Mega-Interview: GDLK – Colorado’s Sentient Dubstep Producer

As Devon grew up in Denver, it was only a matter of time before he was exposed to some type
of electronic music. When Devon discovered The Glitch Mob from his French co-worker several
years ago, his musical taste would change greatly. Already involved in music at a young age,
Devon has continued to expand his creative boundaries by doing just that, creating.
Please welcome GDLK to the storm!

Q1: Having the name GDLK (“god-like“), I’m immediately drawn to your heavenly influence with correlations to extra terrestrial beings. GDLK seems to describe a way of life.  Does this name fashion your beliefs or your interests? What are your beliefs about God and aliens?

A1: Man, first off let me say, that was a spot-on interpretation! To answer your question, yes it does reflect my own beliefs in religion in that I personally think everyone is godlike, we are all the creators of our own reality, and that in and of itself is to be godly. As far as aliens, I am pretty open about that and I have a few theories myself but the short answer is I am a believer.

Q2: You studied music early on and also have knowledge of sound and how it works. What
is the headiest response you can give about what intrigues you most about sound
waves?

A2: The most intriguing thing to me about sound waves is the fact that the universe, our reality, and
everything that is in some way shape, or form is just more and more energy. Music, our
consciousness, the light that allows us to see are ALL just forms of energy which means our
entire reality is a symphony and resonates in ways that we are humans can’t fathom. Being able
to hear and contribute to that symphony is what I believe is going to be our awakening as a
species.

Q3: Do you hate country music?

A3: This one legitimately made me laugh when I was reading these questions. Real talk, I don’t seek out the country on the regular but it’s not because I don’t enjoy it. There are just some overly-country songs with the slide guitar and cheesy violin that are just too twangy for me. But I don’t hate country music.

Q4: Denver is absolutely an EDM hub. Many artists are very loving and supportive of fellow producers and DJs.  Do you ever feel like there is contention or overzealous competition among the scene?  How does one compete respectively in the EDM scene or is it a competition at all? 

A4: Oh man, that’s such a touchy subject. It’s hard because there is a weird balance of ego and integrity in the scene and it’s apparent in every promoter, DJ, club owner in the scene. You have you support their brand and community, which makes 1000% sense but if you are a creator like myself who focuses on their own art, then you are looked at like the outcast and the asshole because we don’t make an appearance every week and every show, and yes that is a bit of a hyperbole but there is truth in that statement.  To me, I think that the most competitive thing you can do in this scene is to make something unique and be as supportive of your peers as possible because there are few people in the scene doing so.

Q5: In your general opinion, do relationships help or hinder producers and DJs?

A5: Aww, the relationship question, the Pandora’s Box of creativity. I think that there is definitely something to be said from a positive companion for creators, they can be your muse and enable creators more than isolation ever could. BUT, on that same note, not everyone is meant to be in a relationship with a creator because the reality is, they are the side piece (or they feel like they are) to the creation process. Some people can’t handle it and others can, if you are lucky enough to have a solid balance in life then those are the happiest and most imaginative creators in the universe.

Q6: What is the single most important action fans can take to help you reach your music goals?  

A6: For my fans, the single most important thing they can do is interact with me and the new projects. Post about them, share them, whether you like them or not tell me in the comments or tag me in your stories. Interacting with the new posts, new videos, new online store, and everything is going to help get us our there and in front of more eyes. You guys don’t even have to spend money to help support artists like myself, just engage with them/us.

Q7: Having vocals and including featured artists really makes your dubstep stand out. Can you walk us through some of your vocal picking and producing?

A7: It’s a little different each time but the vocal projects usually start one of two ways, either I have an idea that I know my raspy voice can’t accomplish so I find vocalists that fit the concept and brainstorm with them to get the final product nailed down. Other times, I have a track that needs vocals but I can’t really hear a particular melody on them so we “shop” it out, send it to a bunch of vocalists or look for acapellas from other projects to get the right fit. Those projects usually take a bit more time but they are always so satisfying to finish. That moment when you first hear the vocals on the project and it fits and it all comes together is just, unreal.

Q8: How do you moderate your friend group as you continue to grow as an artist? Did you ever experience people who didn’t support you before who then wanted the homie hookup on your shows?

A8: Honestly it kind of moderates itself. The real homies stay around, even if they aren’t texting on a regular, you know they are the ones that I can reach out to on a whim and nothing has changed even if it’s been years since we’ve talked in person. There have definitely been a few here and there that show up out of nowhere and clearly are trying to get something out of me but they don’t stick around long. 

Q9: Do you believe in astrology and what is your sign if you do?  If you do, is there something about your sign that makes you more inclined to your music style? Fashion style?

A9: I have a weird relationship with astrology because growing up I was always intrigued by the ideas and concepts but nothing ever really clicked and resonated with me. The stars and universe as a whole fascinate me and I want to see the patterns but for some reason, astrology never quite clicked for me. I do know that I’m an Aries and that most of my long term relationships were on the other side of the calendar so I think it does play into my life, I just don’t understand it yet.

Q10: Could you still support a music artist even if they are not a good person?

A10: My immediate gut response is a solid no, but because I’m typing this out my mind goes to the human side of being a creator. We all go through some shit and people can change and people can improve, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that person is redeemed or that they deserve future support. I guess it just depends but yeah, i would probably say I wouldn’t support an artist if they are not a good person.

Q11: What has been the most motivating event in your life that continues you to stay in music? 

A11: That’s a tough one because over the years my motivations to stay in music have changed, well the surface level reason did. You know at first I got into music because it was in my family and it was everywhere in my life, then when life changed it became a way to connect with friends and build a community, but overall the one constant has been the need to communicate. I have never been eloquent or well-spoken but I could always convey my ideas musically, and that’s all I ever wanted was to be understood.  

Q12: What are your favorite subjects you study on your own? Do you have any secret scientific theories?

A12: I love learning a bit of everything! Most of the most intriguing to me are the more meta subjects, psychology, sociology, marketing are pretty regular for me lately. It’s fascinating to me how all of that molds and mesh together in the most ordinary places. For example, going to the grocery store is a minefield of psychological and sociological conditioning if you understand the tactics that big-market uses relentlessly. As for scientific theories, we could have a full conversation on that alone! Between the different ideas on reality, space and time, music/energy relativity, harmonics, dreams. There is a list!

Q13: What was your first Red Rocks show?

A13: Oddly enough, this is my shortest answer and it’s that I don’t remember. I know the first significant show I went to was with my partner at the time, she took me to Diplo and Dillon Francis at Red Rocks and the entire show just blew me away. Completely mind-blowing but I know it wasn’t my first show just one of the most significant.

Q14: How would you defend dubstep if someone says its not music?

A14: You know I try to make metaphors or change the perspective so someone can understand concepts, explaining dubstep would be no different for me. I would try and compare dubstep to music like animation is to movies. Yeah, it can be mostly made on a computer and step by step but that doesn’t discount that media from telling a story any differently than a director with a camera.

Q15: Is there anything that annoys you about EDM culture?

A15: I think there are a lot of talks and a lot of egos but there are very few people who do/act on what they like to preach. People love to say it’s about community and supporting one another but if you aren’t part of the group suddenly you don’t get that same support and love. It’s not everywhere but enough of us in the scene have experienced it to know that is a systematic issue that we need to mend before our community can ever grow.

Q16: How do you describe your experience with partying and raving?

A16: I’ve had a split relationship with partying and raving. In college, I definitely had a dark couple of years of doing drugs and partying and basically not remembering any of it. But that helped shaped me and helped give me an understanding of the scene from the bottom up. I still party and I enjoy the occasional ‘shroom’ trip but that’s about it, I take too long to recover any more so I just focus on my creations and party when the occasion arises.

Q17: Anything else you would like to share about yourself?

A17: I have a lot of projects in the works that I am excited to finally start publicizing and sharing. The catalyst project is live now and 2 of the 9 music videos are on YouTube now, maybe more by the time this interview comes out. Plus launching an apparel/merchandise company named Gnarly Garb Apparel, we are staying busy at the GDLK house. Shout out to Lions Den Mixing and Mastering!

Follow GDLK

Written by: Kaycee McNinch

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