Hey! My name is Karl, I DJ and Produce under the name of Husko and I come from the sunny island of Malta. I’ve been in the local scene for around 6 years now but only this year have I started to take things seriously and I began to really pursuit it as a potential career. I initially started off my journey with a more commercial and mainstage sound but eventually found my true passion for tech house
I had joined the Toolroom Academy late last year. I already knew how to produce music but I really wanted to solidify my knowledge and take things to the next level, as I believe there’s a massive gap between an average bedroom producer and a professional one. The whole idea of being able to work and learn with a label like Toolroom was what really caught my attention as I knew that it kind of was the “real deal” and not just another money grab course one finds online. At this point in my life I was working a 9 to 5 job and eventually wanted to take the leap into the music industry so it was a solid base to get started. Throughout the course I made sure to keep in contact with the guys over at Toolroom and wanted to show that I was not just another student doing this as a side hobby but more as a potential career. They were super helpful throughout the course and always helped me out musically even if it wasn’t exactly production related. I think that personal touch and attitude really helped me get noticed.
Denis Sulta is an amazing guy with some great energy. When myself and A/P started working on “One Night Stand” we knew straight away that we wanted to get it into Sulta’s hands as it was something we imagined he would love! Nick is a good friend of ours who tour manages Sulta so it was only natural to pass it on to him with the hopes of Sulta picking it up. I remember Nick was with Sulta in Australia on tour and told us that he will try his best to pass on our track before one of his festival gigs. A few hours later, I wake up and find a WhatsApp message from Nick with a video attachment. Sulta had played it out at Pitch Music and Art Festival in front of around nine thousand people was it? This was the first time in my musical journey that this happened, and I remember literally breaking down into tears in my room! It sounds silly but it honestly meant the world to me after spending all those hours alone in the studio hoping that someone will eventually pick up your music. This was the point where I knew I could really turn this passion into a career if I really put my mind to it. Fast forward till today and Sulta is still playing it in his sets which is amazing! He played it in Malta at Lost and Found and it was really nice to see familiar faces enjoying it too!
I’m not joking when I say this, but I had been dreaming about signing to Toolroom for years. It is a label that really influenced my musical journey and being a part of such a family would be something incredible. After I finished the Academy I still kept in contact with the label and was always sending demos every now and again. I was making around 1 track a week so I had loads of material but I wanted to make sure that I had something which really stood out. One fine weekend I sent a couple of demos over and closed my inbox for the week. I followed up a few weeks later to just check in and see if they were of interest and I remember Miles replying with something like “check your emails soon”. A few hours later I found an email from the music team over at Toolroom saying they wanted to sign “Strange” as an exclusive track on their Ibiza vol 2 compilation. I honestly went crazy! I remember running upstairs and trying to explain it to my mum and what it meant to me haha! I also sent it out to GW Harrison during this period and he literally rinsed the track in all his sets, I caught up with him when he came down for Abode here in Malta and It was nice to see him play it out! I really feel like this record was a kind of the “Seal of Approval” into the music industry as it was a big goal I set out to achieve eventually and it finally came true.
With “Strange”, I wanted to make a track that had that Toolroom vibe without making it sound like a “Mark Knight copycat”. I found the vocal hook in some unrelated genre pack and thought it sounded pretty cool to use in a break and before a drop. The break also had these awesome stabs which gave the track a nice atmosphere moving into the drop. I also think that the vocals in the drop really carry the track and add that little extra energy. It sounds funny, but whenever I make a track I can really picture it being played at certain venues which fit its vibe and with this I just imagined it being dropped at Amnesia with a massive blast of CO2 to go with it haha!
I think the best advice I can give anyone starting out and looking to get their first release is, as cliché as it sounds, is to trust the process. I’ve been making music for 6 years now but only recently have I started making stuff that I’m proud of and happy to send out to labels. So practice your craft, get feedback from others, don’t be afraid of criticism and most importantly, take that criticism in and work with it! The Toolroom Academy really helped me out here with a constant feedback loop and motivation from the tutors. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon!
Since I’m doing this full-time now I’m working on new material every day. I treat it as a job and it can be a little hard to discipline yourself especially when you’re at home all day whilst your friends and family are working a stable job but like I said before, you have to trust the process and keep pushing especially when things get a little dark.
I like to set goals for myself at the beginning of every month and cross them out slowly as I believe that it’s the little achievements which make the biggest difference! I’ll obviously keep pushing this dream of mine till the very end but as goals go I have a couple. Music wise, there are a few big labels I’d like to release on eventually. I’d love to have a track on Toolroom as a single release sometime down the line and join the Toolroom family when they host gigs around the world. My biggest goals is probably to start getting gigs outside of Malta and make this whole journey a little bit more feasible haha! I have some great friends and family here who are always supporting me and have an awesome residency with “District” who are giving me the opportunity to play alongside some massive names such as Denis Sulta, Patrick Topping. Mella Dee and more. I kind of want to show the younger population here in Malta that it is possible to chase a dream and that you don’t always need to resort to the safest route of going to school, getting a job, working, getting married, retiring like everyone else. There’s a lot of talent around here, it just needs to flourish!
Husko – ‘Strange’ is out now on Toolroom’s Ibiza 2019 Vol.2 compilation