Emorfik Shares His Musical Upbringing, Wild Tour Moments, + Latest Track "Time"
Damiano Cortini, also known as Emorfik, is one of the youngest rising names in the heavy bass and riddim community. Playing his first show at just 14 years old, Emorfik has the power to control any dance floor that lays in front of him with "Angry Shit Only". Boasting over 400,000 collective streams to his name, this talented producer has released tracks on Space Yacht, Cyclops Records, and other popular labels, rapidly expand his fanbase with each release. His new track, "Time" recently went viral on TikTok prior to being made public. Currently, Emorfik is traveling across the US on a massive 35-city 5-month tour, set to make appearances at North Coast Music Festival, Lost Lands, and EDC Orlando.
Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Emorfik below.
iEDM: How did growing up in Syracuse influence your passion for music? How did you first get introduced to EDM and who were some of your favorite artists and tracks that inspired you to produce your own unique style of riddim?
Emorfik: My passion definitely came from my family. Everyone in my family plays at least two instruments. Growing up, music was always in the background and we would jam out with each other on the weekends. EDM in Syracuse isn’t the most popular so it did not have a significant influence on me. My brother was one of the first people to introduce me to EDM. We were on a random car ride and he was playing Skrillex; I instantly got hooked. After I was introduced to EDM, my family and I went to a Skrillex concert. From that moment on I knew right there what I wanted to pursue in life. Skrillex was the top EDM artist that I listened to and I can say that I was heavily influenced just by him.
iEDM: You and your older brother Jake went door-to-door trying to land any performances you could during the early phases of your career. What was the atmosphere like at the high school parties and warehouses that you played at? How has Jake’s support helped your career?
Emorfik: It depends, some parties were a lot crazier than others. Every weekend we would always try to find a party, some of them felt dangerous and others were so much fun. My brother has played that big brother role in my life and he has looked out for me, making sure I was safe at every show.
iEDM: After starting your music career at such a young age, what you have achieved as an artist at only 20 years old is incredible. What was your learning process when you first began DJing and producing? What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome while experimenting to find your one-of-a-kind sound?
Emorfik: At first, I just tried experimenting. I also went to a couple of small music classes over the years. When it came to super in-depth questions I had YouTube always helped. In the end, I really think I’ve learned the most just by time and experimentation. The hardest challenge was expecting way too much at the beginning. I wanted to be at Virtual Riot level when I first started but I had an unfortunate realization, seeing it wasn't going to be that easy right off the bat.
iEDM: TikTok has been a huge platform for your fans to follow your music career and stay updated with projects you’re working on. Why do you think this type of media is so effective in growing your audience? Which features on TikTok do you value the most and what’s your favorite video you have posted?
Emorfik: I think it’s so effective because of how random it can be. I have had videos reach 1,000 people and I have had videos reach 600,000 people. It’s extremely rewarding because the more you post, the more people will see the videos. It’s grown my audience by being a vessel for me to interact with them and show them my art in a much more fun environment (DJing it). My favorite part of TikTok is the randomness. When I say anything can go viral, I really mean it. I posted a silly video of me djing while I was in a hot tub and it reached thousands of people.
My favorite video I’ve posted is of my new song “Time”. It showed me how the fans can help in ways you'd never understand. “Time” isn't my favorite song and I didn't think much of it until I posted it and received over 600,000 views. This is proof that even the more simple songs can have such a huge impact on social media.
iEDM: Your performances never fail to electrify a crowd. What is the craziest crowd reaction you’ve gotten from one of your sets? Whether it was one you were in or one you created, what is your favorite mosh pit story?
Emorfik: This is a tough one. Out of all my tour stops, Minnesota has been the craziest. They literally nicknamed my set “the hour-long mosh pit”. Other than some doubles or triples I do to get a reaction, one of my new songs coming out soon brought the demons out of people. It was awesome to know one of the songs that I made brought that emotion to my audience. My favorite mosh pit story has to be the first time I asked for a wall of death. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it's basically like a mosh pit but the whole room splits into two parts and runs at each other on the drop.
iEDM: “Angry Shit Only!” is often shouted by “Emorfik’s Tribe”, your diehard fanbase, during your sets. How did you come up with the phrase and what does it mean to you?
Emorfik: I always liked saying little phrases or anything to do with music and one day I was thinking about the kind of music I want to make. I only recall saying that phrase out loud and not thinking twice about it. Little did I know the importance it has on me today!
iEDM: The buildup in your newest single “Time” is so melodic and mesmerizing. What were the steps you took to blend this into the intense drop and riddim that follows?
Emorfik: I’ve always enjoyed making multi-genre songs. You can really reach a huge audience of people when you do this because you are killing two birds with one stone. It can be pretty difficult to do this of course but it just comes through practice. “Time” has a tempo change of 140BPM - 174BPM, you have to be super careful when doing this because it can throw people off if you don’t do it right. I make sure to take the idea of rhythm out of play when changing tempo. Sometimes when you raise the tempo, with let's say a beat going on, it will easily confuse the listener. I tend to take very simple approaches by using reverb to my advantage and even sound effects. In the tempo change in “Time”, I used a clock sound to let people know the tempo was speeding up.
iEDM: How did you come up with the vocal for “Time” and how are you metaphorically able to stop it? Why did you choose to use a female-sounding vocal that switches to “I can stop it” in a deeper sinister voice prior to the bass drop?
Emorfik: The vocal for “Time” was a quick thought I had during the day. I usually make music now for the reaction of people rather than it just being a normal song. The phrase “I can stop it” can relate to real life. Life can be super crazy and fun but sometimes we forget to stop and appreciate the little things and enjoy the time we have. “Time” is just a message to tell people to be grateful and mindful of how precious life can be. For the female part, then sinister, I thought it would be creative to go from a normal vocal to a very scary one in a matter of seconds. I think it's just in the end a cool addition of ear candy that people can appreciate.
iEDM: What was the toughest obstacle when layering the synths and sounds throughout the second half of “Time”?
Emorfik: The second drop of time actually was pretty interesting to work on. It’s obvious that the second drop of “Time” has a lot more going on than the first. The biggest obstacle was making sure everything sounded the best it could. I went for a crazier all-over-the-place drop so I had to make sure that it wasn't too harsh or muddy.
iEDM: What led to the shift in monikers from DaKai to Emorfik? How does Emorfik best represent your heavy-hitting bass persona and high-energy stage presence?
Emorfik: Dakai was actually my second name! The first ever name I created was called Zagg. It turned out Zagg was a phone repair company so I had to change that immediately. I remember the car ride when the name Dakai was made. I was with my family and my father was the one who came up with it. While I was in love with the name Dakai, I was unfortunately faced with making another name change. I wanted to copyright Dakai but it sounded too similar to another copyright. At the time when I had to make that change, I was extremely sad, I felt like everything I had created around that name was meant for nothing since I was forced to change it.
Emorfik was a name that took over three months to make. I can also assure you that it has a ton more meaning than Dakai. As I said before, the name change put me in a sad mood so I wanted this name to represent the feeling of change and accomplishment. The E stands for evolve, MOR stands for morph, and the F stands for Future. The IK was the best-sounding ending. Emorfik basically means going from a state of loss or no direction to a place where goals and milestones have been reached.
iEDM: You have been an advocate for living life to the fullest and truly appreciating every moment. What advice would you give someone who feels like they aren’t living up to their potential or is stuck dwelling on their past rather than being grateful for it?
Emorfik: I can truly say that it is okay to be down on days. This career choice is not all fun and happy. It can be a lot for people and it’s crucial to know your fans (NO MATTER THE AMOUNT) will always be there to support you and push you harder than even yourself ever could. A huge piece of advice I would say is to practice gratitude, stay in the present, and most importantly TALK TO PEOPLE.
iEDM: What has been the most memorable highlight of your 5-month Chapter 2 tour so far and what are you most looking forward to?
Emorfik: Honestly, I think just meeting everyone. From a DM on Instagram to meeting someone in real life can be f***ing awesome. The overall experience shows have given me has been so incredible and I couldn't be happier with the position I'm in. I’m looking forward to meeting more new people, learning more about myself, and continuing to do what I love most.
iEDM: September is set to be an insane month full of shows and festival appearances. What surprises do you have in store for your audience at North Coast Music Festival and Lost Lands? What was your initial reaction to being featured on the Lost Lands lineup and what are you most excited about for the festival?
Emorfik: Unfortunately, I cannot say that. My surprise will happen at Lost Lands so you are going to have to see the set to find out! Over the past few months, I have really figured out a lot about myself. I'm not a very reactive person. I like to celebrate on the inside. When I was told I was playing Lost Lands, I think my blood pressure dropped because I had to sit down and drink so much water. It felt like I was on top of the world and every bump in the road leading up to that moment was so f***ing worth it.
Photos courtesy of Emorfik
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