Dowden is both an awesome, friendly, generous human + an amazing and prolific producer and remixer. I am honoured to welcome him as the third member of the Deep Down roster.
I recently caught up with him. Here is our conversation.
DD: Dowden, it is a true pleasure to welcome you to our label. For those that don’t know you, could you give us a brief intro?
Dowden: Thanks for having me! I’m Dowden. I’m a Canadian Progressive House producer. I have released music on labels such as Mango Alley, Steyoyoke, Modern Agenda, and a lot more. My style is somewhat diverse so I tend to sign to a lot of different labels with different overall styles. I also run a YouTube channel teaching music production.
DD: Many producers started out in trance before making the switch to progressive. Alex O’Rion stands out as one such name. Could you tell us about your switch? Do you bring any trance elements into your progressive tunes today?
Dowden: For sure! I actually produced Dubstep/Bass music when I first started. Slowly I made the transition into Techno and slightly into Trance, and then slowly started developing my sound as I discovered more deep music.
Trance is a huge root of melody and sounds for a ton of music these days, but I really didn’t listen to trance much, or produce it. I really only listened to the heavy hitters (Above & Beyond, Armin, Schulz, etc). I was much more into Electro House/Progressive House to be honest! Prydz, Hardwell, Avicii, Alesso, etc.
DD: I recently picked up the first remix you did under the Dowden name (Charlotte). Even though the track is several years old it had percussion elements that immediately brought to mind your current tracks. Would you say you have a signature sound? If so, how would you describe it?
Dowden:That remix was special for me because it was one of the only tracks where I felt like my music was finally taking shape into what I wanted it to be.
I absolutely love the breakdown in that track! Honestly, I’m always trying to refine it into something better, cleaner, more fluent – but it seems to always come out a bit more aggressive and techier than I initially planned.
I’ve learned to accept that and enjoy it rather than fight it. My style comes naturally to me, whether I like it or not, so it’s this back and forth of wanting my style to be a certain way, and then it coming out a different way that I also enjoy.
Essentially, I’d describe my sound as Deep and Melodic (sometimes floaty) Progressive House, with a drop of Deep Tech and some extra energy.
My style comes naturally to me, whether I like it or not
DD: You seem to be one of the more in-demand remixers doing regular remix duty on some of the bigger names, including Mango Alley and others. What is the secret to being a great remixer?
Dowden: Honestly, I loooove resampling stuff. Taking the original artist’s track and messing around with the stems in a way that is unique. Pitching, chopping, stretching, and more.
Just taking pieces of the original and changing it in a way creates something I would personally not think of. It makes the experience really fun for me, and it is great experimentation.
I guess the important bit is knowing when your experimentation works and sounds good in the track! Treat every remix like your own original track – treat it well. Give yourself a bit of pressure to make sure it’s just as good as a 100% original. It is just as important as originals if done properly!
Treat every remix like your own original track
DD: You recently launched Dowden Production Academy, a set of online courses to help educate music producers. Could you tell us about your goals and vision for the academy?
Dowden: I really enjoy teaching people, and I want others to experience the joy of creating music. My goal is to keep growing the community and my channel, especially. A lot of great feedback and appreciation from artists keeps me motivated to continue teaching and inspiring others.
DD: You live a nomadic lifestyle spending long periods on the road checking out different countries. What is that experience like? Where are you off to next?
Dowden: The experience is great! It’s a lot of hard work traveling and working, especially bringing your gear everywhere to do video coaching and record content, but it is so worth it.
My fiancé does out all the booking and is so great at getting us where we need to go, so it really is a treat for me as I get to experience the best parts of travel with her by my side. I’m not sure many touring DJs are lucky enough to have their life partner traveling with them.
We just got back from a gig in Mexico, and in two weeks we head to Ibiza to finalize wedding details. Back to Toronto, back to Ibiza, then Greece, then Berlin! Busy year ahead!
DD: Congrats on getting engaged! Could you tell us about the tracks that we are releasing, Deacon and Rain Dance? What was the idea or inspiration behind them?
Dowden: The inspiration for Deacon was after a backwoods camping trip I had with my closest friends. We had to do many portages (traversing land whilst carrying a canoe) and we camped on the lake named ‘Deacon lake’. I was so inspired after the trip I wrote Deacon, and Rain Dance. Rain dance was named after the rain fall we had on the trip!
DD: What can your fans expect from you in 2022?
Dowden: Some Originals! I’ve been doing so many remixes this past year that I’m really excited to release quite a few original EPs and singles on some really great labels!
Thanks for having me!
The Deacon EP by Dowden is available now on Beatport!