Sometimes the best music collaborations come from artists from completely different worlds.
Case in point: “God’s Child (Baila Conmigo),” a song co-written by the legendary Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and Selena, the queen of Tejano who was murdered in 1995, just months before her crossover album Dreaming Of You was released. The track blends Byrne’s instantly recognizable worldbeat instrumentals with Selena’s trademark, powerful vocals to create something truly unique.
Splicing together different genres is nothing new to El Dusty. The up-and-coming producer from Corpus Christi, Texas — homeplace of the aforementioned Selena, by the way — is making his mark by fusing EDM with cumbia. If anything, working with Token is a chance for El Dusty to put his encyclopedic knowledge of music and collection of 20,000+ records to good use.
“For me it’s always a process because I like so many types of different music and sometimes it doesn’t really fit with the people that I’m working with,” he told us. It makes sense. El Dusty’s past collabs include tracks with 3BallMty’s DJ Erick Rincon and Chingo Bling, artists who navigate in a similar musical space.
For his part, Token, a rapper from Salem, Mass., who spits so fast he could win over any would-be critics with his bars before they could get “but you’re white!” out of their mouths, recording with El Dusty was an organic experience.
“To really be here while the beat is getting constructed and putting it together, and doing different drops, and dissecting the stems and everything and he’s here while I’m writing it so he can be like, ‘yo, i like that part, i don’t like that part so much,’ that’s what it really about,” the rap prodigy explained. “That’s how you make something original and authentic.”
Despite their different backgrounds, the two musicians just clicked thanks in large part to their shared view that any challenge or obstacle is just an opportunity to level up as artists.
“I think it’s real important to work with new people, especially people that you don’t know and you’ve never met, and you’ve never worked with anybody with that kind of style because it’s a challenge, you know?” the South Texas beatmaker said. “It makes you strive to be better.”
“I don’t think it’s a good thing to be comfortable in the industry,” Token added. “If you’re content with where you’re at, if you’re not focused on moving past where you’re at, it leads to your demise.”
From the looks—and sounds—of it, neither Token or El Dusty look like they’re ready to pause.