From Johnny Cash and Neil Young to garage bands to Avicii to the Jonas Brothers, Dexter’s musical tree roots deep and winding.

Dexter, an up-and-coming electronic dance music (EDM) producer, picked up the guitar at 13 and taught himself The Man in Black as well as the miner for a “Heart of Gold.” At 17, Dexter got into producing on his computer.

“I started off with garage bands, and then to Logic [Pro, a digital audio software],” says Dexter. “Then I saw a video of Avicii on YouTube using another program called FL Studio, so as soon as I saw him using that, I was like ‘I have to use that.’ I’ve been super addicted to it, producing every single day since then really.”

ED Magazine spoke with Dexter — on behalf of — about Avicii, his single “Answer to Love” and more!

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ED: What do you remember most about your studio operator days?

DEXTER: When I got into the studio, here in my town we built a studio—I was giving back to the community and teaching younger kids how to produce, which is something I didn’t have growing up. Being able to show other people how to use instruments and the program is the biggest takeaway from that.

ED: Have you been in awe working with anyone? Did you feel extra pressure in that circumstance?

DEXTER: My biggest interaction with that was I got a call from my manager and he told me I had the OK to remix one of Avicii’s songs from his last album “Tim”. That’s when I felt the full pressure because I always loved Avicii. To get that moment to have that feeling of collaboration was just something. I think I made like 30 versions of the remix before I got to the final one, just cause I had to make sure I was trying everything and once it’s out, you can’t change it. 

ED: If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Dexter has been “addicted” to producing since seeing a video of Avicii on YouTube using FL Studio.

DEXTER: It would have to be Avicii because he’s the foundation to my career. Everything I’ve learned, I learned through just listening to his music and trying to dissect all of his melodies and arrangements. He’s the man.

ED: How’d you link up with Earl St. Clair for “Answer to Love”?

DEXTER: We linked up through my record label, 12 Tone. They put us together, sent him the song, he really loved it. When I was in California rehearsing for the Jonas Brothers tour, I was able to get in the studio with him and we were able to finish off the final touches, vocal articulation, the nitty-gritty details. But after we had finished the song, I found out Earl sang on an Avicii song on his Stories album, “Pure Grinding”. It was a full-circle moment. 

ED: With so many platforms via social media and the internet, do you think it’s easier to be heard/seen or harder to be identified among the masses?

DEXTER: I think it’s easier to be heard if you can hone in and focus on what your niche is and use that to drive the traffic with the platform. I think it’s harder to be heard with how much saturation there is in social media and all those platforms if you try to follow someone else’s sound or do the general thing. 

“It was one of those moments where I kind of blacked out, even though I was sober.”  — Dexter, on premiering an electronic cover of “Sweet Dreams”

ED: What’s been your most memorable live performance? What made it so memorable?

DEXTER: This past September. This other girl on our label, we collaborated and did a cover rendition of “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, an electro version. We premiered [an electronic version of “Sweet Dreams”] at the Jonas Brothers tour in Dallas for the first night and it was so memorable because it was my first time getting in a stadium and playing something I had produced. It was one of those moments where I kind of blacked out, even though I was sober.

ED: StripJoints services DJs at gentlemen’s clubs nationwide, so why would “Answer to Love” be a good choice to play at a gentlemen’s club? 

DEXTER: I think the reason it’s a great track is that a lot of people experience strip clubs for the first time, the environment is new to them and they’ve probably heard things that aren’t true. I think “Answer to Love” is as simple as “yes” and just walking into a strip club and allowing yourself to be a human. The answer is “yes” and when it comes to “yes,” you got more dollar bills. 

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