Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Luminn, Carta, Pink Panda.”
Hugely popular in China and rapidly becoming an international draw, Dexter King (real name Longwen Wang) mixes influences from EDM, hip-hop and pop into his chart-friendly productions and club-filling DJ sets. Discovering dance music through the work of Don Diablo and Avicii, he got into DJing in 2008 when his friend let him have a go on their CDJs in a bar, and he’s since been on an upward trajectory.
King was recently signed to huge Canadian EDM imprint Monstercat, and has been providing the label with a succession of hits. ‘Only You’ with Alexis Dunn, released in 2020, was a disco-licked, bright and breezy pop house track, while 2021’s ‘Unbroken’ with Danyka Nadeau was an earworm piece of synth stab stadium dance in the vein of his inspiration, Avicii.
This year, he’s been busy with lots of new ventures, including an intriguing AI collaboration. “I’ve been working with an amazing project called Alice,” he says. “She is a virtual influencer made with artificial intelligence and a lot of cool new tech stuff by a company called GLA.”
He also worked with Pink Panda on a more club-oriented track, ‘Bassline Sound’.“We had a lot of fun making the track — I think it’s a great combination of both our styles,” he tells DJ Mag.
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
“It was right after I moved back to Shanghai from Beijing. Every drop hit different, every song I played sounded more vibrant, and made me cherish this community, this industry and music itself more than ever.”
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
“I spent much more time in the studio not just making new songs, but also listening to everything I’ve missed — realising that I simply can’t live without music.”
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
“When the world is able to dance again after COVID, we should find a way to generate power from all the dancing people.”
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
“A new Mac Mini with the M1 processor, and my mini-golf course.”
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?