Touring the country as a rising producer with great cred at the tender age of 23 is a pretty unique experience, but Dallas Koehlke is a one of a kind guy. While he may be a fabulous musical talent on both the sax and piano, Dallas really stands out with his singular abilities as musical talent with computer software and turntables.
On stage he’s carved out a space as DallasK, an Electronic Dance Music producer and DJ who has been creating music since as early as 15.
Last Saturday DOWNTOWN Magazine had the ear-opening opportunity to attend DallasK’s performance at the Webster Hall’s weekly Brite Nites event. Manning the turntables, Dallas delivered a high energy experience complete with deep booming synths, dancing, and blissful adoration of an audience entranced by all things electro and big room house.
The next day we spoke to Dallas on about his experience at Webster Hall and in Lower Manhattan.
DOWNTOWN: Tell us what you thought of Webster Hall. This wasn’t your first rodeo at this venue.
Dallas: Yeah the first big show I ever played was at Webster Hall, actually. I opened up for Wolfgang Gartner, a really popular artist. I’ve played there a few times since, and it’s always been one of my favorite places to play in the entire country. The team there is really amazing. They’re super supportive of me and my music; I’m looking to continue to do great stuff with them.
DOWNTOWN: Can you tell a difference in vibe in a crowd when you go on tour to different cities? What’s the atmosphere like in New York when you’re up on stage?
Dallas: Yeah you definitely can notice the vibe from the Crowd. Downtown New York’s is pretty unique. It can sometimes vary from a huge festival feel, to a more local club-like experience. Webster Hall can be different on any given night, which is great for a DJ. Part of being a DJ means staying on your toes and feeling the crowd’s vibe that night and catering to it.
DOWNTOWN: You live in LA, where do you like to go and what’s the experience on the West Coast?
Dallas: There’s such a love and passion for the music over there it’s crazy. Avalon Hollywood is my favorite place to go. It’s like the Webster Hall of LA.
DOWNTOWN: So you performed last night before another producer Henry Fong whom you created a track with. How do you decide who gets to play your track that night? Is there a secret DJ rock paper scissors that gets played to determine who gets to drop the track?
Dallas: (Laughs) Henry is actually one of my best friends. We talk every day. We’re musical confidants in some ways. He knows my musical preferences on stage, and I know his. So it just kind of worked out well that our sets didn’t overlap. Funny enough, we both ended up creating and playing the exact edit of a Diplo song last night. I couldn’t recall if I had sent it to him or not.
DOWNTOWN: During your set at Webster Hall you dropped your new unreleased track titled “Area 51”. You mentioned you collaborated with Hardwell, an established and well known Electronic Dance Music producer. The song made the crowd go utterly nuts. Tell us a bit about your experience creating it.
Dallas: It’s actually something we did completely over the internet, since we’re both touring at the moment.
DOWNTOWN: No way. You can create music like that?
Dallas: Yeah, his schedule is pretty hectic. He’s been flying all over the world on tour. We knew one another from the last single I did, “Burn”, which was released under his label. One night he reached out to me in LA and asked if I wanted to jump on stage when he played the track. I agreed to, and was up there with him in front of about 10,000 people. Afterward we chatted and devised a strategy of how we were going to approach the upcoming collaboration. He’d send me some ideas over the internet and I’d send him some, until it was all mashed together and completed.
DOWNTOWN: What do you think about Downtown Manhattan?
Dallas: I love it. Every time I’ve come to New York I always want more time here. I’ll sometimes end up changing my flight just to stay longer. I usually end up staying in the Lower East Side, at SIXTY in SOHO. It’s conveniently next to Thompson street which is one of my favorites.
DOWNTOWN: Where does a DJ go after a show here in the city that never sleeps?
Dallas: I usually defer that decision to whomever I’m hanging out with. Sometimes we’ll hit up some great places in Meatpacking district or Verboten and Output over in Brooklyn.
DOWNTOWN: Anything special you have coming up in the near future for your music?
Dallas: Yeah I’ve got a new single that’s likely coming out in January on Tiesto’s label. The track ended up in his hands and he really liked it.