Known for their international presence and upbeat heaters, Darren Styles and Toneshifterz combined their hard dance flavors in “Wasted” on Monstercat.
Having played gigs across the globe, Darren Styles and Toneshifterz both have greatly influenced the hard dance scene’s sounds — specifically UK hardcore and euphoric hardstyle, respectively. Darren Styles had taken the electronic scene by storm with his track “Switch,” which is included in electronic music setlists to this day. Meanwhile, Toneshifterz’s production “Paradise” went viral within the hard dance scene for its popularity in euphoric sets. Both artists produce tracks with similarly uplifting motifs. It was a no-brainer for them to work on “Wasted” together.
Give “their upbeat collaboration “Wasted” a listen on Spotify, and read on for the artists’ story behind the track.
Collaborating remotely, the two artists set out to cut an uplifting track. “We were just looking to make a party banger. There are some psy influences in ‘Wasted,’ and definitely hardstyle, hard dance, and UK hardcore. Darren was showing me this cool vocal hook in the track and I really loved it, so we just ended up proceeding with it,” Toneshifterz shared. During the process, Darren Styles and Toneshifterz would send bits and pieces of the track to each other, so they didn’t have the instant feedback that would usually occur in studio sessions.
Because of the similarities in themes throughout their recorded music, both artists were able to seamlessly meld their sounds and core elements within “Wasted.” With the rise of the psy sound in hard dance — one neither artist regularly produces — the first drop of the track is a pleasant surprise. To be fair, though, Toneshifterz has previously incorporated psy drops at various points in his discography.
“Toneshifterz brought that influence to the track,” Styles revealed. “His psy drop was actually the original idea for the track, so it was in there from the start and then we built the track out from that.”
There has also been an overwhelming surge in increasing BPMs and intensity within the hard dance scene with the exponential rise in uptempo and rougher-sounding rawstyle. With its heavily distorted kicks and consistently higher tempos, “Wasted” seems to shine brightly as a counterbalance to other artists’ rougher tracks in addition to one of few Monstercat hard dance releases. In the collaboration, both Darren Styles and Toneshifterz seem to remain sticking to their signature sounds.
Toneshifterz elaborates on his tendency to rebel against today’s current sound. “To be honest, as a hardstyle producer, I always kind of produced a lot of different styles within the genre,” he says. “I tend to like a little bit of the rougher vibe, but I also like the more light, melodic stuff, too! These days, I personally feel a bit lost amongst all the silly hype ’cause the current sound is miles beyond what I started making. So, to be true and go against the current sound, or to just be yourself and make what’s true to you? I’ve always just made what I like and enjoy and that’s the most important thing!”
Hard dance as a whole is gradually shifting towards the rougher and faster styles. Meanwhile, the younger US scene seems to be a cauldron open to all sounds — even new sub-genres. Artists booked globally often vary their sets according to region. Darren Styles and Toneshifterz play in Europe and the US most often. Both tend to tweak their sets depending on where they’re playing, but party tracks like “Wasted” are universal.
Darren Styles has an upcoming gig in the States. “I’m really looking forward to Escape Halloween,” he says. “There’s just something about Insomniac gigs that always goes the extra mile. I’ve recently had a new studio built over the summer, so I hope to have some new tracks ready to play out for all my US fans“.
We look forward to Darren Styles sharing this track live with a US audience for both artists. Although Toneshifterz does not have any US gigs for the remainder of the year, 2024 is looking bright and we have no doubt he’ll be excited to play “Wasted” for his fans in Europe and other regions.