David Heartbreak Discusses Timbaland, Europe and the Origins of Moombahsoul

David Heartbreak is considered an innovator in the tropical bass dance genre, Moombahton. He is fresh off his self titled Heartbreak (EP) release and gearing up for his first European tour in September.

He has been playing gigs in Europe for a while now and featured regularly on BBC's Radio 1. 

Heartbreak will bring his blend of of smooth moombahsoul and intense moobahsment to Barsmith this Wednesday as part of the AZ Gunslingaz compilation release alongside local moombahtonistas Melo, Pickster One, Riot Earp, Ellery and Mendez.

Up on the Sun caught up with Heartbreak this weekend. Peep the interview along with some of his tracks after the jump.

Up on the Sun: So you're in Vancouver right now. Where else are you playing on this tour?

David Heartbreak: Nah I'm coming home tomorrow. No touring just gigs, first tour is in September in Europe.

Where's that taking you? And who are you playing with? Munchi?

Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Korea, London, Spain. Yeah, me and M.

You play a lot in Europe. Why do you think you and Moombahton as a genre are so much bigger over in Europe?

Europe is years ahead of music in America, for the most part, unless it's urban. Actually, I was studying Timbaland and he said that as well. That's how he was able to be soooo ahead of his time.

You studied Timbaland?

Yeah, always been one of my favorites. How he includes dance music into hip-hop  -- a lot of produces use trance and dance elements because of him and they don't even know it. If you play them a trance track they will be like "I don't rock with this," but all the elements in the track are trance. If you slow down a trance track it sounds like down-South rap.

Can you think of a song that he or another producer really does that with?

Not off the top but if you listen to overseas rappers they do it all the time. They rap on dubstep and call it grime.

I'm really shocked more rappers don't do that over here.

It's so many different things that people don't realize. It's Americans being ethnocentric, thinking this is the way it is. I think that since I stopped thinking that way...It's opened me to better opportunities, and better production(s).

So do you think Americans will pick up Moombahton in a bigger way?

I think when they do it won't be Moombahton anymore.

What will it have become?

Waiting to see. I think for me, my fuse is to combine hip hop and electro at that tempo [108 bpm] and make that my sound...

Moombahton has spun out a ton of sub genres. You are credited with developing perhaps the biggest sub genre -- Moombahsoul. How did that come about?

Playing in ATL, waiting to drop moombah but knowing the crowd wasn't gonna feel it because of the sounds and pitches so i brought soul elements into it. To me everything is hip hop. It's just fast slow or medium.

So mixing in R&B was a way to warm up a black crowd to moombahton?

Yeah. When it's unknown it has to be familiar so i made the track "Dance if You Like..." sampling Brandy, "Full Moon," and mixed it with Baile Funk and made it an O.G.

Which was the first Moombahsoul track you produced?

A track called "Shy Day," last year. I didn't even realize what I was doing.

That one is a sexy joint.

Yeah like I make hard shit or smooth stuff no in between.

You use to rap -- do you think we'll see any Moombahton make its way into original rap music?

Yeah I think a lot of rappers, R&B, and pop artists are gonna get on. It's gonna be the new thing and I think that's where the genre will sway.

Do you have any rap tracks that you'd like to share with readers?

Nah, I don't rap anymore. I still write but for others when the time comes.

So you think that's how moombahton will make its way into American iPods? Rihanna?

I hope not. I hope Adele, James Blake, Rapheel Saadiq -- things like that.


I can make ten top 40 tracks in 30 minutes but why. I am all about substance. Maybe me...We will see.

With your most recent release you've been working in a lot of asian samples. How'd that come about?

Hip-hop. It's all hip-hop. Slow down the track and now you can rap on it. I'm open to all music. I don't think i have a style but I have a sound.

You don't think you have a style but that you have a sound. What's the difference?

Like, I can make anything, any genre but it sounds like Heartbreak. I guess, authentic.

Are there any other Moombahtonistas out there right now that you think own their own sound?

Munchi. Dillon [Francis]. There's a lot.

What have you been listening to lately? Moombahton or otherwise.

House, dancehall, dubstep, rock 'n' roll.

Any albums or artists in particular?

I listen to a lot of Avicii. Vybez Kartel, Skrillex, Jay, B.I.G., Weezy...Just music in general.

So have you ever DJed in extreme weather conditions before? It should be close to 100 degrees on the rooftop where you're DJing Wednesday.

Nah, never. I hate the heat.

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Chris Piel
Contact: Chris Piel