12 Questions Episode 39: Dustin Nantais

The 39th episode of our 12 Questions segment features Dustin Nantais. The Canadian producer has a new remix of Simon Firth ‘Black Gold’ out now on Crossfade Sounds. Please enjoy our 12 Questions segment with Dustin below.

dustin nantais, crossfade sounds, manual music,

1. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?

Dustin: I think that would have to be something from the Sasha & Digweed Essential Mix in 2002, the Delta Heavy Tour. When I really started getting into the Toronto scene back in the early 2000s this set would be on repeat in my headphones. The track that really stood out for me is Schumel Flash – Chilling Moments (Bedrock Vocal Mix). I still get chills listening to this one.


2. What was your first and last DJ gig?

Dustin: My first gig is hard to pinpoint, but I think it might have been at a little club called Beba on College Street in Toronto back in 2005. The club had booked 2 parties accidentally and we had to combine the two into one. After some heated negotiations we came to a consensus. I ended up meeting some of my lifelong friends at this party, none of us will forget it. Awful sound, extremely hot and poorly organized… great times!

My last gig was hard to forget. I had the pleasure of not only playing but headlining the legendary Promise Cherry Beach Sundays. I had been bugging the Promise guys, Irving and Dave, for nearly 10 years to play. Irving had taken notice through a set I played at Red Door Loft recently and really look a liking to it so decided to put me in the prime slot, just before a surprise guest who ended up being Skrillex. The vibe at this party was out of control, I won’t soon forget it.


3. What was the first and last record you purchased?

Dustin: The nice thing with Beatport is that it keeps a record of your purchases. Without this I don’t think I’d be able to remember by first record. Back in 2005 I was really big into deep tribal house; labels like Stereo Productions and Saeed Younan’s imprint Younan Music. Of my first set of records purchased I snapped up Stereo’s release Break (Hilo Dub) from Trattner & Galvan. Really takes me back to early mornings at BOA Nightclub.


My last record purchased was one of my favourites in a long time. David August’s new release Epikur really smacked me in the face the first time I heard it. A deep emotional journey with that now unforgettable signature Innervisions vibe. I’ve played this one out a number of times now.


4. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?

Dustin: Even though playing Cherry Beach was pretty incredible I have to say flying over to Manchester, UK to play in 2012 is still the stand-out moment of my career to date. A good friend of mine had convinced some guys running a regular night at Sound Control Manchester to book me to headline one of their nights. They flew me over and had me play to a near packed club. I was unbelievable flattered, and ended up meeting some really great people I can call good friends to this day. I’m stopping in over there again on my way to ADE in October, can’t wait.

5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?

Dustin: I wear a suit to work everyday and go in a stuffy office 🙂 I’ve been in the IT business for 15 years and currently work as a Program Manager at one of the biggest IT companies in the world, with pretty much every major bank as a client. I like to think of it as my duality; suit by day, producer by night.

6. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?

Dustin: I’d have to say working with Paul Hazendonk from Manual Music has opened my eyes to a whole world of incredible producers, both on his labels and not. I really feel like many unbelievable producers these days never get the chance to release on the labels they deserve to be on, for one reason or another. The great tragedy of our day is that only the music with marketing money backing it really gets heard. You really have to dig to find the best stuff out there.

7. Which producers consistently inspire you?

Dustin: Sasha has always stood out for me. He consistently produces a specific feeling in his music; a deep emotional journey. I’m not sure how he does it so well every time, I strive to produce this consistently.

More recently I’ve been really loving music released on Innervisions and Life and Death. Some really inspiring music, and so much of it. Whenever I get writers block I fire up some of these labels releases and creativity flows!

8. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?

Dustin: Hard to say. I find it hard to turn down remix requests. I find inspiration in almost anything musical, so when I fire up the remix parts for a new track I usually get writing instantly. That said, I’d love to remix a David August track. The sound design is just impeccable.

As for myself being remixed, I’d love to heard my stuff remixed by Henry Saiz. Just saw him on a boat here in Toronto and he really blew my mind. He has a super unique sound, and he’s mega talented.

9. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days and the majority of people feel most of them are mediocre music factories. Which ones if any standout for you?

Dustin: I may be biased, but Paul Hazendonk’s label Manual Music and MNL really open my eyes on the regular. Proton Music, Particles, Sound Avenue, Balkan Connection, Bedrock, Last Night On Earth, Innervisions, Life and Death; these are my go-to labels.

10. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?

Dustin: The first Involver by Sasha, hands down. This was a life-changer for me. I can still listen to it and space out for an hour.

11. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)

Food: BBQ Chicken
Drink: Coor’s Light
Drug: zzzt
Animal: Monkey
TV Show: Breaking Bad or Game Of Thrones
Movie: Frontline Documentaries
Video Game: Diablo 3
Album: Adapt by Paul Hazendonk
Track / Song: Epikur by David August
Producer / Band: Henry Saiz
Record Label: Manual Music
Nightclub: Coda or Ryze
DJ: Green Velvet

12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?

Dustin: Omid 16B’s track Driving To Heaven, definitely. Loved it since the moment I heard this on Deep Dish’s Global Underground 21 CD. This one never gets old.


Dustin’s remix of Simon Firth ‘Black Gold’ is out now on Crossfade Sounds, you can purchase the release: here

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