Michael Stachowski, better known as DUS, is a budding record producer from New Jersey. His nickname comes from Mydus, which was given to him earlier by friends.
He was originally introduced to music by spending time around his father who used to play trumpet. While trying to find fame as a DJ he soon realized that he was more skilled in production and decided to switch focus. DUS feels that his current style can’t be categorized. Although, he has stated that his favorite producers and largest musical influences are RZA, Pete Rock and DJ Premier.
In preparation of his debut album, “Ambassadors” he’s been working with a variety of talents within Hip-Hop such as Tragedy Khadafi, Killah Priest, Kush, Spit Gemz, 9th Prince, Roc Marciano, Shabaam Sahdeeq, JoJo Pellegrino, Ceazar & Napoleon Da Legend. For DUS it’s all about the love for Hip-Hop and making movements in a positive way.
HipHopLead- Not too many people are repping New Jersey on the production map. Do you think being from that region makes it more difficult to be heard or is it easier in a time where artists want those dirty south sound?
Dus- I believe that it may actually be perfect timing because I think that fans are starting to appreciate lyricism again. Hopefully a style such as mine will accompany it when it does complete its 360. There’s always going to be a contrast between regions when it comes to the sound. It’s your duty as an artist to just stay true to yourself no matter what.
HipHopLead- Almost everyone is a rapper nowerdays. You have talent as a producer, which makes it easier of making it big. Do you feel being you have a tool an artist needs it makes getting those big features easier?
Dus-Well, I definitely feel a certain level of talent attracts the same. I would like to think that if my material was lackluster than artists wouldn’t even consider building with me.
HipHopLead- What are your weapons of choice when you are making a beat?
Dus-Currently my weapons of choice include FL Studio 10 & my MPK Mini.I use various drum, sounds and lately a lot jazz, funk & soul samples, even Rock-n-Roll and movie scores.
HipHopLead- Who were your influences to get into music?
Dus-My parents surely played a large part. When I was as young as 7 or 8 years old I remember them always playing their old Rock, Soul & Motown 45’s in a jukebox we had in the basement. I also have memories of my father taking out his trumpet to play for my brothers and I. I firmly believe these two instances alone not only influenced me into production but also influenced my sound as well.
Production wise I would have to say The RZA, Havoc, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, J- Dilla, Alchemist & 9th Wonder.
HipHopLead- A lot of people say the majority of the rappers in the South are not lyrical. Some say the majority of the rappers in the North are too complex. When you make your beats what type of artist do you look for to spit on them?
Dus-Perhaps some listeners don’t want to “think” while they listen to music. To some it’s only the beat that matters. Myself?, I’m looking for an emcee with a certain level of lyrical prowess and who has a story to tell. An artist who still likes that good ‘ol boom-bap but understands I also have an interesting way of flipping samples I work with.
HipHopLead- Out of all the projects you released which was your favorite and why?
Dus-It’s funny you ask that because I really don’t have many to choose from. So far I only have one cohesive effort out there attempting to showcase my abilities and that’s an instrumental album I created in 2010 titled “Dusfunktional”. It’s my favorite because not only was it my first project but it also helped me show everyone the diversity of my production.
HipHopLead- Do you have any ambitions to start a label?
Dus-As of now I really haven’t given it much thought. I just need to take things one step at a time. First things first I’m just concentrating on my current project and see where that takes me.
HipHopLead- Your new”Ambassadors” album features a slew of popular hiphop artists. Can you tell us what it was like working with all of them?
Dus-It will most likely be one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I practically grew up listening to half of the emcees featured on my album. Unfortunately schedules didn’t allow me to actually work with all of the artists in the studio. Overall though it was great experience and creating music with some of my favorite artists is something I’ve always wanted to make happen.
HipHopLead- What are your favorite cuts off that project so far?
Dus-Okay, I know this may be the most overused answer to a question like this but I would have to say they are all equally dope.It would be a sin for me to single one out. I’m proud of every song on this album.
HipHopLead- What is a typical day like for you?
Dus-The first thing I usually do is listen to samples for my next few instrumentals to work on. If I have work that day I’ll actually stay tuned in to on an old radio station which plays at the restaurant. If I don’t have work I usually start preparing my soundscape. At times it’s almost as if it’s like clockwork. I swear Hip-Hop runs through my veins. It’s almost all I think about.
HipHopLead- Other then music what do you do to make that paper?
Dus-Practically my whole life I’ve been involved with the restaurant industry. I’m currently a server/bartender at a local establishment.
HipHopLead- You have a very intriguing cover for “Dusfunktional” which shows you kneeling down at a grave of your parents. Being you made a tribute for your late parents can you tell us the type of emotions you put into that work?
Dus-Well, all of the music was created while my mother had already passed and my father was still alive. When I go back and listen to the album I recall it as a time where I was attempting to make peace with myself. It was only after my father’s accident that I attempted to make sense of it all. A lot of the samples I used for that project were from artists both of my parents would have enjoyed or at least thought they would enjoy. I’m just grateful for Hip-Hop in that it allowed me to express myself.
HipHopLead- How long ago did you lose your parents?
Dus-I lost my mother in 1999 & my father just three years ago.
HipHopLead- HipHopLead has all type of viewers from all over the world with different experiences. Can you give any advice to any of our readers who might be dealing with a similar situation that you were faced with??
Dus-I firmly believe that family is and always will be the closest thing you have. Try your hardest not to burn bridges with loved ones and at the same time do what you can to help those around you. Sometimes it’s actually the BEST things in life are the things which aren’t planned or expected.
HipHopLead- One of your songs is a stand out called “Full Moon”, which was recorded by underground emcee JoJo Peligrino. How was it when you guys linked? and what was the recording process like?
Dus-It was pretty weird actually. Almost as if I knew the man my whole life. During the recording session itself, we clicked right away. He had some material that I had sent him previously although he didn’t choose the instrumental to work with until minutes from recording. JoJo is a riot in the studio and there was never a dull moment. I’m thrilled at how well the track came out & I’m anxious to see the feedback from fans.
Here at HipHopLead.com we like to ask our features some questions that really are out of the norm.We do this because it gives the fans a broader outlook on you.So lets get it cracking ….
HipHopLead- Who is the better producer .. Dr. Dre or Just Blaze?
Dus-Although Just Blaze does an incredible job reppin’ NJ, I’m much more familiar with Dr. Dre. I’m going with Dr. Dre.
HipHopLead- Who is the most over rated producer in the game?
Dus-Kanye West. I’m a fan right up to his “Graduation” album. I know music evolves but I sometimes I wish he went back to incorporate some of his older techniques.
HipHopLead- Boardwalk Empire or Walking Dead?
Dus-I haven’t really checked either of them out. I’m not sure what Walking Dead is about. I think Zombies, right? I’ve caught an episode or two of Boardwalk Empire so I’m going with that.
HipHopLead- Pacino, Denzel or Deniro?
Dus-Pacino. First of all, he played Scarface. I really like his work in Devil’s Advocate & Any Given Sunday too. I know Deniros and Denzels Discography’s are just as impressive but my first instinct told me Pacino.
HipHopLead- If you had the chance to make a record with Pun, Pac or BIG who would it be?
Dus-I’d have to say Biggie. Although I feel they would all be amazing over my production, it’s BIG that would kill even the most generic beat I could possibly create.
Back To the Norm…….
HipHopLead- We know Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey and New York. Did it affect you personally? If so, can you share some experiences?
Dus-Yes, I’d have to say it affected me personally. Our community was definitely impacted although not as severe as other areas. Where I live we went just over a week without electricity and/or hot water. I had no choice but to tough it out and make do with what I had. I actually spent a majority of my time cooking & listening to music outside by the fire with neighbors.
HipHopLead- As for your home state what do you think the summer of 2013 will be like without those famous shore attractions?
Dus-I can’t envision New Jersey without the shore line that existed. It’s such a huge part of many people’s lives. I don’t believe that those affected are capable of just walking away and I think this summer will be a time of rebuilding.
HipHopLead- Back to the music … how can some on the come up artists get at you for production?
Dus-They can hit me on Twitter @DUSJUSTBLAZED
HipHopLead- Name 1 song you’ve done that will have the HipHopLead.com viewers hooked!?
Dus-I believe your viewers are really going to enjoy the Intro & Title Track “Ambassadors” which features Tragedy Khadafi.
HipHopLead- Thanks for hollering at us and in closing give any shoutouts….links to your sites….F.U.’S or whatevers clever…
Dus-I’d like to give a huge shoutout to my family, friends & fans out there supporting my efforts. Also to Killah Priest, Roc Marciano, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Tragedy Khadafi, Napoleon Da Legend, Spit Gemz,Ceazar, JoJo Pellegrino & all of the other artists featured on the album. None of this would be possible without you. Thank you.