How ACRAZE Put in Work During the Pandemic (and Came Out on Top)

Nov 16, 2022

Sierra Vandervort

2 min read

ACRAZE beats writer’s block in a somewhat unusual way. The DJ and producer (real name Charlie Duncker) made the most out of trick during a grueling COVID-19 pandemic. He remained diligent in the studio, but when he felt stuck he would reroute and have a go at a completely different genre. This was just one of the quarantine’s mental shifts that would prove beneficial for Duncker.

“How I produce is pretty interesting,” he said in his Spotlight interview with Gray Area. “If I’m stuck on a certain genre, I'll move to another one. Let's just say I'm stuck on making house music and I can't make anything. I'll switch to some sort of pop music or some R&B just to switch it up. I try to get as creative as I can, and then I go back and try to spark some sort of inspiration there.”

In many ways, the pandemic provided a catalyst for ACRAZE to set his sights on making the high-energy house hits that his fans have come to love. He found himself with nothing else to do but clock 15-hour days working on music.

“I wouldn't even leave my room to eat sometimes,” he recalled. “I would bring the food in the fucking room and just eat. Yeah, I was grinding. And I always knew if I worked hard when no one was moving, that I would come out with some sort of momentum—and it worked.”

Work it did. When he released his remix of the classic Cherish track “Do It To It” in late 2021, the name ACRAZE blew up. Favored by TikTok algorithms and remixed by world-class artists like Tiësto, Sub Focus, and Subtronics, the record vaulted him into the stratosphere.

It seems Duncker’s creativity and drive can’t be tamed. His newer tracks “Believe” and his remix of the Sam Smith hit “Unholy” may make him the bonafide producer du jour.

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