On behalf of UFO Network, I had fun chatting with UK DJ & producer duo Duke & Jones, the brains behind ‘Money Don’t Jiggle Jiggle’ viral TikTok video among others!
Duke & Jones are quickly establishing themselves as one of the most forward-thinking independent acts in the industry. Carving a reputation as ‘producer’s producers’ they continue to prove that true talent doesn’t need a record label or huge co-sign to make waves – instead, they let the music speak for itself.
Duke & Jones have built up an impressive repertoire of releases over past few years, including dozens of singles on platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud. The pair caught the public eye when their music was used in viral videos by popular TikTokers, and their unique sound has helped them garner millions of global listeners – including a loyal TikTok following who are hooked onto their hilarious autotune videos.
Hi Gents! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today. Kindly introduce yourselves to our fans, tell us a little bit of what you do and how you got started.
“Hi, we’re Luke and Isaac, also known as Duke & Jones! We’re two friends from Manchester in the UK who happen to have made music together for quite a long time! We started out back in about 2012, making progressive house bootlegs of Rihanna songs and putting them out on SoundCloud for fun. Over the years the music got a lot better (there’s a reason we deleted the Rihanna bootlegs), and we decided to make a go of doing music professionally.”
Duke & Jones, I am curious to know how and why you go by this alias and do you guys have an alter ego when performing?
“The name was revealed to Duke in a dream, in which the dog Marmaduke from the 2010 film “Marmaduke” was headlining Tomorrowland back-to-back with Indiana Jones. Marmaduke & Jones wasn’t quite catchy enough so we shortened it. I wouldn’t say we have alter egos when performing, except perhaps being more exaggerated versions of ourselves.”
You lads have garnered a mind blowing audience of over 1,4 Million TikTok followers and counting! How did you get ‘TikTok famous’ so to speak and did the pandemic play a role in any of this? Love your content by the way, I had no idea you guys were behind some of the viral trends going around!
“Thank you! I think being “TikTok famous” came from having a good concept (making autotuned songs out of viral videos) and sticking to it with consistency. Gaining 1.4 million followers was a result of us making literally hundreds of videos over two years. We had previously been making all sorts of random little skits on TikTok, but the first autotune we did quickly got a few hundred thousand views – so we knew we were onto something. There have been quite a few that have hit the millions and gone semi-viral, but nothing close to Jiggle Jiggle. The pandemic was certainly a contributing factor; it was during the pandemic that TikTok went from being one of the social media apps where viral content was created, to being THE social media app dictating viral/meme culture. I think people stuck inside were really drawn to it as a way of finding humour and finding groups of likeminded people through the scarily-accurate algorithm.”
‘Jiggle Jiggle’ has reached so many households haha. I remember watching the episode with Louis Theroux and you guys just took it to the next level! You recently dropped a Spotify official and in a matter of 3 weeks, have garnered more than 4 million streams and counting. What does that feel like and what was your motivation behind the making of this track?
“As I say, we make hundreds of the TikTok songs, so the initial motivation was just to make something to post that day. We thought it was pretty catchy and might do okay, but it’s really amazing to see how far and wide it has travelled. It was super cool to be able to go to the studio with Louis and record the official version, so we definitely owe a massive thank you to everybody who used the audio or did a dance video for making that possible.”
What would be your dream collaboration if you were offered the opportunity by any DJ or producer in the EDM scene today and why?
“We would absolutely love to be able to get in the studio with Disclosure. They’ve been producing massive hits for practically a decade now, and their sound has matured and evolved so much, while still remaining very identifiable. I have watched a lot of their Twitch content through the pandemic, and I think they’re just phenomenally intentional as producers, always adding, changing, or taking away things to serve a very specific purpose – which is something you can only really do with the level of experience and attention to detail they possess.”
One topic we love to touch on here at UFO is mental health awareness and how it affects music industry professionals among others. What is your take on mental health and depression and what advice would you give to our audience and to fellow DJs and producers reading this?
“The most important thing to say is that there is no shame in reaching out for help; it’s really good how much society has moved in that direction recently. Getting hold of therapy appointments can be difficult, but if you are struggling and you are able to get into therapy, it is such a good thing to do. I actually think huge swathes of the population would really benefit from it if it was even more normalized. Going into music production and DJing can be scary and lonely at times, especially when you take the plunge and go full-time. It can be hard for people outside the industry to understand the stresses you’re under as a producer, because from social media it just looks like you’re doing fun things all the time.”
“I would wholeheartedly recommend going into it as a duo, so you always have that support, but definitely it is important to make friends and meet people who are in the same space, and who will properly be able to understand what’s going on and give good advice, without having to be filled in on huge amounts of context first. This doesn’t just benefit your mental health either – having people who can give you business advice and music feedback is really helpful career-wise too.”
Our team is always looking for new music that hits home here at UFO Network. Give us some of your favourites to date and which artists would you suggest we check out?
“Lately we’ve been bumping a lot of Longstoryshort, ATRIP, Taiki Nulight, and Matroda. The recent Snakehips stuff has been fire too. I’m desperately waiting for Tony Romera to drop a Walking on a Dream flip he’s teased on social media but I’m starting to lose hope… The person everybody DEFINITELY needs to check out, though, is Eleganto. He’s a Spanish producer and he is currently criminally underrated.”
What golden oldie, no matter how many times you’ve listened to it in the past, is still a favorite and never gets old for you?
“Sub Focus – Out the Blue is still as spine-tinglingly incredible as it was the day it dropped, and we are both fully committed to that opinion.”
One thing we love to ask is, name one thing that your fans do not already know about you and would not know if it weren’t for this interview? Spill the beans 😜
“One of us enjoys drinking the brine from cans of tinned tuna. You’ll have to guess which one.”
What projects do you currently have ‘in the works’ and what can we, as well as your fans, expect from you for the rest of 2022?
“We’re finishing up lots of new music – lots of delicious flavours of house music. There’s a new release (Lucid) coming out June 3rd on Spinnin’. You can, of course, also expect plenty more TikToks too.”
How do you get a song started? tell us about your production and creative process that’s involved. Do you get the infamous ‘producer’s block’ at times and find a need to have to realign with your creative side?
“It really varies. One thing that’s always been true is that we start at the start. We’re not the kind of producers who can make a drop or a hook and work backwards from there. I’ve always found it’s a lot easier to get into the world of a song and get the structure to make sense if you put it all together in the right order. Sometimes we’ll be inspired by a Splice sample or by stumbling across a cool new preset, other times we’ll start with a vocal and build around it. Of course, we do get producers block from time to time – which is where the TikToks actually become quite helpful! They’re a great pretext for playing around with different sounds and genres in a low-pressure way, and for feeling like you’ve accomplished a useful task while also having a bit of fun.”
“The other thing I like to do if I get stuck is go back to my roots and make bootleg remixes of songs I really love – it’s so much easier to find inspiration if you start with something hugely inspiring at the core of the song. It doesn’t even have to be serious – I once broke a creative block by making a groove-house edit of the Wii Shopping Channel theme. I was having so much fun that I made some really sick drums in about 15 minutes – and then ended up just pasting those drums in as the basis of a new original song! This leads into another important point: if you’re not feeling creative, it’s a good idea to use that time to do the kind of admin tasks that will enable you to absolutely fly the next time you are feeling creative – things like making/saving presets, organising sounds, or hunting for cool samples.”
The last question but one of my favourites! The relationship between a DJ and the audience is a fragile one – how do you find balance between giving your audience what they want and treating them to something new at the same time?
“For us at the moment I think this one is actually quite straightforward: Step 1 – play Jiggle Jiggle. Step 2 – play cool new house music”
Thanks for chatting with us! Appreciate you taking the time to talk with us!
Check out Duke & Jones’s exclusive UFO Network Radio guest mix over on YouTube
Listen to Duke & Jones latest release ‘Jiggle Jiggle’ on Spotify