DISCO D with ANDREW ALLSGOOD , DEE JAY NAV , DOUGIE BOOM at Footwork (425 Adelaide West), Thursday (March 9). $5 before midnight, more after. www.footworkbar.com. Rating: NNNNN
When Disco D (aka David Shayman) describes himself as bipolar, it's not immediately obvious if he's referring to the mental illness or using it as a metaphor.
There's definitely a striking dichotomy between the two sides of his personality: one minute he's waxing poetic about how learning Portuguese has opened up his ears and changed how he hears music; the next he's casually talking about lawyers, business meetings with labels and all the other less-than-poetic aspects of the music business.
On one hand, he emerged out of Detroit's underground ghetto-tech scene, but he's equally proud of his work with mainstream urban artists like 50 Cent and Usher, and even of the music he's done for TV ads.
So how does a guy who started out making underground booty tracks end up being hyped up as the next big urban producer? And why isn't he more distressed about being most famous for producing beats for Kevin Federline (aka Britney Spears's boy-toy)?
"When I was really heavy into the ghetto-tech stuff, I wanted to urbanize electronic music and make it more accessible, but that wasn't really working," Shayman explains from his Brooklyn home. "I decided to start following my emotions and feelings instead of one particular sound.
"I've found a formula that's pretty close to what artists want, and I have a good track record so far. I'm the guy who comes in at the last minute to pull it all together, but soon I'll be the guy they call up to start with."
That cocky confidence is a recurring theme in the interview. Shayman seems to have no doubt that he's going to have that big hit very soon, but at the same time he's far from naive about how the industry works.
Going to school for business while cultivating his production chops may have given him a bit of an edge over the usual underground beat merchant, or at least made it easier to embrace a project like Kevin "Spenderline" Federline.
"It was actually one of the most fun times in my life. He's nothing like what the media make him out to be - people are just jealous because he's such a pimp. He's a millionaire and is married to a girl most guys would kill to be with. It doesn't really matter what people say, because it's only going to hurt if people stop talking about him. No matter what, at least the beats are tight."