KOLIDESCOPES are Australia’s Johnny Castro and the UK’s Dan Dare. Released last year, their single ‘All My Love’ proved an international hit, sitting pretty in the top 10 Upfront Club Charts, peaking at #6. Before forming KOLIDESCOPES with Dan, Johnny was one half of electro pop duo Parachute Youth whose platinum-selling ‘Can’t Get Better Than This’ reached the #1 spot in nine countries worldwide. Dan’s entry into the industry was as a member of grime’s Gritty Committee before adopting the SLANG moniker under which he produced ‘Bright Lights’, a collab between Wiley, Giggs and Juelz Santana. More recently under the name Dan Dare, he’s produced hits for the likes of Charli XCX, Marina & The Diamonds and WSTRN.
Their first release of 2019 is Want It: a melodic, intricately textured, synth-led anthem that’s tailor-made for the pool parties of Miami and summer season to follow. Want It is the first in a series of singles from KOLIDESCOPES, with further releases planned throughout 2019…
Welcome to DMC guys… where in the world are you today?
(Johnny) Hey there, I’m in Australia right now and Dan is freezing over in the UK.
For those you aren’t aware of KOLIDESCOPES, can you tell us what you’re all about?
(Johnny) KOLIDESCOPES is a duo of two rather interesting personalities that share the same love for music. Dan and I met 5 years ago when our publishers put us in a session together, the rest is history. We’ve been collaborating since!
You both had successful careers as individuals before forming KOLIDESCOPES, in quite different styles of music… what made you want to do something different?
(Johnny) I guess doing a project with someone you get along with so well is a different kind of reward. When you get to share the experience with someone along the way you can bounce off each other and enjoy it together as a team. The sound of KOLIDESCOPES is purely experimental and fun, we want to try something different and be ourselves through our music.
Johnny – you previously recorded as Parachute Youth… can you tell us about some of the highlights of that project?
(Johnny) I’d have to say the tours and having the opportunity to see the world doing something I love. Most notable would be doing the festivals like Leeds and Reading, I Love Techno and touring with Rudimental…
And Dan, you’ve produced records for some huge artists, Charli XCX etc. are there any records you’ve worked on that you’re particularly proud of?
(Dan) I’ve worked some big artists on songs that never saw the light of day as a young man when I didn’t really know about real production as I was a beat maker so I kick myself for those opportunities but i learned a lot from them. I’m proud of everything I’ve done solo but also proud & excited of the new stuff me and Johnny have worked on. We’re sitting on what I believe are great records.
The records you’ve releases so far have all been very melodic, positive records – was that something you specifically set out to do as a duo?
(Johnny) Yep, we love feel good music. We want people to smile and have fun as much as we do when they listen to our music!
What do you feel you each bring to the music of KOLIDESCOPES
(Dan) Johnny brings a lot of the chords and initial ideas, I usually start with some kind of percussion or beat to get the tempo and groove going. Johnny jumps on the keys then we’re away. Ideas flow fairly quickly. We usually know in the first 10 mins whether we like it. I’m mainly caging Johnny because he’s a wild animal that just needs reigning in sometimes hahaha!
Tell us about your latest release Want It… is there any specific inspiration or story behind it?
(Johnny) ‘Want It’ was actually one of the first songs we wrote so it kind of represents when we first met, there have been quite a few variations in the last 5 years haha but we got there in the end and happy with how it turned out!
You both live on opposite sides of the world… how does that affect your working relationship? Do you think your output would be different if you were actually in the studio together?
(Johnny) Yep it definitely can get hard not being in the same room. Just recently we met halfway in Dubai and literally put a studio together in a hotel suite for 10 days. Also I’m leaving my sunny beaches to meet Dan in the UK in 2 weeks. Yep…dedication mate.
As artists who’ve been working in the industry for some time, how do you think the dance music world is at the moment? Is it in good health? What do you see as some of the positive and negatives, in the UK and Australia respectively?
(Johnny) I mean music is an ever changing beast, streaming has totally taken over everything so you gotta evolve or become extinct really. I’m from the pirate radio scene we’re we used to jack the air waves and transmit illegally. I’m not even sure the kids of today know what a FM dial is! Haha.
(Dan) Dance music is pop music so that’s great but there’s a lot of manufactured stuff that is mediocre they get a big artist to sing the song then it’s determined a hit because they have 20 million followers. The labels and producers are playing the game well but I think it makes the dance world over saturated and no quality control really.
What else do you have coming over in the next few months?
(Johnny) We have some amazing music coming up and so much ready to go, can’t wait to share it!
And finally, Want It aside, what’s one record we should really be listening to right now?
(Johnny) Definitely have a listen to D’Angelo – Betray My Heart (Dino Soccio Edit)
KOLIDESCOPES – Want It is out now on Humble Angel Dance