If you have access to the internet, there’s a high chance you’ve heard one of ACRAZE’s songs. Not only did “Do It To It” go mega viral on social media, but some of the most respected DJs in the game, like Chris Lake and Tiesto, have been rinsing it in their sets. Now ACRAZE teamed up with fellow hitmakers Goodboys to drop the ultimate self-confidence anthem, “Believe,” out now on Thrive Music/Capitol Records.
ACRAZE, real name Charlie Dunker, has had an insane journey to stardom over the last year. But headlining renowned international venues and festivals wasn’t always the case for the 26-year-old Staten Island native. A few years ago, he was playing as an opener for mostly empty crowds at clubs. “Believe” addresses this, emphasizing the need to believe in yourself even in your lowest moments.
Strong vocals from Goodboys greet our ears in the first bars of the track as ACRAZE builds up the verse behind it, gradually incorporating a high-octane house rhythm. It’s not long before ACRAZE unleashes an addictive, exhilarating bass line, which he texturizes by adding sparkling synth inflections. This charging bass line carries us for the rest of the song, creating a euphoric vibe that has us instantly hitting replay.
We had the chance to talk to ACRAZE about his new track. You can read our interview with the artist below while taking a listen to “Believe.” Enjoy!
ACRAZE – Believe (feat. Goodboys)
What advice would you give aspiring producers and DJs who may be feeling discouraged? What got you through those low moments of doubting yourself?
Feeling discouraged is not an uncommon thing; even the most successful artists in the world have doubted themselves. Take it day by day because it’s really just a choice you have to make every morning: are you going to push through, or are you going to allow those self-doubting beliefs to take over? For me, I always knew that if I choose to continue working hard and dedicating myself to my music, my dreams would eventually come true; I just didn’t know when. I also recommend getting honest feedback on your music, surrounding yourself with inspirational people, and finding a strong team that believes in you. That type of support system is necessary in this industry and I am lucky to say that I have that in my life.
Given the success of “Do It To It” and Goodboys’ “Lose Control”/”Piece Of Your Heart,” you guys have captured the attention of millions. How did the “Believe” collab come about?
I messaged them on Instagram and asked if they wanted to work on a song. They were excited with the idea and sent over a rough lyric demo, which I ended up loving. I worked on it over summer and ultimately finalized it to what you hear today.
A number of your recent releases have taken samples from early 2000’s cult classics. What are a couple hits from that era that you hope to flip in the future?
For now, I’m not looking to flip any more samples other than the ones I already did. I really want to focus on putting out original ACRAZE music for my next few releases.
Is there a childhood favorite that sticks out the most?
I would say “Funky Town” since it brings back nostalgic memories.
You made the conscious decision to transition from bass to house producer. How does your background in bass music impact the house music you produce now?
The biggest way that bass music has impacted my house producing is my level of experience in sound design. Bass is a bit more complex when it comes to producing music so coming from that background has really helped me take my House music sound design to the next level.
Do you see yourself returning to bass music at any point, or expanding to another genre outside house or electronic music?
Although I still have love for it, I probably won’t ever go back to producing in the bass scene ever again. But I’m definitely entering the pop music space and hoping to continue pushing the boundaries of house music by bridging the gap between genres.
You’ve been on quite the journey, going from local clubs to sold out international venues in a pretty short amount of time. What’s one overrated and one underrated thing about touring?
Underrated: SLEEP. To all the up and coming producers who want this massive tour life, just be ready to be the most tired you’ve ever been in your whole life. I could honestly say that I’ve acquired a new skill set: sleeping while standing up haha.
Overrated: Traveling the world on tour isn’t what people think it is… it’s not a vacation. I traveled to all of these countries over the summer, but I didn’t get to experience them in the way that others expected me to. I was constantly jumping from place to place, with no time to sightsee or explore each country’s culture. I spent most of my off-time in my hotel room, catching up on sleep or working on music.
What would be the most meaningful venue to play at in the future (if you haven’t already)?
Playing the DJ Snake show in Paris really opened my eyes to how big a show can be. I was inspired to think bigger when it comes to what venue I can play at so a goal would be to sell out a stadium as a headliner.