Smelling the roses at Sensation— ACRAZE talks life after ‘Do It To It,’ embracing being the world’s biggest bedroom producer
Few acts in dance music history have blown up as quickly as—or to the viral extent of—the Staten Island-born sensation known best as ACRAZE. It was as recently as 2018 that the bright-eyed producer was celebrating 5,000 followers on SoundCloud by dropping free new music, but just a few short years later, the 26 year old is simply on a different wavelength, blazing a new trail forward at a breakneck pace.
This all comes largely due to the release of “Do It To It,” which has effectively transcended dance music and asserted itself into the heart of modern pop culture. Since it was first dropped by ACRAZE himself as the ball dropped on 2020, and its subsequent release last August, “Do It To It” has not only been remixed by the iconic likes of Tiesto and Subtronics, or streamed over five hundred million times on Spotify alone, but has been an absolute viral sensation, being used in more than 3.2 million videos on TikTok as well. Sure, the track has made ripples through dance music, like when Zedd opened his own wave making EDC set by chopping and screwing the drop of “Do It To It” with the theme of Squid Game, but the eminent single has also managed to do something that even many of dance music’s biggest hits cannot. It’s attained the coveted “oh yeah, that song” status among the millions who couldn’t name a DJ if their lives depended on it.
Now, the Orlando-based ACRAZE is on his global blaze of glory, the Do It To It Tour, taking his blistering “R&Bass house” sound to the forefront of the European dance scene. With a smattering of IDs and vibrant personal charisma to boot, ACRAZE is poised to make stops at legendary events this summer, with marquee billings at Tomorrowland, and of course ID&T’s infamous Sensation. With nothing but glamor on the horizon, the recent Capitol Records signee sat down with Dancing Astronaut to discuss what comes after “Do It To It,” staying humble, and becoming the world’s biggest bedroom producer.
“I love playing it, but I feel like everyone right now is trying to follow that ‘Do It To It’ wave and I’m trying to kind of step back from it.”
admits ACRAZE, describing the trendsetting sound of his inescapable 2021 single. That’s not to say that dance music’s new kid on the block is looking to pack it in—anything but, as the American DJ is set to play nearly 50 European shows during the months of July and August alone. “‘[Do It To It]’ is kind of like my sound, but I want to build something and be considered one of those people who transcends. Make something new and then continue something else,” he continues.
Enthused as ever, ACRAZE is perpetually ready to flip the sonic script, but finding the right sound to follow in the wake of a tsunami like “Do It To It” doesn’t come without its new pressures, even if they’re from within. “You have a song like this and like, you want to put something out next, and you want to have records ready, but I was never ready for this moment—no one is! I’ve got a hundred songs, but I never show them to anybody because I’m super insecure about them and I don’t want to hear their opinion about them.”
It’s here that one of the magical elements behind ACRAZE truly shines. It’s hard to argue that he’s not currently one of electronic music’s most in-demand forces, but it’s also clear that the prodigal house act is still adjusting to his new seat at the top of the heap. “I watched this thing on deadmau5 [recently],” ACRAZE recalls. “He makes a song, puts it in a vault and sends them to his team and just says, ‘Yo you guys figure out what you like and what you don’t like.’ And that’s how he put out ‘Strobe.’ He never even liked it that much and it ended up being one of his biggest songs.” But amidst all of the newfound glory and the perpetual grind, it’s also abundantly clear that ACRAZE is taking the rare opportunity to cherish his ascent. As we sit for this interview, it is 2:00 a.m., and Sensation is at full throttle all around us. Suffice it to say the atmosphere was buzzing, but even in an overstimulating environment like that, the chart-topping, platinum-certified DJ had no trouble finding the time to stop and smell the roses for a moment, and take the time to exude appreciation for the position that he currently finds himself in.
Furthermore, recognizing that while one feasts, recalling the times of famine can do wonders for their humility. Escaping to memory lane for a brief flash as Sensation unfolded around us, ACRAZE recalls, “[I] remember sleeping on the futon, eating McChickens and ramen noodles everyday, and just making music. Those times actually humble me, y’know?”
The past 18 months have seen ACRAZE achieve lightyears beyond what most DJs and producers hope to accomplish in a lifetime. From vying for a spot in EDC’s Discovery Project to judging it, from mixing the world’s biggest bass acts, to being remixed by the world’s biggest bass acts, the Florida-stationed producer is currently speed running through dance music’s ranks, but that doesn’t mean that he sees himself any differently. While discussing the doors opening in front of him, ACRAZE notes, “I’m getting into the studio with all of these great writers. It’s sick, but it’s something that I’ve never done because I’ve always been a bedroom producer– in my bedroom, making music by myself.”
It’s a term that some shy away from or have even shaded in the past, though when asked if he embraces the term, a spark is lit in ACRAZE’s line of sight.
“Oh, I embrace it, I still am.” He continues, “To all of my bedroom producers, keep making music—you never know what will pop. Be experimental and be you, just know how to make an idea, like it, and move on. Don’t get stuck on too many things. I feel like I’ve grown as a person and I love where I’m going but bedroom producers are where it’s at. Those are the greatest geniuses in my opinion.”
With nothing but glamor and hard work on the horizon, and his humble beginnings in the not so distant past, the whole world awaits ACRAZE’s next move. There’s no guarantee that lightning will strike in the same form as last year’s “Do It To It,” but one thing’s for sure, with a packed tour schedule and live sets that are brimming with sizzling new releases, ACRAZE is undoubtedly here to stay.