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A Conversation with Dalek One

A Conversation with Dalek One

Patrik Essy

January 25th, 2021

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Being listened to in over 82 countries, having over 30k listeners, and over 130k streams, there is someone who has been making an insane impact in dubstep. EDM artist, Dalek One, has been one to watch out for. We recently had the chance to have a conversation with Tanner Pennington (Dalek One), about many things. We covered a range of topics in this interview that made it very interesting, read everything that was talked about below. Fun fact about Dalek one, his first time ever time touching a CDJ was at a beat battle, he was actually being scalped by his current manager that night!

Work Life and Hobbies

From free food to having a flexible schedule, Dalek One tells us about his regular day to day job. Being a kitchen manager at Chipotle for about three months now has allowed him the freedom he needs to be able to perform shows. He also really enjoys cooking. “I’ve been a chef basically my entire adult life. It gives me the freedom to be able to have time off for shows and I just enjoy cooking.” Dalek One tells us. We then follow up with asking if that is a nice creative outlet for him, he responds “Oh yeah, fore sure! I like getting fancy with stuff. Plating all nice and garnishing, it’s definitely another good creative outlet to have.”

As the conversation continues on we ask Dalek One about his other hobbies. “I’ve been skateboarding since I was 5 years old, so I guess that’s one of my only other hobbies. I’ve been snowboarding once or twice but that’s about it. I’m more of a fan of concrete rather than cold snow.” The conversation continues on as we ask Dalek One about the skateboarding scene in Minnesota. There is talk about how a lot of the skateparks are pretty “meh” compared to some of the Colorado spots. “Colorado has proper skatepark builder company which they don’t really have in Minnesota, they do have a couple indoor skateboarding spots here that are a good option for the winter time” he tells us.

Music Scene in Minnesota

Conversations progress on to the music scene in the midwest. Next we ask how the music scene, specifically EDM scene is where he lives. “You know there definitely is a scene. SkyWay, they are one of the main people in terms of the EDM scene right now. You also have First Avenue who does electronic shows sometimes. In terms of deeper dubstep there really isn’t really much of a scene for it here anymore. There used to be this promotional company called subsequential, they actually brought me out to Minnesota for my first out of state show. The went under within the last year or two, so there really isn’t too much of a deeper dubstep scene here. It’s now mostly a lot of riddim, west coast bass music, and other music alike that gets booked a lot out here.” he says.

As we’ve heard before of some artists having to manage and run their entire shows, our next question is catered towards exactly that. We ask if artists are the ones who are actually throwing shows or if they are only flying in to play in his state. “The people who were running subsequential are all really good music producers and DJ’s. It seems like the deeper scene was being run by the artists themselves. They wanted to establish something out here in Minnesota and take it into their own hands. They were doing very well with it until the owner had a kid and had to end it. They threw some of the best shows out here fore sure. Hosting artists such as GOTH-TRAD, D Double E, Ternion Sound, Abstract, etc.”

Working with DDD and Upcoming Projects

Seeing that Dalek One recently released a track on Truth’s Deep Dark and Dangerous, we had to ask about it. “It was part of their subscriber exclusive on Bandcamp. If you subscribe you get all these exclusive tracks and all these other special things. It’s a very cool thing there is always something to be on the lookout for. In other terms of things to lookout for, I have three EPs planned to release this year, two of which will be on vinyl. Nothing really else planned for this year, I don’t want to put out too much music. I want to put out music that I feel is the best of my potential. In the past couple years i’ve kinda been cranking out music and haven’t really focused on the overall quality aspect. Even though my music does do pretty good and does sound good quality wise, there can always be improvements. I listen to all of my friends music, who are really good producers, which pushes me to want to make more. It makes me hold myself to a higher standard for what I put out. I’ll be listening to some of their stuff and i’m thinking if they can do this why cant I?”

Plans for 2021, Set Design, and Livestreams

Dalek One may have some shows booked for 2021 through his MGMT. He told us that he wants to make sure shows are socially distanced and safe. “I want to get vaccinated to feel somewhat safe about traveling and playing these shows,” Dalek One says. He reminisces on a time of playing a show back in August at Denver’s own Black Box, having to take a full flight out to Colorado from Minnesota. “It’s a little worrying but I would really like to play some shows again”.

Dalek One played two sold out shows at the Black Box when he was here in August. The word “needed” was used when asked how it felt to stand behind a sound system such as the Black Box’s. We then talked about getting ready for a set, do you change your sets depending on where you play we asked? “I like to test as much stuff as possible. I haven’t really played too many big festival crowds so when I do actually get into it it’s normal routine and I have a lot more fun with it. A lot of the time I tend to free form a set, I have the first few tunes set on there and I kinda go from there. I like to read the room to see what people are feeling, it’s usually either really deep stuff or more hype deep stuff.”

We then go in to talk about the livestreams that have been performed by Dalek One in 2020. We also get a bit of insight on how him and his girlfriend met. “I think it was 15 livestreams. My girlfriend and I, DRTY HBTZ, she’s actually from Colorado as well. We had the opportunity to play quite a bit livestreams. The Couch Fam people threw a lot of shows. I played Couch Fest One, she played Couch Fest Two, and then we did a back to back on New Years Eve. That was a good time. It was even more fun to do it with my favorite person.” Dalek One says. The conversation continues as we ask about how Dalek One and DRTY HBTZ met. They met at the Black Box in Denver and both love dubstep. “She helps me out and I help her out, it’s a nice dynamic. We’ve actually made quite a bit of music when we first started dating, we haven’t gotten too many chances to collab in the past year or so. She is working on getting up her reputar and sound and music. We have had a few tunes in the works from then but haven’t been able to finish them. I would like to see her get out on her own, but I know she will. Hopefully play shows with her, watch her do shows, do shows out of state. Hopefully we get back to this by the end of the year.”

Travel and Tour

As artists go show to show the journey in-between can be tough. We asked how much Dalek One was traveling around before Covid. “Quite a bit actually, about two to three shows a month. I did enjoy that. But, traveling does take a big toll on you. As much fun as it is getting to travel and getting to play music to people on dank sound systems, quarantine was kind of a blessing in disguise in terms of getting to refresh. I was able to think of what was in importance and what wasn’t. I was able to get back into strictly making music. Like we were talking about with traveling a lot, I would make a new first drop for the show I was playing that weekend but that was about it for producing on the road. It was nice getting back to taking my time and all that fun stuff.”

Diving a bit deeper into this we asked how producing was on the road. He tells us about how his laptop at the time was a “gigantic brick”. Dalek one dosent produce any music on the road, he is there to play some tunes and have a great time. One of our final questions to Dalek one was do you like producing or mixing more?

“That’s honeslty a hard one. Each one is so much fun on their own. Producing gives me more of a sense of, wow, I put in the work to make this song. It’s like DJ’ing you need to make sure you know your music. It shouldn’t be too hard. I get a more satisfaction and hard work feeling when producing, Dalek One says. It gives you that opportunity to shine through.”

Conclusion

Dalek one has an insane amount of things in the works. He hints at a lot of things for the fans to watch out for and also gives us a few dates. The conversation continued on how Dalek One learned to beat match using vinyls at his friends to how he got into DJ’ing. We’re told to be on the lookout for a merchandise drop in Summer/Fall of 2021. This may include hats and t-shirts! Also be on the lookout for the upcoming EP drops and vinyl drops, you will not want to miss them.

Photos From Dalek One

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