Dropout Interview

February 27, 2017

Hailing from Santa Barbara, California, Dropout consists of Ethan Davis and Ray Nowak. The long-time friends are now based in LA, and together they make pure, funky magic on the dance floor. Dropout's upbeat, hyphy sound brings the good vibes everywhere it goes.

Natural - the third release from Dropout's forthcoming 'Handcrafted EP' - is absolute fire. With an uptempo beat and catchy lyrics, the track is sure to be a party-starting smash. You'll want this heat-rock in your set to get to crowd moving, it does not disappoint.

We had a chance to catch up with the hit-making machines, themselves. Read all the juicy deets below!


Hi Dropout. We’re loving the new track, Natural. It’s got a real slow-burning, anthemic feel to it. What’s the message behind the track?

Thank you! It really about being in the moment. Not being distracted but giving all of your affection and attention to somebody in THIS moment. The chorus is more about reminiscing on how thing used to be. And wanting to go back to that; how it was so Natural. Things weren’t as complicated, they were simple and Natural…when you weren’t caught in your head either living in the future or the past.

We all know that duos sometimes have stormy relationships. How do you guys get on in the studio? Tell us a little bit about your track-making process.

We have our disagreements just as everyone does who believes in what they’re doing. Passion sometimes leads to passionate disagreement, but we manage. Compromise is helpful. Another especially helpful thing is to try out the ideas of others, even if you don’t think it’s going to work at first. Ray usually sends me rough demos, and the other way around, then we meet up and finish stuff together.

You guys are pretty prolific with 3 big singles already this year. What’s the plan for the rest of 2017? More releases? Live shows?

Oh yeah baby! So much music. We’re waiting a little longer to do live shows, but we’re definitely planning them out. We want a large portion of the show to be live…you know….so people go “holy sh*t this is incredible, I can’t believe they’re doing this live!”

As well as big hits, you guys have made a sample pack. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Have you heard anyone else using your samples yet?

Our friends make good money doing sample packs, so “naturally” it seemed like a good move. Sample packs can be really lucrative, but more importantly they help people! They help other producers progress and they spark ideas. The Pop Hits Sample Pack is to help producers who want to make radio friendly music. All the samples were made entirely from scratch, but they sounds just like the original samples used in the songs. In the end, it’s a pretty good deal for producers. Haven’t heard anyone use them in huge songs yet, but then again the pack hasn’t been out for very long.

Who out there would you most love to collaborate with, but haven’t yet?

There are some pretty lofty fantasies like James Blake, Madeon, Jon Bellion, and Mree. At this point, I think we’re just focused on making beautiful art that MEANS SOMETHING and are open to doing it with anybody who feels the same (regardless of the style or profile of the artist).

What advice do you have for anyone starting out in the dance music industry?

Write good music, and produce around a well written song to compliment it and make it accessible to mass amounts of listeners. Once you have good accessible music with a meaning behind it, get a good manager, build a team, tour, and change the world.

Finally, you guys are Dropout. Tell us about something you dropped out of doing, that you wish you hadn’t.

I think the only things I (Ethan) regret dropping out of are things that I made a lot of money doing. But if I’m honest with myself, there’s a reason I dropped out, because I wasn’t happy. There’s no amount of money that’s worth having if you’re unhappy and you have to compromise your destiny and purpose in life.

Keep up with Dropout on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.