Community Artist Of The Month July   2024 - Dalvay

Community Artist Of The Month July 2024 - Dalvay

Pushing Boundaries: An Interview With Producer Dalvay

After a long hiatus, we're thrilled to reintroduce our Community Artist of the Month series. This time, we’re spotlighting a an exceptional talent: Canadian producer Dalvay. Making a name for himself with his performances in our beat battles, Dalvay continues to impress and inspire. We felt like now was the perfect moment to delve into his journey in music.


Dalvay’s musical roots run deep, tracing back to his childhood home filled with the sounds of jazz, funk, and soul. His father, a saxophonist and jazz school alumnus, was a pivotal influence. “There was always music in the house,” Dalvay recalls. This vibrant environment shaped his aspirations. A childhood plan to start a band with his cousins led him to the drums. “I was the only one that really followed through on that idea,” he chuckles. “It worked out alright though.”

Transitioning from Logic to Ableton this year, Dalvay decided to make the switch to explore Ableton;s live capabilities. He praises Ableton’s superior time-warping quality, making it his go-to DAW. "The quality of the time warping in Ableton is miles ahead of Logic," he notes.

His hardware setup, though modest, is powerful. “I have an AKAI MPK61 that I’ve had for like a decade, an electronic drum set for MIDI parts, and recently, an APC64 for live performances,” he shares.

When it comes to plugins, Dalvay is enthusiastic about his recent acquisitions from UAD, including LA-2A compressors and the API 2500 bus compressor. Arturia’s Analog Lab, RC-20, Decapitator, and Kickstart are also staples in his toolkit. Interestingly, he credits a vertical mouse for alleviating his carpal tunnel, underscoring the importance of ergonomics in a producer's life. “This is gonna sound wild, but a vertical mouse... my carpal tunnel has disappeared since I started using that.”

Producing Ellyn Woods’ album, All At Once, was a significant milestone for Dalvay. “It was my first opportunity to write and produce an album,” he says. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, he and Ellyn managed to create a cohesive body of work, writing initially in his apartment and then remotely. “I learned a lot from that experience and it pushed me to become more familiar with the industry and become a better songwriter, producer, and arranger.”

For Dalvay, tackling creative blocks involves a mix of technical strategies and self-care. Writing to acapellas, having ready-to-go presets, and recognizing when to take a break are key tactics. “Listen to an album you’ve never heard before, go for a walk, cook a favourite meal. Self-care, brother,” he advises.

Dalvay draws inspiration from contemporary funk and disco artists like Darius, Sam Gellaitry, Moods, and Cosmo’s Midnight. Recent albums that have influenced his thinking include Channel Tres’ Head Rush and Sam Gellaitry’s UNDER THE ILLUSION. “I like the idea that you can have an identifiable, core sound and then really stretch the boundaries to see where it takes you,” he explains.

As with all musician’s Dalvay has faced his challenges working in the industry admitting “Overcoming rejection and the self-doubt that comes from that was and is difficult,” however things like engaging in community activities like Bread & Butter’s beat battles has been instrumental in rebuilding his confidence. “Having a community that genuinely supports its members is invaluable,” he adds.

Dalvay’s advice to newcomers is simple yet profound: “Just start, you’ll regret not doing it sooner!” This echoes the sentiment that taking the first step is often the hardest yet most crucial part of any creative journey.

As for what’s next, Dalvay has several collaborations in the pipeline and is working on demos for his debut solo release. “Stay tuned!” he teases, hinting at an exciting year ahead.

A big thanks to Dalvay for giving us a glimpse into his world. Be sure to give him a follow on Instagram.