With our Q&A, we focus on Comfort Zone family members; artists which are firm fixtures for both our A.M. Sessions and Morning Mass shows. Each of these artists represent a distinct sound within electronic music and have built a devout following amongst The Comfort Zone faithful. These artists form the lifeblood of our events.
Jan 11 2021
How were you first inspired to DJ and/or make music?
BE: My grandma had some savings bonds she set aside for my brother and I and decided to cash them in for our choice in musical instruments. I chose a drum set and played in a punk band that didn't do much outside of my buddy's basement for a couple years and wrote music I don't think anyone ever heard. DJing came from attending a music festival that got cancelled maybe 7 years ago due to rain. One of the people I had met the first day of the festival was a DJ and was kind enough to give me a crash course on DJing with Serato. When we had nothing to do after day 2 of the festival was cancelled he let me DJ his music to the house party we went to. Thanks Chad Lock!
DUSK: I've always been intrigued by electronic music since the first time I heard it. I think it really hit home for me when i realized how achievable it was to get started. I had a pirate version of FL Studio when I was about 12 years old…I think I tried it for like a week and gave up like most people do. It wasn't till after high school where I started DJing and understood the music a little further. At that point I knew I needed to give it another try!
How did you first get involved with The Comfort Zone?
BE: The way a lot of Torontonians do...by stumbling in late in the night/early in the morning and not having a clue what I was about to experience for the first time. On a professional level I've informally promoted a handful of events at CZ for Jungle Funk Recordings. Once this nightmare is over I hope to grace the decks there!
DUSK: My older sister actually worked at The Comfort Zone when I was a kid. I'd always see her the next day after a shift and she would show me new cool music from the night. We would then download it on Limewire and spend the next few days deleting viruses.
What's your favourite aspect of The Comfort Zone?
BE: Toronto has a lot of different places to go for a night out which spreads out all the industry people between venues. It's a cool way for everyone to meet at the end of the night and listen to the music we love. The vibe at CZ is unparalleled.
DUSK: I think my favourite part about Zone is no one there to judge you. When you go to Zone you know people are there for the right reasons. Another great part about zone is it gives people that live outside the city a destination and safe place to hang out and dance while they wait for the morning train home.
How would you define your sound?
BE: HOUSE! I experiment with deep, soulful, jackin' and garage house mostly. I get a lot of use from classic M1 and 909 samples giving it that 90's feel.
DUSK: I think my sound really influenced the 90s and a bit of 2012 - 2016. I love swingy vintage drums, chords, and warm pads. Another thing I use a lot is breaks. I know club nights usually consist of consistent energy but there's nothing better than a nice break that really hits you in the feels in the middle of it.
Which DJs and/or producers have influenced you?
BE: I take a lot of influence from the high volume producers in the underground especially those who release on similar labels to me. Some of my influences are Demarkus Lewis, Austin's Groove, Hatiras, Corrigan and my frequent collaborator Jacques Waty. As far as DJ's that amaze me I would have to say Kerri Chandler, Mall Grab, and Deko-ze have shown me what to do with a dance floor.
DUSK: I have new influences every week and I'm always looking for new ones. I find it keeps my ideas fresh and helps me to stay creative Although i can't really answer this question without mentioning Low Steppa. When I first got into DJing and production, his sound really spoke to me. His sound has changed a lot over the years but I think I'd still say he's my favourite artist.
What's the biggest event you've ever played?
BE: I've had the chance to play Coda (TO) a handful of times with Jungle Funk Recordings (big up to Jerome Robins) but nothing compares to the first time. It felt like I had everyone I knew on the guest list there to support me so no matter what that night will always be really special to me.
DUSK: The biggest show I've ever played was definitely the Jungle Funk Christmas party at Coda however there are some smaller shows that I've played that were absolutely amazing and really stand out to me. Number one being my first Night Shift at Eden hall and number two being The Last Carol event that Brock, myself and a few Durham locals put on a few years back when house music had a second home in Durham.
What's the highlight of your music career to date?
BE: Last year I was able to land a few records on Spacedisco Records which is headed by Juno winning Toronto producer Hatiras. I was able to land one of those records ("Me Gusta" w/ Jacques Waty) on the Traxsource Top 10 and it was even supported by Todd Edwards on Rinse FM!
DUSK: As i mentioned earlier that Low Steppa has been a huge influence. I think releasing on his imprint “Simma Black” has by far been my biggest accomplishment. That's been my day one goal and to achieve that feels like if I died tomorrow I could rest easy. I also managed to squeeze into the Traxsource top 100 house artist of 2020! I worked really hard for that and can't thank everyone enough for the support! I'd also like to mention that the amount of new friends I've made through music has been absolutely crazy and possibly the biggest highlight of them all!
What do you think the electronic music scene could do with or without right now to help push it forward?
BE: I think the scene could deal with a bit less of people trend chasing. Not that I'm not guilty of it to some degree but there's always some new pocket of sound that appears and is here today and gone tomorrow.
DUSK: At the moment i think the scene just needs lots of love and support right now with the pandemic. There are a lot of artists that don't have another job or skill to fall back on and have dedicated their whole lives to music. It's a shame to see the people that helped bring it to where it is struggling.
What's your strangest experience while DJing?
BE: I was DJing this dive bar that I won't name when in the middle of the set the lights went on, the sound got killed, and all you see is this huge bouncer sprinting with a patron on his shoulder who was throwing up everywhere. The bouncer was kicking people out of the way (literally) and sprinting for the door. It ended up being a drug overdose and the end of the night. The guy was fine though!
DUSK: My first house party I ever DJ'd at a buddy of mine spilled his bong water on my controller.
Which tracks never leave your record box?
Low Steppa - Dusty Organ
Kristine Blonde - Love Shy (Tuff Jam Rework)
Demuir - Phillipine Sunrise
Sampladelic - I Am Following
Marc Cotterell - Count On Me (Alfred Diaz Remix)
Greco & Madvillains - Lil Bit
Pasha Nofrost - Elevate Me
Munky Fike - Get Ya Self
Duskope & Brock Edwards - Got You Now
Duskope - Everyday
Alex Agore - Digital Enigma
Scott Diaz - Deep Inside (Mad Villains Remix)
Hatiras - Say It Again
Kerri Chandler - Powder (Jimpter Remix)
Andy Lee - The Groove (Truth Be Told Remix)
86Deep - Dreams (Low Steppa Remix)
Redlight - 9TS (Louie Anderson Warehouse Mix
What's next for you in the near future?
BE: I'm gonna be pushing a lot more music through my own imprint Thursday Trax. We are moving to weekly releases 2nd quarter of 2021. That and you will likely see me releasing a lot more in the same places (Pogo House, Spacedisco, BADLQQK, Love Amplified).
DUSK: I’m also going to be pushing my Kollusion Imprint a lot this year. Last year 90 percent of my tracks were solo but this year is looking like the year for collaborations. There are some really awesome ones I can't say too much about but trust me they are big!
What are your hidden talents that most people don't know about?
BE: I'm not sure you would call it a talent but I at times feel like an executive producer connecting businesses and labels with talent even if it has no benefit to me. I've been responsible for some really cool pairings in the garage house scene. I like to see the people around me doing good.
DUSK: Before music I put all my energy into skateboarding and had some wicked accomplishments there too. I've won some contests and did a lot of video work when I was a kid.
What will you do after answering these questions?
BE: Put the final touches on a Demarkus Lewis remix I'm working on. Vinyl heads keep your eyes peeled!
DUSK: Definitely playing some Call Of Duty and going to bed!