Pop and electro come together on Duke Dumont’s irresistible dance track “Need U (100%).”
There’s a lot that the worlds of pop music and electronic have to teach each other. Setting aside the fact that most of what we’d call Top 40 music now is basically EDM dressed up in flashier clothes, we know that successful crossover producers often find their way to songwriting by teasing out the essential elements of a proper pop hit for their remix work. That’s where burgeoning U.K. super-producer Adam Dyment, better known as Duke Dumont, got his start — remixing tracks for the likes of Lilly Allen, AlunaGeorge, and Santigold, among many others. That sense of tunefulness — the importance of a song — carries over into Dumont’s own original production, like his recent single “Need U (100%).”
Watch Duke Dumont’s Featuring A*M*E’s “Need U (100%)” video after the jump.
The track, which Dumont wrote and recorded with two young Brit upstarts, producer MNEK, and vocalist A*M*E, reached the top of the U.K. singles chart for two weeks. It’s not hard to see why; it’s a blend of classic house and U.K. garage with an of-the-moment ’90s retro R&B vocal that drips with longing. More so than his previous worldwide club hit “The Giver,” “Need U (100%)” feels like a pop track smuggled across the border in EDM trappings.
“‘EDM’ exploded, now deep house is doing its thing, but what will really cross this music over are songs,” Sean Glass, founder of Win Records, who, along with Downtown Records, will release the single in the U.S., said of Dumont. “‘Need U (100%)’ takes actual verse-chorus-verse structure, including a killer hook, and applies all the best sounds of deep house and garage right now. Throw in some classic disco flair and Duke Dumont is right alongside Daft Punk in the best dance producers out there right now.”
Dumont talked about his collaboration process in a recent interview with Dig Boston. Working with established acts is nice, he says, but the discovery process is more thrilling. “What’s even better is working with someone who’s not a big name and recognizing how good they are.”
Dumont also points to groups like The Neptunes as inspiration for how he’d like to carve out his own niche: “They were making music that stood out from the rest of pop music. ‘Need U’ doesn’t sound like every pop song in the U.K., but it still has the same kind of formula to it; it’s just a little bit different. When I’m producing music for someone, it’s not necessarily going to be a house track, just the best possible music I can make with that person.”
Photo credit: Blasé Boys Club