1 Apr 2022

5YRS: In conversation wtih Lucky Done Gone

A few weeks ago, Lucky Done Gone invited us into his house in Amsterdam to shoot a candid interview with him to promote the new track he is featured in on the 5YRS of DGTL Records compilation vinyl.

 

This is a special moment not only because the record celebrates the 5 year anniversary of DGTL records, but also because it is Lucky’s debut release as well as an artist.

 

Lucky exudes warmth and happiness, always cracking jokes in between. You hear this in his answers where we talk about his career, how music is a form of communication for him, and his journey towards figuring out why he’s doing what he’s doing.

 

Our conversation went on for an hour, and you can find its transcript down below. I kept the editing to a minimum, only doing necessary edits for grammar, structure, and spelling.

 

You can listen to the EP he’s featured in here, where you can also pre-order the vinyl.

 

 

The Interview

 

 

 

 

Akila Ksatryo  

Hello, Lucky. It's good to see you again. We met a few weeks ago. And then finally, it's happening. For those who don't know who you are, can you give us a little introduction to who Lucky Done Gone is?

 

Lucky Done Gone

Yeah, of course. My name is Lucky Done Gone. I'm 30 years old and have been living in Amsterdam for four and a half years now. Yeah, and I'm into music, I think for almost 10, 15 years. But in the last couple of years, it's become a bit more serious. It's my life. 

 

A.K 

First and foremost, congrats on your release with DGTL. 

 

Lucky Done Gone 

Thank you!

 

A.K 

When I looked online, I couldn't find too much information about your history. So I thought we could start this interview with some insights into who you are. So I'd like to know where your musical journey started?

 

Lucky Done Gone

Yes, I'm born in a little place in the south of the Netherlands called Oirlo. It's at Limburg. I grew up and I started getting into music, I played the drums, met with friends and found some music on the internet. And then I thought, Hey, I like music. I like music a lot. So I started diving deep into other other styles of music. From there, I moved to Tilburg, I lived there for five years, and then studied in Breda. And from there on, I found a way of digging for myself. I like electronic music in many ways, but I'm looking for a specific energy and an atmosphere, and yeah, a specific vibe or something in music that I can identify myself with, and I really like to show that to other people.  So from there on I started looking into music a bit more professionally. I was DJing. But not that much. And not at the places I would like to play. I was making music but not the music I would like to make. So at that point, I was looking and searching. Studying. But there was this point where I found it. And I don't know when it was but I found a sound, a vibe, an energy and a specific feeling like how to show myself as a person and as a DJ through music. From, I made a plan out of it. And then it was like, Hey I want to get more out of it as it means the world to me. So what can I do? So I moved to Amsterdam, to get an internship at Appenkooi events. So DGTL, was one of the first steps into Amsterdam and the musical side of things in the industry. And then yeah, I found myself here in the city, and found my own way into the scene and the music industry. Now I know what I want specifically, and how I want to do it and how I want to make it so I can explore myself in my own way. And that's how I would like to share myself into the world with through music.

 

A.K

A surrounding topic of what you just answered was that you express yourself, your ideas, or your personality through the sounds you produced, can you elaborate on this further?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

I think I'm a sensitive boy. And I really like to make fun, make jokes, dance, make history, and enjoy the moment. But also I have time for serious stuff like how I feel, what is going on in the world, how people are feeling - so I'm always taking a look into a group of people or a dance floor for example, to look at how everyone's going or how is the general vibe. I try to make a connection when I'm DJing, or as a person in a group, to make a connection like we're in this together. Let's enjoy, let's make fun. And music is for me a specific way of sharing energy and sharing and a moment or a specific vibe. And when I'm DJing I'm always looking into the dancefloor and into the eyes of the people like, Hey, are we are the same level or do I need to get into a higher level or a bit more down? And at some point, you feel the connection, and then it's gonna explode into a super intense moment. And that's what I like most and what I like most to play. But to describe how I am as a person, it's difficult to find the right words, however since music is a sensitive thing, and so am I, it's super easy to show myself through music. And hopefully, people can enjoy that way of sharing myself.

 

A.K

That's really interesting. Because it seems like music is, how you say, almost like language for you?

 

Lucky Done Gone

Yeah.

 

A.K   

Is there a specific and say track or soundtrack that you can say that - Wow, this is like the soundtrack to my life?

 

Lucky Done Gone   

Poah so many. Yeah. There are so many like... What I really like is to get into the music that was there when I was born.  Like there's so much music from the 90s that I still can play and that still has this super energetic vibe that I think What?! And yet, there are so many types of music that can guide you into your life, but that's the thing about music, I think there is always room for music. When you're are at the most difficult moment in your life music can help you. If you are super happy and you are with your friends somewhere on a dance floor or in a bar and you're enjoying yourself and enjoying your life, there's always music playing. And I think there are so many tracks that can guide you into that moment or give you a reminder of that moment.

 

A.K

That's a great answer. Talking about moments, this is also the first time you're releasing a track, and more than anything else with DGTL as well. Seeing how important this moment is, at least to the way I see it as an artist, I wanted to ask you what this track means to you and how it represents you?

 

Lucky Done Gone

Yeah, it means the world to me. I'm really proud of it because of what I mentioned earlier, like to express yourself as a person musically, it's quite difficult. You need to trust yourself and to feel good about showing what you want. And this track is something I'm really proud of because it's really me and it's a part of me. 

 

A.K  

And can you tell me about how you went about making the track?

 

Lucky Done Gone 

During the pandemic, when everyone and everything was in lockdown, I found a structure in life where I got into sports, going outside, and making music. From here, there was a track where I was like, okay, cool. This is something. And then a friend of mine. He's called Tomas. Shout out to Thomas. He drove by and he was like, Hey, are you still making music? And I was like, Yeah, I built my own studio over here. So we had some beers, opened up our laptops and then made some music. When we were making tracks, he was like, No, this is cool. That's cool. So the ideas were there in my mind, but not in the projects on Ableton. So from there on, there was a basic arrangement, like, Okay, now we can do it better and better and better. And I think the last step is to trust yourself. That was one of the first moments in my life where I was like, Yes. This is it. And Danna worked it out. And I had a chat with Tim about the label, like, Hey, this is a cool track. I sent other tracks but this was a completed track and a good track. And then it worked out. I'm really happy.

 

A.K

Can you tell me more about that - Aha moment? Because I know how difficult it may be to figure out when a track is done.

 

Lucky Done Gone

Yeah, I learned at some point that 90% of the music you will make, you can throw it away. 90%! So at some point, it's really disappointing, you are working on a track, and you have an idea in mind. But it doesn't come out the way you want it. And at some point, it's really frustrating. But at other times, it has also taken me two hours to get an arrangement of a track. And I was like, Well, damn, this is it, man. And I read a book and it's like how to make music. And it taught me that you need to have a project in mind before you start making music, like it's the same same as if you are into cooking. You look into a book or on the Internet, what am I going to cook? What do I need to make it? And what do I need to create a better taste? And that's exactly what you need to do with making music like hey, what's on your mind? And how can I write it down and work it out on a budget. And that's it. I had the time during the pandemic to look into the process, and I realised that a lot of things I was doing during life, like working 40 hours a week and then playing a DJ set, were a bit of a roller coaster. The process around things was not going that well. So now I found the process and I had time to look into the process, and learned how to organise this process better to get something out of it.

 

A.K  

Can you tell me the differences between how you used to do it before and how you do it now?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Now I trust myself to be an artist, because during the pandemic, I was thinking to myself - Hmm, what am I going to do with this life? Do I miss it? - And yeah, I realised that it means the world to me. And it is a way of, as you said earlier, a way of talking for me as a person. It's a language for me. And from now on, I realised, okay, this is the world, and I need to get more out of it. At some point, I realized that I was a DJ and an artist, but I wanted to become a producer and an entertainer. So there was a lot popping up during that time, and I needed to do something. For example to keep smiling because that's me. So I need to smile, to share positive vibes. And music-wise, I needed to make music because if you are an artist, you need to share the type of music you would like to share with other people. And another thing that keeps me motivated is that if I'm going to die at some point, there is always a record of mine somewhere existing.

 

A.K   

That's really wonderful to hear. I think I'll touch back on that a little later. I wanted to ask you, seeing that you're someone who grew up outside of the Randstad, what are some things out there that you really like?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

I think the smaller cities make the seeds for growth, but they need to work really hard to show themselves and to show some musical guidelines. And in some cities like Groningen or Tilburg, there are also a lot of students over there who are there for like four years, and then they leave the city to pursue something further than that. So it's really difficult to build up a community or a scene. But at the same time, that's the most important thing in a smaller city, that with the number of people and the variety of sounds of different people, that they can do something special together. I also believe that having a lot of small parties is really what makes a scene. And for those student cities with students only living there for around four years, they're still looking for what they like so they go to explore themselves, and can discover what they really like.

 

A.K 

I have a few friends who are also in these smaller cities right now, some of them are considering moving to Amsterdam. Do you have any tips and tricks for them to help them with their move here?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

I think there's so much going on over here for me. I get to see so many different people, so many different cultures. I need to talk in English, I need to talk in Dutch, and for some people I can't talk with them because we're not talking in the same language. And that's what I like the most and that keeps me motivated. And if you are walking around the city, you see so many different people and I really like the amount of people, the chaotic stuff and the constant sounds and motion. I like the energy. I like to take a step back now and then to hear the sounds of the city. And if you want to learn how to ride a bicycle, come to Amsterdam, but if you're a Dutchy, you might hate riding your bike here [laughs].

 

A.K  

You get the worst people here sometimes on the road, with people walking on the street all the time.

 

Lucky Done Gone   

Poah. Yeah. When it's at eight in the morning, you're just waking up and you're on your bike. It's a green light and then you see someone walk in front of you. 

 

A.K 

Yeah, yeah.

 

Lucky Done Gone   

But then again, when I was younger and into music, I was looking whether there were people with the same interests as me around my neighbourhood? But I couldn't find anyone. So then I moved to Tilburg, and I have to say there was something there, but not exactly what I wanted. Here (Amsterdam) there is everything.

 

A.K 

Yeah, that reminds me of a story I read about your first time playing at Paradiso nine years ago?

 

Lucky Done Gone

Yeah, it was a good story. I think it was a drum and bass night, and there was a contest for a gig at Paradiso. But I was mainly playing house and techno. But for the sake of the competition and to play at Paradiso, I made a mix with drum and bass music, and I won the contest. So I asked a good friend of mine who was playing drum and bass seriously, whether or not he would like to play back to back with me [laughs].

 

A.K  

Since that gig in Paradiso nine years ago, you've managed to perform at bigger and bigger events, do you still get excited for new gigs? Or has that sense of excitement faded away?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah. Every gig keeps me excited. Especially now, like after two years without it. What I like the most about it is to be at home and to think to myself, like - hey, I'm going to play there this weekend, what am I going to play? What can I play? Which kind of records do I like to play? What is missing? - And afterwards I look for what's missing and start digging or searching for specific records and then you find something totally different, and then you're like whoa. Afterwards, I try it at home to see if it's working together and whether it is the same as the idea I had in mind? And then it's super cool to see later on if what you saw in your head is what you see on stage. But that's what keeps me excited and what keeps me motivated to work with it. 

 

A.K   

It will also be your first time playing at DGTL Festival this summer? How does that feel? And how does something like that differ from gigs like Operator Radio for example?

 

Lucky Done Gone   

Yeah, for Operator or Radio shows in general, it's cool to play other music than what you'd play at a festival or at a party. And you can always relisten to it afterwards. And playing at DGTL Festival is a special moment for me because it's a really big festival in the Netherlands and playing the main stage on Saturdays is like a super big compliment to me as an artist. And for myself, it's like a really big compliment to what I do now and to see that it's working. 

 

A.K  

Were there times when you were a bit unsure about whether or not this was the right career for you?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah, yeah. Many times. I think between the 20 and 25 until now, I had in mind what I wanted but I didn't know how I needed to do it, and how it works for me. So at many points there was like - huh, this isn't working for me. I want to be there, but I can't. - And I was worried. I graduated, so I needed to find a job, and of course, I would like to play more as well, but it wasn't more. So I need to find a way of living to combine many things. But now, and especially after the pandemic, I realised what it means to me. And I get more time to look into the process and into a way of living that works for me, and that combines with the artist's life.

 

A.K 

Yeah, because it's interesting, because I also have some friends who don't feel like they're getting the success they have imagined in their heads, and it makes them doubt whether or not they should keep on doing this and whether it's worth it or not? And sometimes I look at them and I feel like they're still missing why they're really doing this for, and it seems that you have found your reason for doing this.

 

Lucky Done Gone 

I've totally found the reason why I'm doing this, but it was a roller coaster figuring this out. Like when you're on social media, and you want to show yourself and then you're looking for a typical reaction from people, and if that reaction isn't there, you get frustrated. Then you start thinking - Huh? What's going wrong? Is it me? Or is it you know... And then you're stuck in a negative flow or something. But I think the success is if you are happy with it, that's the whole success. And if you can enjoy people with that, then it's okay, then it's totally fine. And that's how I stand in this whole thing now. Like especially with this DGTL gig, that's a big compliment. And if there are 1000 people over there, or 50,000 people or nobody. It's still a super big compliment. So that's my success.

 

A.K  

Is there something that you wish you could tell your younger more frustrated self? 

 

Lucky Done Gone 

Yeah, what I liked the most is not about getting success or getting always a super happy and positive reaction from everybody for their sake, but more about that this is what I like the most, and to share it with people and to hope that they enjoy it too. But if they don't, it's also good. Because this is the way that works out for me the best.

 

A.K  

Yeah because I think that it kinda goes quite hand in hand with what you said about how music being an extension of who you are. Then it really feels like when you're playing, it's not just to please everybody else but also for your own reasons and to communicate with them. Because I do know some people who are still doing this for everyone else but themselves.

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah, but I had the same feeling, there were some points where I thought to myself that I needed to be there and I needed to be one of the biggest DJs in the world. I think it's good to think that and to look forward if it can work out, and if you find a way that will make that work out, it's okay, but I think you need to look into your definition of success, and to find what success is for yourself. And if you're happy with the things you do, then it's okay. And if you can enjoy people with that, then it's also okay. And if you don't make people angry, then it's totally okay [laughs]. But sometimes you also need to realise that if you don't like it, or that if this is not the way, then that's also okay. 

 

A.K

It seems like before success might have been getting the biggest gigs for you, but since then you’ve rediscovered what success might be for you. Can you tell me what this version of success is for you now?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah, it is about being proud of yourself for what you've done before. I'm totally happy with how things are going now and that I reached this level, both personally and as an artist. And now, it's about how I can get better at making music or playing records. There's still so much music for me to explore, and so much music going on in the world. So it's still rolling, and if it's still going then that's a good thing because you can explore yourself all the time, either for me personally or for me as an artist.

 

A.K 

That's great to hear. I also feel like there's a difference though when you play a track that you've discovered compared to playing a track that you've created, because to some extent, what you've created is also you.

 

Lucky Done Gone    

Yeah, I think it's not completely me. But it's one complete thing that came out of me, my emotions, my feelings and my energy at that moment. And I think a special thing about making music, but also about playing music, is the mood and the vibe. When I made this track for example, it was at the beginning of the pandemic. I missed the club and I missed the dance floor. So what you hear is like this really energetic track with heavy synths and snares, and is quite big room you know? So at that point, I was missing the whole thing and was upset, like - Hey, I'm here but I want to go out and want to play records - so from an upset or sad vibe, I made this track. I mean it is a bit dark and with some heavy synths and snares, so it's not that sad and I tried to not make it that sad, but when at the moment I was creating it, I was sad.

 

A.K

Because I wouldn't call this track sad at all. I felt super uplifted. 

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah, but at that point it felt there was something that needed to come out of me? Like, normally I could go to a club, or meet my friends, play sports, play records or make music, but during the pandemic, I couldn't. At that point, it was like, you're stuck in your home and you want this, but you can't. And then I found a way to put this into a track. And I think it's not as dramatic as I mentioned it just now, but some of the sounds and some specific points of the track were about how I felt at that moment.

 

A.K 

Can you pinpoint that specific sound or point?

 

Lucky Done Gone 

The snares, the rolling baseline, and a bit of the wavy synths... And the heavy break. The track falls down into nothing and then it's built back up into an explosion. And that explosion is what I missed the most at that point. 

 

A.K  

Would you classify this high-energy track as your typical sound or how would you go about it in the future?

 

Lucky Done Gone 

I think I'm more than only an energetic and dark track producer. I would like to see myself in a couple of years as a musician, but then I would need to make more music that is not specifically only this vibe or energy. I need to make more out of electronic music. That's a goal for me. So now I have my own studio. I'm working there for two days a week, and I try to make so many different things. And what I like the most is that you are looking for your own sound, and that the coolest thing is to hear that in your different tracks or different projects.

 

A.K   

Do you feel like these songs are slowly becoming a small image of who you are?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah. I think my goal for the future is to make an album because then I can show who I am totally, both personally and as a musician.

 

A.K  

What do you think this album would sound like in your head?

 

Lucky Done Gone   

I think it's a bit dreamy, sensitive, energetic and fun through many different sounds, but always electronic. 

 

A.K

That's a great answer. I wanted to ask you about your new clubnight at Parallel called Modus, it seems like you're trying to challenge the way music is experienced?

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah, together with Parallel, we looked into the different things around clubbing and dancing, and the experience of music. Listening to music or dancing to it can go on and on. But the things around it, like having a chat with someone new or sharing your experiences with the people you meet, that's what makes the moment you know? During the week, you're excited for the weekend as a whole, but afterwards, you only remember one specific moment, and maybe that's a new friend or maybe that was one record. But in the end, it's always what's around it, and that's what I want to focus on.

 

A.K  

Yeah, I agree. It's always nice when I see projects like this happen, because I think it redefines the experience of consuming music and the role it plays.

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah, the music is one thing but it's also about the whole experience. And in my opinion, when you walk into a new place, or a new event, or a new area, there are so many things that will provide you this enjoyment.

 

A.K 

I think I want to end this interview with one last question, which is something we also talked about at a party we met at a few weeks ago. I wanted to ask you, what sort of legacy would you like to leave behind? 

 

Lucky Done Gone  

Yeah, I think positive vibes. And the positive vibes you need to create by yourself to share love and share positive energy with others which they can then share with you. You need to share your positive energy and good vibes with others and then you can get it back.

 

A.K  

Perfect. Well, thank you so much Lucky from this interview.

 

 

A final thank you from the interviewer

 

 

 

 

First and foremost, a big thank you to you for reading this full interview, it was definitely a long read, so if you made it to the end, a big warm shout out to you.

 

Thank you to Lucky for inviting us into his space, and speaking so openly about himself. And also for the trust he had in us for telling his story.

 

A thank you to both Tim and Tessa for trusting me with this project and helping facilitate this into fruition.

 

And finally a big thank you to the Raya team, to Brandon and Justus who came to shoot with us on the day, and to David for driving all the way from Groningen to make this shoot logistically easier for us.

 

You can listen to the EP he’s featured in here.

 

You can pre-order the entire 5YRS of DGTL Records vinyl here.

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