The Spotlight: Duke Dumont

This is ‘The Spotlight.’ Many artists pass through D.C. on a weekly basis, but this column highlights one specific artist who happens to be playing in the district during the week. That way, you may join their journey in influencing the house music landscape.

Duke Dumont‘s rise to fame over the past few years has been meteoric. Having gained a reputation for being a go-to, crowd pleasing DJ with ample respect for the roots of dance music – and often working with the clichés of those roots in his own works – he has become a household name in his native U.K. and is on the road to that same level of success here in the U.S.

Starting from humble beginnings under the tutelage of Switch, a producer known for working with a variety of artists including Santigold and M.I.A., Duke Dumont got his start remixing pop songs for various labels before eventually landing the EP Regality on Tiga‘s Turbo Recordings label. This would lead to two other EPs on this label, For Club Play Only Vol. I and For Club Play Only Vol. II, which got airplay from Annie Mac. These releases featured the singles “Street Walker” and “The Giver” respectively. His track “The Giver” would go on to become ubiquitous with the UK sound that would go on to define the current trends in dance music we’ve been hearing stateside for the past 18 months.

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In early 2013, Duke Dumont released “Need U (100%)” featuring vocalist A.M.E. which received high praise and support from the Ministry of Sound, BBC Radio One, and artists such as Amtrac, Dave Edwards, and Disclosure. “Need U” would also lead to Duke Dumont’s first Grammy nomination. After this release, he quickly gained momentum on the international club and festival circuits in addition to being named a Future Star by dance music legend Pete Tong. 2013 also saw the creation of his label, Blasé Boys Club, which would go on to sign a deal with Virgin/EMI.

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And then 2014 hit. Duke Dumont released “I Got U,” a colossal hit featuring Blasé Boys Club signee Jax Jones. “I Got U” would go on to earn him a second Grammy nomination, another chart topping hit in the UK and the US, and continued support from the biggest names in dance music becoming an anthem for the dance music festival circuit and the summer season in Ibiza. Last year also saw Duke Dumont on a sold out, headlining tour where he hit some of the world’s finest dance clubs including Washington, D.C.’s own U Street Music Hall. Later in the year he would release the equally monumental “Won’t Look Back,” which matched the success of his previous singles, as well as plans to perform as a live act (something which has already gone underway to rave reviews).

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In 2015, Duke Dumont has plans to release his first full-length album and has already showcased a reprise of his now classic track “The Giver.” With a constant touring schedule and a relentless work ethic in the studio, he is easily one of the hardest working producers in the game today: a testament which clearly shows given the amount of success he’s had in such a short span of time. And he will continue to move forward at such a speed if he continues to deliver dynamic performances, authentic sounding tracks, and brilliant branding as a tour de force DJ to be reckoned with.

This week, he will be DJ’ing at the 9:30 Club with an opening act by Blisspop founder Will Eastman. You can find event details here.