A-Trak’s influence is felt all over the worlds of Hip-Hop and electronic music, bringing originality to the two thriving genres of music. In an interview with Hip-Hop DX, he details his journey touring with Kanye West and discovering dance music through Europe in the mid-2000’s.

“In 2005, 2006, there were certain artists that was making electronic music that has a grittiness to it that my Hip Hop ear could appreciate, and they would have like Hip Hop vocal samples, distorted synths, and it just felt really like it had an attitude,” he told DX. “And that’s when I started working some electronic music into my sets.”

This “attitude” he speaks of is heard loud and clear on West’s single “Stronger,” which is arguably his most successful track. What the influence behind that track and A-Trak’s own influences really boil down to is the classic technique of crate digging. The champion DJ talks extensively about how important it is to stay curious about new material and be open to new sounds when shopping around. “You don’t know what’s gonna be in those bins, he says. “There’s just an element of chance to what you’re gonna find. When I look for records, I don’t know what I’m picking out. There’s such an element of serendipity and coincidence where you’re like, ‘I don’t even know what this is, but it looks like it’s gonna be fresh.’ And you put a couple of dollars down on it.”

Check out the full chat below.

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