10 Questions With… Dulha

10 Questions With… A series that delves into fresh new releases from some of our favourite artists. With a focus on our Melodic Distraction hosts and wider community, this lil natter gives us an insight into their musical escapades when they’re in their studio, not ours. 

This week, we chat with Manchester-based producer Dulha ahead of his upcoming release ‘WAT WER U FINKIN?’ on Manchester-based event brand and now label, Lucid Juice. The powerful 3 tracker is the label’s debut release, pushing the boundaries between grime and breakbeat, plus a punchy 160 rave track that is perfect for the dance floor. Dulha’s sound is as much inspired by the anima of early UK grime and garage as it is the alternative of J-Pop and J-Rock. With previous releases on Daytimers and Interpol Records to name a few, we’re excited to find out more about his latest venture…

Hey Dulha! We’re super excited for the release of ‘Wat Wer U Finkin?’ on Lucid Juice later this month. What are the ideas behind the record?

Hello, thanks for having me on, means a lot! Super buzzed for the EP as well.

I feel everyone has a particular aspect of a genre/song that makes them feel good. It might be the use of an 808 drum machine, a particular synth, a specific break sample etc… For me it was the different bass and drum sounds found in grime, garage and jungle. Often the sound is very raw and gritty, which in itself brings a pleasing emotion. I also wanted to challenge myself in different ways with each track, like making long intros or playing with the bpm. 

Who were you listening to a lot whilst making it?

Hmm, I think I was listening to a lot of old early grime instrumentals with my flatmate. We tend to go through music rabbit holes and listen to all kinds of material, but have a preference towards old school UK stuff. Mixed with my guilty pleasure of J-Pop and video game music, and boom. 

How did you first get into music?

I bedroom-DJed for a short while but it didn’t quite scratch the itch. I knew I wanted to make the songs rather than just play them, so… I figured it was worthwhile trying to figure out a DAW, which ended up being worth all the effort. Other than that, no prior musical knowledge or experience, other than messing around on Sibelius for hours as a kid. 

With releases on Daytimers, Jerk It and Interpolate Records to name a few, how do you usually go about beginning a track? 

It depends. Sometimes I’m feeling inspired or feel certain emotions that I find correlate with certain sounds and rhythms. Other times I’ve spent a day experimenting or sound designing and become inspired from that. It might start as a pad, a melody or a particular bass. The rest kinda anchors around that potentially being the core. 

Do you envisage playing these tracks out live? Where would be your dream venue to play in?

I reckon so, although it’s always a bit nerve-wracking playing your own tracks or hearing them played out. You want your songs to get people moving and give them a good time. 

I don’t think I have a dream venue, but I really respect venues like The White Hotel or The Partisan Collective that stand on the back of good values. For me, the night is more about the crowd. Are they respectful? Are they with the programme? Often the answer is yes, if at those two venues. Other than that, somewhere with a good sub+bass sound system please!

What’s your take on the Manchester music scene? Do your surroundings have much of an influence on the music you make?

I’m pretty sure ‘HEAT ONNN!’ was partly inspired by a couple of nights I went to at Soup Kitchen watching Gina and her crew play, so yes haha. The community is super supportive and welcoming and it’s not too big that you may feel overwhelmed. It still feels like a community in that way. 

Are there any local artists on your radar at the moment?

I’m not too great with keeping up with what’s going on, but to name a few – DaiSu has always released impressive tracks and I think she has more coming out soon that look very tasty. I’m excited for some stuff Romy has been cooking up recently, and I know Kitsta has released quite a few successful bits too!

What was the last record you bought?

More of an MP3/WAV guy here, but if I could buy a record… hmm… I recently discovered this artist called TOKYOPILL, who makes almost braindancey jungle. Very interesting stuff, and the new vinyl would be a nice bit to have. 

What’s your favourite snack?

Hmmm, nothing beats sweet ripe mango. Not the most convenient though, or easiest to prepare, but worth the effort. 

What’s coming up next for you? 

More releases, whether that’s self or through a label. Should have a colourful jungle EP out with Interpolate Records soon, plus a dark electro EP to be released with a friend. Beyond that, I have too many tunes building up, maybe I’ll post them somewhere. 

[LJR001] Dulha – ‘Wat Wer U Finkin?’ is out this Friday on Lucid Juice. In the meantime, preview the title track plus ‘Strawberry Raver’ (premiering now on Moskalus) below!

Lucid Juice · [LJR001] Duhla – Wat Wer U Finkin? (AVAILABLE TO BUY 29.04.22)