. We got my next single ‘FaceTime’ coming out next week! It’s a real chill bop with a catchy hook people can lock onto!
I think the fans who liked ‘Nose Ring’ are gonna rate this one!
After that we got a few more singles in the bank ready to go! All of which are apart of this new melodic sound we’re pushing at the moment.
So yeah 2021 is gonna be a big one!
Lastly, what’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
“If it sounds good, it’s good.” People overthink music sometimes. It’s pretty simple sometimes. Less is more.