Dusty Pink is a Swedish/German musician currently living in Thailand with a gift for creating dark disco beats that invoke a certain lustful vibrance within the typical listener. His base line sequences and 80’s analog style bring back to us the nostalgia of our most personal memories and darkest secrets. Deep down, somewhere inside each one of us, parts of these trips down memory lane can in fact make us smile.
Dusty’s scandalous soundscapes compile a mixed fusion of dark pop, dark wave, EDM and industrial. Each song conducts its own spell-work, so difficult to place and yet so familiar. The music compels you to dance until your feet somehow magically develop the ability to scream. Each track carries with it the idea of living for the moment and without regret.
I myself, have never been much of a dancer, but when listening to his work, it becomes easy to lose all inhibitions. The club mood strikes and Pink’s high and sparkling, glittery energy coils around your head and seeps into your brain much like drug. It releases with it a specialized type of carnal spontaneity created just for you.
His polished, deep whispering vocals seem to speak with a sensuality, likened to that of a lover having a cigarette just after sex. The music radiates through the imagination, and we no longer can resist the magic of exhilarating risk, forbidden pleasures, and the wildest of temptations.
“Let’s go out and do some bad things.
Let’s go out and do some mad things.
Let’s go out and do some sad things.
Let’s go out and do some bad things” he recites..
Bad Things! Yes! Finally! The shock of vibrations become our electrical high and proceed to shake us with intrigue and a promise that there will be no limits, no boundaries, nor regulations. The rules are meant to be broken and we are hypnotized by the ecstasy of life and in the name of liberation we continue to dance and step our way into Dusty Pink’s colorful pallet of musical mischief. The fun factor is covertly cranked up to the highest level on the party odometer. All things unconventional and subtly obscene, become a celebratory past time.
Dusty Pink lets nothing go unspoken. All wishes granted. We’re finally ready to admit that we’re human now. Our minds are allowed to wander into dirty fantasies and neon pleasantries. Oh the unexperienced! Oh the unknown! All the more enticing, there is an obscurity to Dusty Pink’s music that you can’t quite place. It is different and it is in a category all its own within the multi-genre music world.
Interviewing Dusty Pink became a must because the animal within has made it’s presence known, allowing the chains to come apart as societal conventionality is told to go kick some rocks. Coy no more, we will find out all we wish to know about Dusty Pink and the secrets behind his best works.
So Dusty Pink, how did you develop such a mesmerizing and sultry set of vocals?
DUSTY: (laughs) That’s the first time someone has described my voice as sultry. Thanks! There are a couple of reasons why I sound the way I do. Firstly, my voice is pretty limited, so I try to keep the singing as simple and minimalistic as possible. Secondly, I use very lo-fi equipment when recording vocals. I mostly use my mobile phone as a microphone and thirdly, almost all vocal tracks have been recorded in the middle of the night in a small hotel room in Phuket with very thin walls. I had to keep the “noise” down and sing with a “whispering” style to not disturb my neighbors.
A hotel room, huh? Well, then I must know. What is the music scene like in Chiang Mai? I’ve never been there myself, but I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand.
DUSTY: It is much better than I ever could have imagined before I moved here. A big reason is that Chiang Mai is a “university city,” with lots of smart young people that create a buzz and a pretty open-minded vibe. There are hundreds of small bars and clubs that offer live music every night. Most of the music is very Thai-local, but there are some great places for alternative music as well. Minimal Bar North Gate, and Vintage Bar are my personal favorites.
Did you have lessons when you were younger or did it just happen naturally when you finally decided to play music?
DUSTY: Never had any kind of musical training, but I have always been deeply in love with music. For as long as I can remember, I have sung along when I am listening to my favorite songs, especially when I am not sober. My late grandfather was a great musician and played violin with Berlin’s Philharmonic Orchestra for many years, so maybe I just have some really good music genes.
Where are you from originally and how did you develop an interest in making music to begin with?
DUSTY: As said above, born and raised in Sweden to a Swedish mother and German father. I dreamed a lot about starting a band when I was a teen, but I guess my confidence back then was too low to do something about it. I started to work as a DJ in my mid 20’s, which slowly directed me towards trying to produce something myself. The real trigger that pushed me over the line happened when a big crisis in my life occurred three years ago. I needed to do something new and different and used music as a form of therapy to keep my brain busy.
How did you come up with Dusty Pink as your project name? Do you have another stage name you wish to reveal, or should I just call you Dusty Pink?
DUSTY: The name Dusty Pink and is “stolen” from an extremely short-lived club in my hometown in Sweden. Two male gay friends of mine were so tired and bored with the gay scene, so they decided to do something about it. They created a monthly club night called “GaysStraightToHell (GS2H),” which became an absolute smash hit. Needless to say, my friends got lots of offers to create more club concepts and more club nights. Due to their reputation and track record, they could pretty much do what they wanted. They decided to create a night club for gay men who love alternative music and dress like football hooligans (which they named Dusty Pink.) To put it mildly, the concept was a total failure. After only three nights, Dusty Pink was dead and buried. I always thought the name was great, so I asked my friends for permission to use it and they gave me their blessings.
What inspires you to create the songs that you do typically?
DUSTY: I have no idea actually. Sometimes several months can pass without creating any new songs at all, sometimes I can write three new songs in one day.
Are there other band/project members or is Dusty Pink entirely a solo project?
DUSTY: I am at the helm, but the idea is to be open to both temporary and long-term members. If I can choose, I always prefer to work with someone rather than do it all alone. All in all, so far, there are six or seven other people who have all contributed in different ways to Dusty Pink.
Anybody who collaborates with you is damn lucky. Just how picky are you about collaborations?
DUSTY: To be honest, I am very picky. Most of the collabs that I am involved in so far have never been released. That has caused some bad blood, but I just can’t understand the point of releasing something unless everyone is happy with the result.
Fair enough! Have you collaborated with anyone from SoundCloud or otherwise yet?
DUSTY: I have done several collabs with an artist called Screach. He’s an American lo-fi punk rocker. He and I clicked from the first second and working with him is always a pleasure. Another artist I have collaborated with is Moon Dust a multi-talented artist from Finland. I was very happy with the result of a cover of “The Robots” by Kraftwerk. At the moment I am playing around with some local musicians here in Chiang Mai, but it is early days right now, so we shall see how it all pans out. Aside from collaborations, I’d like to give shout outs to the artists Reconverb and Vorderhaus. Both of them are about to release albums pretty soon and I just really love their music.
What do you think of SoundCloud as a music platform?
DUSTY: I am not a huge fan. Hence it is so hard to find music that relates to and mixes well with your own tastes and preferences. I would love if Soundcloud themselves were a bit more active creating lists and highlighting interesting new music. Another thing that annoys me is that so much on Soundcloud is about the number of plays rather than about the actual music. To my understanding; it is pretty easy to buy plays to boost the attention, but long-term that is very counter-productive for everyone involved.
I think that’s a reasonable and astute observation. Tell me how it came about that you ended up writing the song “Blackheart.” What was the inspiration for it?
DUSTY: That song is probably the darkest and most personal song I have ever done. It was written during a . time when I was at my lowest ever, and to this day, I have a hard time listening to it. My memories from the period when I wrote the song are very blurry, so I can’t recall too much about what was in my head and heart. I do remember that I was desperate and in some kind of panic mode that forced me to say and write something that was completely honest and naked. While recording the song I was not thinking at all about the sound or the vibe. In hindsight, it’s easy for me to hear that Depeche Mode and Front 242 were inspirations. (Parts of the drum beats are sampled from a 242 song called “Gripped By Fear.”
Do you have a Bandcamp, a Twitter or other use other social media platforms for this project?
DUSTY: Not really. The whole marketing side of music is a bit of a mystery to me and making music is first and foremost a private hobby. I don’t really harbor any dreams or plans about “making it.” Saying that, it always gives me a buzz when someone I don’t know at all, likes what I have done and obviously, I would not mind having a bigger audience and some professional help spreading the “gospel” so to speak.
Do you have any EPs or albums out right now that you’d like to discuss?
DUSTY: I have not really released any EPs and albums lately, but there is a lot of music in the pipeline, and some of it sounds a bit different from the dark electro-pop I have released so far. The new stuff just needs some mixing and some final touches here and there.
Are there any other new tracks coming out for Dusty Pink?
DUSTY: As said, there are a lot of songs in the pipeline. Almost too many. I hope to be able to release something just before Christmas.
… And with that the interview was over, just before we started discussing some of our personally favorite artists (off the record of course.) With a hazed vision, blurring thunderous vibrations from a killer bass line, why question the Dionysus within each and every one of us? We all know the answer. Dusty Pink brings the party and what’s not to love about a hotel with black silk sheets mixed with musical talent and a provocative imagination?
“Be forward and be yourself.” The theme here is clearer to me than what I did yesterday. Thank you Dusty for your time and for your exquisite work. Just keep doing what you do because they are high quality tracks that should be discovered asap by the whole damn world.
If you liked this article, please subscribe to Dusty Pink at the links below and if you made it through this article, then I guess I’m not doing too bad job, now am I?
-Liz Lund of Waking Dream
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