“Be unique and be ruthless”: destructo on growing as a music producer, new song with TroyBoi – EDM.com

“Be unique and be ruthless”: destructo on growing as a music producer, new song with TroyBoi – EDM.com

Since first stepping into the world of dance music in the early 90’s, renowned producer and entrepreneur Destructo has done it all.

From DJing at the world’s biggest music festivals to running the legendary All My Friends brand to founding the legendary HARD series, Destructo changes the game with every venture. His latest musical release sees him release a joint single with fellow electronic music superstar TroyBoi.

Their new song “You’re The One For Me” is a feel-good summer bop reminiscent of Destructo’s childhood in New Orleans. With a disco-influenced rhythm and melody, the song perfectly fuses funk and house into a unique mix. The single also came along with an official music video directed by Alex “GRIZZ” Loucas.

On the weekend of Tampa’s Sunset Music Festival, we sat with Destructo ahead of his scintillating performance to talk about music production, collaboration, and his unique backstory.

EDM.com: You have a new single out with TroyBoi. Some might say this is a quirky collaboration in that your music is rooted in house and TroyBoi in the trap. How did the song originate?

Destroy: I’ve always been a big fan of his and a supporter, and have booked a lot for him. I feel like he’s one of the best in that style of music. I always say he has the best drops. They are always unique and interesting. And when I met him, he’s such a sweet boy, we clicked a bit and we’ve always been friends.

He sent me some music he was working on with some throwback stuff, and I was like, “I’ve got this one record that I’ve always tried to mess with.” It was a throwback record that we also got the rights to work on this track for. So I got it all played out, then I sent it to him, and he kind of worked with it, and we sent it back and forth a few times. After a while it came out on its own.

He also did a remix for me, for my song with Busta Rhymes. Whenever I want something harder or more interesting, I always try to get TroyBoi into the program. Yeah, we’ve been friends for a while – I think more than anything – he’s just a good friend. I think the music is one thing, but I think our friendship is more.

EDM.com: Where did you meet TroyBoi?

Destroy: I don’t remember. It must have been at one of my shows. I must have just booked him, but I can’t remember when I first met him. Usually when I release one of my records, like you said, my material is house, but I think if I let someone do a remix – like a banging remix – that’s cool.

You take the melodies and the vocals that I have and do them differently, so I always wanted Troy to do something, so we did a little remix of Busta Rhymes, which was called “Fuckin Shit Up”. He made a sick remix of that. And then we just did something that I think is different for both of us, but it’s like a summer feel-good record.

EDM.com: What was it like working with him? Did you send the track back and forth?

destroy: Yeah, we were never in the studio together, so I always sent him stuff. I sent him all the music, then he collected it all and we just kept going back and forth. We’ve been working on this for a year, or even longer. It’s just really easy over the phone and through the interwebs. Still, it’s always better to be together.

Behind the scenes of the music video for "You are the only one for me" by Destructo and TroyBoi.

Behind the scenes of the music video for “You’re The One For Me” by Destructo and TroyBoi.

EDM.com: Would you rather write in the studio than collaborate over the internet?

destroy: It’s always better to be together.

EDM.com: What are some of your favorite new songs or artists you’re listening to right now?

destroy: You know, I heard this guy LSD XOXO the other day. I played this song in Salt Lake last night called ‘Mutant Exotic’. I love this funky stuff. I also really like that new one Chris Lake did with Riva Starr called “Beat Freak”. But hey, LSD XOXO, you heard it here first.

EDM.com: What’s one of the favorite old-school songs that you can’t shake listening to?

destroy: Oh man, there’s a million of these I always play. When I do the Sunset Sermon, I always play all the throwbacks from the 90s. You know, because I’ve been playing since about 1990, so I have all those records on vinyl.

But I’d say the only song I keep listening to is called “Together” by Falcon and Thomas Bangalter. That’s a pretty good one… I could also say “Brighter Days” by Cajmere.

EDM.com: What does this new single mean to you?

destroy: The notes in the song are played from an old record my father played on the radio. My father was a radio programmer and we lived in New Orleans in the 1980s. He would play that record on all the radios, it was a big record, so it just has a special place for me. So I wanted to turn it around because it reminds me of my childhood.

My dad’s radio station was a city radio station in New Orleans, so when Rick James, The Gap Band, Al Hudson And One Way, Teena Marie and so much funk came out – like the real funk – I could hear it like a kid and it seeped in me. I could pull it out of a big puddle. You know, I went to dance music, but in my head, the way I conjure music is different from many people’s, because I went through so many different things as a kid.

Destructo and TroyBoi.

Destructo and TroyBoi.

EDM.com: That is interesting. I can hear the funk influences in many of your tracks.

Destroy: You know what’s funny is that I did an interview with Too $hort on his podcast – he and I did a little tune together. He told these girls, I swear to god he said this. He said, “It was two in the morning, I’m having my own HARD party in my bedroom and I put on Destructo. And the girls said, ‘This guy?'” And he said, “Yeah, because your stuff doesn’t sound right.” once like EDM. It’s like funk.”

It’s weird because when people say EDM, I never want to have big drops. I want it more sexy and groovy. For me personally, that’s kind of what I’m dealing with. Sometimes I feel like it might take something away from me because I can’t play a lot of my stuff at the big festivals because my stuff is more groove. I always think of it like it’s “four in the morning” music.

The same thing happened to YG, when he asked me, “What’s the song about?” A lot of artists who worked with him asked me that too – I’ve learned to conjure up some kind of image… So my whole thing is, come together. I’m not your normal guy who just sits in the studio. I think it’s great that I can get started with TroyBoi, I’m going to get started with Taiki. There are many guys who have helped me see my vision.

EDM.com: Do you think this song is different from your older work, or is it similar, but packaged in a new way?

destroy: Yeah, I mean, it fits, you know. Everything I write I always try to make to play in my sets. It’s a bit different though. It’s a bit more disco-like atmosphere.

EDM.com: There is an inherent growth that happens as an artist throughout the entire process of writing a song, from the initial idea to its release. Is that growth also reflected in your personal life?

destroy: Yes, I think so. I think with me, I’m just really driven, so when I get an idea for something, I drive it home, and I keep trying to make it better. I think it’s kind of a mirror of my life because I’m constantly chipping.

I have a stash of all these little ideas that I’ve started working with people over the years, and that reflects my personality too, because I feel like I’m best when I’m working with people. And the key to that is that as you get older, you realize who you can do that with and who it doesn’t work with. For example, there are people who [while] working together will totally ruin everything, but if you’re lucky enough to have the right people where the energy comes together, it’s great.

My whole life is like that. Everything I do is like that. Also with our parties, or when I do a festival, it is always input from many people.

I feel like I’m also good at managing all personalities. I know how to do it, so everyone is happy. I like to let everyone shine, let everyone do their thing. I think it should be, but most people want it to be all about them, and that’s all. And I think that kind of messes up our scene because everybody’s fighting to get ahead, and I always look at it like we’re all together. You know, and I always try to bring everyone up.


Destructo at Sunset Music Festival 2021.

EDM.com: So what would you like the younger generation to take away from this song, or what would you say to the younger producers who dream of building a music career?

destroy: Well, I always say: be unique and ruthless. If someone asks me that, I’ll tell you to be different, because everyone is already taken. If you copy other people’s music, you may be in luck, but you’re not going to change the game. Then if you’re that guy – if you’re Trent Reznor or Prince – don’t stop no matter what. If you know you are that guy, it will eventually find its way. And that’s it.

There’s no secret sauce that someone is going to put on your head, and then all of a sudden you’re going to explode. It takes hard work and you just have to keep hammering at it, and then hopefully you can break through with something that no one has ever seen before, and then it’s game on.

EDM.com: Looking ahead, what are your plans for the future in terms of releasing music? Any plans for an album?

destroy: I’m working on even more songs with rappers. I have some new things that Taiki Nulight is helping me with, and we do some things together. I’m also working on another EP with all the rappers and then I have a few more things in funkland. I want to do some funky disco vibes and then come back to more house and rap, but the songs just come together when they come together.

EDM.com: Do you have one last thought you would like to leave with our readers?

destroy: I’m excited to be back. I am overjoyed that we are back. Let’s keep it that way, you know? Hopefully this stuff doesn’t come back. You cannot take things for granted.

My older brother died in 2004, and until that happened, I didn’t have that vision, you know? Every day is a gift. So for me I appreciate everything, always. And I think this whole pandemic has put it in perspective for a lot of people – don’t take things for granted. Anything can happen at any time, so enjoy your life. This is not a dress rehearsal.

You can stream “You’re The One For Me” here.


facebook: facebook.com/destructoAMF
Instagram: instagram.com/destructoamf
Twitter: twitter.com/destructoamf
Spotify: spoti.fi/3cA9M8b


facebook: facebook.com/troyboimusic
Instagram: instagram.com/troyboi
Twitter: twitter.com/TroyBoiMusic
Spotify: spoti.fi/3wkTdVC


Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.