From Online to Big Time: At Dirtybird Records, a New Flock Takes Flight

Like a mother bird keeping her eggs warm, Dirtybird Records has hatched the careers of several DJs in their own proverbial nest over the last 18 months, taking one artist after the next under their wing.

Social media helped to hype the label's newest recruits in the absence of live shows, but few could argue the real magic happened on the online streaming platform Twitch, which seemingly overnight became the heartbeat of the electronic dance music scene during the pandemic. For Dirtybird, their Twitch channel garnered staggering support with more than 7 million viewers tuning in to stream since April 2020, totaling more than 928,000 hours of direct screen time with fans. They also quickly racked up more than 50,000 active followers on the platform, bolstering their digital presence.

While the threat this era-defining pandemic poses appears to be drifting into the rearview (events are back!) newcomers who are all bristling with attitude and talent are putting in the work. Among some others, rising producers Nikki Nair, Lubelski and Nala all made waves on the imprint during this time by sharing their music on the Dirtybird Records Twitch channel.

Dirtybird co-founder Claude VonStroke.

Dirtybird co-founder Claude VonStroke.

By taking their place alongside the others on the label, like Walker and Royce, Justin Martin, and co-founder Claude VonStroke, they build on their momentum, translating their successes from digital “likes” and “listens” to flailing arms in a crowd. Each is also slated to take on a string of tour dates and major festivals, and the support from the label has translated to the studio as well. In fact, in the last three months, each of these artists has come out with new EPs with the exception of Lubelski, who has announced a full album of new music. 

Take Lubelski’s firehose of creativity and have a sip. While he was leading highbrow audio modulation classes, where other mad scientists could benefit from his far-reaching knowledge of sound design, he assembled his new track “Asylum” for his forthcoming Happy Accidents LP. With it, he takes the inventive spirit and prowess of his online sessions and casually flexes the sort of brainpower and experimentation that are just as at home in a lab as they are on the stage. We're not going to say his set will be head-scratching perfection and you'll hate yourself for missing it at Dirtybird Campout if you snooze on the chance to see him, but do we really have to?

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Nala, on the other hand, flies under the radar because she mostly has performed in clubs. Buut during the pandemic, she connected with fans on Twitch by hosting a weekly Livestream TV Party, which tallied more than 7500 viewers.

The Miami-born singer, songwriter, and powerhouse producer followed that up by co-writing her newest EP, Everything is Burning, with Dirtybird bossman Claude VonStroke. The scintillating two-track record is personal, energetic, and the fact that it was crafted as a musical reprieve from the climate crisis facing the planet makes it a timely concept with a welcome punch in the face.

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From Online to Big Time: At Dirtybird Records, a New Flock Takes Flight

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The case of the mysterious Nikki Nair, Tennessee’s premier house music titan, is a little different. His three years producing music have been a string of catapulting successes for the young hair god. Despite the limited time behind the decks he’s already turning the heads of big names like Jamie XX, Ben UFO, and Four Tet. That's one heck of a trajectory for a dude who can count his years in the studio on one hand.

Not surprisingly, his “In the Void” sessions on Twitch were always a splash as well, but in live shows the contents of his new four-track EP More is Different have been a full-on tsunami.

Nikki Nair Photo by Ian Flannery

Now that they’re steady in flight with the rest of the Dirtybird flock, one has to wonder how high they'll soar. Now that emerging luminaries like these have chosen Dirtybird Records as their nest, more will probably follow suit. And so the good thing grows.

That these artists get to deliver their new tunes next to legendary acts like Damian Lazarus, Carl Craig and Sir Mix-A-Lot make their upcoming appearance at Dirtybird Campout even more of a milestone. For fans, rubbing elbows with icons like these is a treat here too because DJs at Dirtybird Campout get the option to meet fans over an athletic game of pingpong, a totally safe paint archery lesson, or an obviously extra costumed boat race. They can even do it in a wildly clumsy but all too hilarious potato sack race. 

Tickets can be purchased while still available on the Dirtybird Campout website. You can also subscribe to their email newsletter "The Birdfeed" for the freshest info, updates, and exclusive music releases.



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