Everyone’s favorite fun-loving, rave-romping DJ/producer Ducky is running heavy, hard, and good-naturedly toward HARD Summer, one of our favorite sunny SoCal outings. Ducky’s success has surprised no one. Seldom does a songstress come along with this caliber of pipes and skill in the studio and on the decks and with genuine goodwill toward her fan base.
AND in the interest of fan betterment, Insomniac has been lucky enough to secure an exclusive Ducky festival mix to get juiced to during the run-up to HARD. Typical of Ducky, it’s a series of many intense bursts, including Zedd, Martin Garrix, Darren Styles, Panda Eyes, deadmau5, and the lady herself—from the marquee to the up-and-coming.
Since the initial booster rockets of the Boys Club compilation mix (2011), Killing Time/Your Ever After (2011), and later “U Turn Me Up” (2013) fell away, Ducky’s continued and consistent output—from her Rave Toolz booties or the multi-shaded I Fall in Love With Everyone I Meet EP from last year—plus her sheer UP-ed-ness and big-smile accessibility, have pushed her even higher into the who’s-who of the EDM now. She colors outside the lines, and whether it’s via her flash style or her remarkably insightful lyrics, it appears as though the Duckster is here to stay.
You’re one of the most fan-friendly DJ/producers out there. If speaking to a fan, how would you describe HARD Summer?
I’d probably tell them you have to come see it in person. ~__^
You’ve such an active schedule with unique projects, releases, play dates, and festivals. I think everyone could benefit from a quick breakdown of the things you’ve on the “to do” list that we all know you keep under magnet on your giant-size cartoon mouse refrigerator.
- Release all this music I’m sitting on
- Lots of cool visual surprises
- Crazy surprises for some of these festival sets
- Merch soon
- Lots of secret stuff in the works!
- Play with my dog
How did the moniker Ducky come about? And if you were forced to change it, what would be your second choice.
It’s a long story, but the short story is that when I was young, I stole a duck from the zoo and was convinced I would get to keep it. Obviously, they made me give it back, but I did earn the name “Ducky,” and I just ran with it! I think if I had to change it, I’d still like some sort of animal, or maybe just a cute-sounding noise like “miiu”—I always liked that as a name.
If you were not Ducky, but in a sort of cosmic bumper-car accident you had switched places with one of your fans, what do you imagine the best grand prize would be in any contest concerning you?
Wow, I have no idea. If I knew, I would totally make it happen! When we did my Ugh Just Rave party, we gave away a “Rave and Busters” meet & greet, where we went to Dave & Buster’s together. I thought that was pretty cool. But if I weren’t me, I’d probably be more interested in meeting my dog than me, honestly. She’s way cooler than me.
Who out there do you have your eye on? You’re a champion of DIY and the work ethic. As the need to produce increases—in order to be recognized as a legit DJ—is there anyone out there who is following your recipe with particular verve?
I’d keep an eye out on Bianca Oblivion. She’s early on in the production aspect—only has a few remixes out so far—but they’ve all done really well, and she’s one of the best DJs I know. I know when she drops her first original body of work, she’s going to come out swinging. I’m also a big fan of what Vorso is doing production-wise right now. Though he’s a bit under the radar, I think he’s definitely worth watching.
Do people cosplay “Ducky”? If you had to cosplay a character for an entire week without breaking out of costume, who would it be?
I’ve never seen anyone do a proper Ducky cosplay, but I love when people paint the hearts on their cheeks for shows! If you do that, you’re family immediately. It’d be rad to see a Ducky cosplay, though. If I had to cosplay someone for a week, it’s definitely a tie between D.Va and Umaru. I actually own the Umaru cape; I could probably do it right now.
What’s your very, VERY super-mega fave piece of equipment, and (you know it’s coming) why?
Definitely my Neve Portico II. I just got it, and I’ve literally spent a week just running everything through it. It’s an analog compressor with emulation settings for the vintage Neve sound, and it’s got width and depth controls with optional EQ on them, which is quite rare for compressors to have. It makes everything sound warm and punchy and just overall better.
You recently dropped a Bliss sample package on Splice and also host regular production seshes on Twitch. What motivates you to want to provide the people with music making skills in the first place? Can you give any aspiring producers your most important piece of advice?
Honestly, I just realized there weren’t really any women doing production tutorials, and I thought, you know, fuck that. I spend almost all day, most days, producing. Why not turn a camera on for part of it? I’ve never believed in keeping production secrets. I think if you’re truly a unique talent, people can know your technique and still not be able to replicate the heart of your sound. And I love the little community I’ve built on Twitch.
If I had to give one piece of advice, I’d say learn all the traditional techniques you can, read a ton of books on audio engineering and sound design and mixing and mastering. Learn the rules so you can know how to break them. Then, start breaking them!
- Ducky’s HARD Summer 2018 Mix Track List:
Ducky “Don’t Look Down” (Ducky Live Edit)
Thomas Newson “Ragga”
Dillon Francis, NGHTMRE “Another Dimension” (Yookie Remix)
Madison Mars, Caslin “All They Wanna Be” (RetroVision Remix)
Scott Brown “Count With Me”
Kayzo “Whistle Wars”
4B, Teez “Whistle” (Nitti Gritti Remix)
David Guetta, Avicii “Sunshine”
Illenium ft. Nevve “Fractures”
Mura Masa “Lotus Eater”
Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, James Blake “King’s Dead”
Ferry Corsten “Fire”
Kayzo, Riot “Wake Up”
Wiwek “Double Dribble”
Zero Hero “Bass Drop”
Nicky Romero “Ready 2 Rumble”
Darren Styles “The Switch”
Martin Garrix “Tremor” (Darren Styles & Gammer Bootleg)
Monxx “The Wonky Song” (Gommi Remix)
Soltan, Eh!de “Choopoon”
Darren Styles, Dougal, Gammer “Stay Young”
Darren Styles “Talk”
Zomboy “Like a Bitch” (William Black & Virtu Festival Reskrrt)
ALRT “All the Night”
DJ Snake “Magenta Riddim” (Gammer Bootleg)
Ducky “Bliss” (Ducky Live Edit)
Excision, Dion Timmer “Final Boss”
Quintino “Carnival” (Outsiders Remix)
Darren Styles, Chris Unknown “Down Like That”
PuroWuan, Rawtek “Step Back”
Panda Eyes “Isolated”
Dannic, Teamworx “NRG”
Darren Styles, Gammer “Big Ting”
Knife Party “Sleaze” (Ducky’s HARDCORE SLEAZE Bootleg)
Must Die ft. Descender “Filter System”
Eptic “Watch Out”
Nitti Gritti “Crack”
Space Laces “Torque”
Vorso “Needle VIP”
Gammer “Let’s Get Crunk” (Alby Loud Bootleg)
Darren Styles “Us Against the World” (Ducky Bootleg)
Knife Party “Boss Mode”
Franky Nuts “All I Want”
Hard Driver “DOPE”
DJ Fresh “Gold Dust” (Flux Pavilion Remix) (Ducky Bootleg)
Pegboard Nerds “Go Berserk” (Gammer Remix)
Kaskade, deadmau5 “Move for Me”
Ducky “Do U”
Ducky – ID
Kiiara “Feels” (Jai Wolf Remix) (Ducky Bootleg)
Above & Beyond ft. Zoe Johnston “You Got to Go” (Seven Lions Remix)
Eptic “No Mercy”
Zedd “Find You”
Zatox, Le Shuuk “Basswall”
Crankdat “Dollars” (Crankdat x Ray Volpe x Gammer Remix)
Porter Robison “Sad Machine” (Darren Styles & Gammer Remix) (Outro Version)