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Disciples Interview: There is no such thing as overnight success

Jo Waddington interviews the titanic house music trio about their long journey to the top, collaborating with Calvin Harris and David Guetta, and the magic of Ibiza.

Mike Warburton

Last updated: 18th Aug 2016

Photo: Disciples

Disciples have been taking the global music scene by storm over the past 18 months. The trio of Duvall, Luke Mac and Gavin Kool have been in international demand thanks to the enormous success of their first two releases.

Their first breakthrough came with 'They Don’t Know', which after being initially picked as Pete Tong's Essential New Tune, went on to become their first club as well as chart success. That was followed up by Calvin Harris collaboration ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, which moved them from the underground into the the mainstream by hitting number two in the UK and making top ten in 74 more countries, which is just huge.

This summer sees Disciples continue with a fresh residency at Amnesia in Ibiza alongside MK, Claptone, Amine Edge & Dance, Shadow Child, Oliver Dollar, Hannah Wants and Gorgon City.

We catch up with the trio amidst the release of their new single 'Daylight' (below) to talk about their rise to fame and their residency this season in Ibiza.

Find Disciples tickets.

The past year has seen your career completely catapult. This time last year you had the track of the summer with ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and you seem to have done it again with ‘No Worries’. What’s the secret?

'How Deep Is Your Love' was written two years before its release. Calvin heard the demo and fell in love with it and offered to work on it and release it as a collaboration - it was a very organic process. I guess David heard what we did with Calvin and wanted the same thing. 

How did the collaboration with David Guetta come about for ‘No Worries’?

'No Worries' was finished many moons ago; we just didn’t have the right vehicle to put it out. David came to our studio one day, fell in love with the record, and asked us to release it with him. It was literally as simple as that.

What is the process when the three of you get into the studio and create a track?

It really varies, but predominately Duvall will be in the driving seat, starting ideas, bringing musical elements and directions to the session. Gavin usually brings an idea he has started on his own to the session, and he’s also the percussion man - he’ll make the beats sound good. Luke will be the missing link, the young energy adding vocal and arrangement ideas. 

This summer looks like it's a crazy one for you. You've played Exit and Glastonbury and still have other festival appearances including SW4 and Creamfields, as well as plenty more dates at Amnesia in Ibiza too. How does the vibe at festivals compare to playing at a big club in Ibiza?

We love how different it is everywhere we play, and we’re starting to get crowds who will appear just to see us - that feeling is indescribable. Ibiza shows always feel special as Luke and Gavin can go hard back to back and let their hair down. Festival shows are more thought out, with Duvall as the frontman interacting with the crowd. Our shows are continuously evolving.

Despite your seemingly overnight success with 'How Deep Is Your Love' last summer, you have actually been making music together for over 10 years. How difficult has it been for you to break through to the industry? 

We’ve broken through in different ways and at different times. Before Disciples was formed, Duvall produced and wrote left-of-centre pop for other artists, most notably Omi, Snoop Dogg and Little Mix to name a few.

Luke had been featuring on funky house records, writing raps, appearing with the best of the south London scene, and Gavin had been DJing and producing since he was 14 years old, playing hip-hop at The Penthouse in London during the week and trying to get up for school in the morning. 

It’s clear to us that the most defining moment was when our club track 'They Don’t Know' was played on radio and reached No.24 in the UK charts. It was also dubbed one of the biggest dance tracks of 2015 by our peers.

Have you any advice for aspiring artists. Tips that you know now that you wished you would have known 10 years ago?

Don’t be in a rush to make it. Enjoy getting better with every song you do and ask people that you trust for their opinion. Use the internet to get your music heard and don’t be so precious about it - let it go and let the people decide. One like will turn into five likes, which will turn into hundreds. Embrace the journey as there is no such thing as an overnight success, no matter how it may appear on TV. 

We touched on Ibiza earlier. What do you think it is about the Island that draws people and artists to it year after year?

Apparently there’s a magnetic rock about the size of a small village that actually draws people to the island. A woman told us to look out the window as we were landing and we couldn’t take our eyes off this rock. A less spiritual answer would be the music and the sexy girls. 

You have experience in playing at various venues around the island such as Amnesia, Sankeys, Pacha – do you find you have to adapt your style much to suit?

We’ve had the luxury of playing at all of those venues. We adjust rather than adapt, we want to play the music we love rather than just play to keep people on the dance floor. It’s a fine balance.

If you were curating your own line-up at a club in Ibiza, who would you have on the bill and why?

Amine Edge & Dance, MK, Disciples and the Martinez Brothers… because we’re all cool as f***!

Haha! What would you each say is the Ibiza 2016 track of the summer so far?

We would have to say our track 'Daylight', Frederic Scavo's 'BUG' and George Fitzgerald's Remix of 'Colt' by Dense & Pika.

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