After More Than Two Decades of Music, Destructo Will Not Slow Down

The dance music pioneer talked with Popdust about his inspirations and co-headlining a show with Shaq.

"I always felt like I could have been a cop or an attorney," said the 48-year-old techno-Trap guru Gary Richards, otherwise known as Destructo.

Destructo - Dare You 2 Move (feat. Problem)

"I know that may sound kinda weird, 'cause I want people to party, but I'm pretty thorough." Destructo, the LiveStyle North America President, and one of EDM's most decorated DJs, is an astute perfectionist and says the key to success in the dance world is exactly as demanding as it sounds. "You gotta be relentless and original. We all have the same tools and everybody copies everybody," the DJ said frankly before taking the stage at Electric Zoo. "You gotta create something new that we haven't heard, and then you gotta just pound down every door."

Destructo's meteoric rise doesn't come as a shock considering the DJ's work ethic. He is the godfather of North America's EDM scene, and everyone from Deadmau5 to J.U.S.T.I.C.E. rose to fame in part thanks to Destructo's impact on dance music. "Honestly, my greatest skill is just that I've just been around for a long time," Destructo said. "If I was entering dance music now, I don't know what I'd do. A lot of people make really good electronic music now, so to be great is really tough. I would have probably become a lawyer."

The producer also recently supported DJ Diesel⁠—otherwise known as Shaquille O'Nea⁠l—at Brooklyn Mirage. They also conquered the Hollywood Avalon back in December. Needless to say, Destructo is a huge fan. "Shaq is legit," Destructo said. The duo performed at Brooklyn Mirage after Ezoo. "I saw a video of him DJing way back when he played basketball at LSU. He had the same set up that I had back then, and currently, he's playing some of the gnarliest riddim out there."

Additionally, Destructo recently released "No Retreat" and "Rubberband," and willl return to LA for his annual All My Friends festival in October. "I have a really odd process, 'cause I'm not in the studio all day, every day anymore. I've always got so much stuff goin' on, so that's why I always collab with people. "I can't just sit in a room by myself and come up with a masterpiece, so my collaborators really help me bring that extra level to whatever it is I'm working on."

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Happy Birthday, Elliott Smith: The Indie Rock Legend's 10 Best Songs

The singer-songwriter would have been 51 today.

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Today, August 6, 2020, Elliott Smith would have turned 51 years old.

Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised in north Texas, and spent a good portion of his life in Portland, Oregon before settling in Los Angeles. Before his sudden and mysterious death in 2003, the prolific singer-songwriter released five studio albums of poignant, rootsy indie rock, with his sixth studio album and a compilation of rarities being released posthumously. He became known for his dismal lyrics—often referencing his mental health and substance abuse habits—and his distinctively whispery vocals, which he often double-tracked to create an eerie, textured ambiance.

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Relentless Beats

The career of 27-year-old, Grammy-nominated producer Alesso has been on a slow-burn since the beginning.

His self-titled 2010 EP was an unexpected gem of a debut and led to a collaboration offer from Swedish House Mafia's Sebastian Ingrosso. The then-18-year-old ended up recording a single for SHM's final album Until Now, kickstarting a fruitful career in electronic music. Alesso, real name Alessandro Linbald, has now become a household name in the EDM community, although Linbald himself has always been a soft-spoken introvert. When he was asked to say why he's a DJ on Dillion Frances' One Deeper Talks, Alesso said: "I just make music because it's my passion."

Alesso is strikingly composed and maintains a placid, serene tone when he speaks, even when discussing his accomplishments. His sound has been a staple of modern EDM for years, and through his success, he's inspired countless other DJ's to explore the progressive house landscape. "I've been so bad lately checking in on young producers," Alesso admitted to Popdust before his set at Ultra Music Festival. "I've just been so focused on me and my own stuff." His dedicated focus on himself comes as a surprise considering his extensive work with other pop stars. From Florida Georgia Line to Tove Lo and Ryan Tedder, Alesso has always possessed an uncanny ability to craft emotional music. His latest single, "REMEDY," is a progressive house song with a tinge of melancholy and fits perfectly into Alesso's discography of breezy summer anthems. "It seems like every door was closing on me, and that you were so far out of reach," sings Conor Maynard on the track. "I'm always trying to put a lot of emotion into my music," the DJ said. "When it comes to music I always look and listen, and I think creating new moments in your life and work is so important."

As time has gone on, the Stockholm producer has admitted his lifestyle has gotten incredibly reclusive, and "REMEDY" directly conveys this sense of loneliness. "I think this is all about creating memories," Alesso said, "and I love what I do for a living, but sometimes I kinda wish I had more time off." Even so, Alesso shows no signs of slowing down. He said he's constantly experimenting and that he's always looking for new ways to push himself. "I'm always trying to dabble in new software and see how I can create new sounds." As Alesso got ready to take the stage, we asked him what to expect from his set. "A big melodic boom," he said confidently. As you can see from his live stream, that's exactly what the Ultra community got.

Mackenzie Cummings-Grady is a creative writer who resides in the Brooklyn area. Mackenzie's work has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, Billboard, and Metropolis Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @mjcummingsgrady.

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