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How Dom Dolla And MK Made One Of The Most Viral Dance Tracks Of All Time

13 March 2023 | 5:02 pm | Parry Tritsiniotis

On the eve of the track’s release, we were lucky enough to chat to MK and Dom Dolla about their now certified hit record, 'Rhyme Dust'.

Image: Provided

Image: Provided

Rhyme Dust is one of the biggest dance moments of the year and it’s only March.

The collaboration between MK and Dom Dolla has been a long time in the making, but after months of internet hype building, the track has finally been released. The track initially was teased in snippets all over the duo's social media accounts, with fans desperate for the dream team to release the track.

On the 2nd of January, Dom Dolla posted a clip of him performing the track with the caption, "Working to get this out asap. Please forward all abuse to my manager."

The video is currently sitting on over 920,000 views with fans hilariously urging the artist to drop the single. One fan said, "drop the song before I end up on the news," while another commented, "Hey dominius dollars with the upmost love, care, respect if ya don’t drop this song that’s dust rhymes I’ll simply be sad thanks for consideration." 

Fans even begun to go after Dolla's manager saying, "Why do you hate us?" and "please approve the release. I’m tired of skipping through the recorded sets for this song. Thank you mate." 

Over 4000 videos were made with the sound of the snippet of Rhyme Dust before it was even released.

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On February the 16th, Dom Dolla took to TikTok to announce the track would finally release on February the 24th.

"I've got a story time for you guys," he said on TikTok. 

"TikTok is a very interesting place and it is changing the landscape for IDs and DJ culture. We used to post stuff online to see if people liked it and if people like it you wrap it up, you finished it and you released it. 

"[Rhyme Dust] was a demo that we had planned to release mid year and we posted it on TikTok to see what the vibe was, to see if there was any feedback from people and because on TikTok you can use sounds, people ran away with it and posted it again and again and again."

On the eve of the track’s release, we were lucky enough to chat to the dance music titans about their now certified hit record, Rhyme Dust.

It’s been a crazy few months and year for both of you. How are the energy levels at the moment with such crazy touring schedules?

Dom Dolla: For me, it is peaks and troughs. Recognising when you need to take it easy and to sort of, practice self care on the road is super important, especially now that COVID has wrapped up and everyones been touring as hard as they possibly can. Everyone came out of the gates making up for lost time and now it is 2023 the dust has settled and people are getting back into their routines.

MK: When COVID happened I was definitely ready to chill out. After lockdowns, getting back into DJing and doing shows, I realised I need to pace myself a little better. Practicing self care and making sure you don’t burn yourself out.

Tell us the story of creating Rhyme Dust, and what were your initial thoughts on the track? Was it initially just a club tool?

MK: Dom started it and we went through a lot of different versions. When he played me the first version my initial reaction was that this is a monster. It’s funny because that version isn’t in the new version at all but I just knew from the way it started, with Q-Tip’s voice, I knew it was going to work. From that time, going back and forth, we knew in the back of our heads this was going to be a strong record.

Dom Dolla: You know what’s funny though, when I started playing it out at shows, in my gut I was like, I love this record. I find the records where my feeling is, I don’t  care what anyone thinks, I love this record and that’s all that matters, and generally that is all that matters as long as you're following your taste. I started playing it at festivals and stuff and it wasn’t getting the reaction I was hoping for. I was constantly making tweaks and me and Mark were sending it back and forth. It wasn’t until I posted it online in the context of a live stream where people could actually consume it a few times and let it grow on them a bit that people started to lose their mind to it.

MK: I noticed that too because I played it a couple of times and it didn’t get the reaction that is done now. 

Dom Dolla: Now it’s an enormous moment in the show, it’s definitely been a grower record.

MK: I think because it’s so unique, there isn’t much that sounds like it. Hearing it for the first time it’s like what is going on here?

Dom Dolla: The sound probably pays homage to hip house records that were big 10 or 15 years ago. This is a nod to those moments and hopefully a resurgence of those sounds. In the current state of house it definitely stands out. I’m just stoked that people like it. All of the stress of TikTok running away with it, I’m just grateful we got it cleared, we got the artwork done and the wheels are in motion.

MK: I was definitely nervous about getting it cleared too.

Has putting IDs out into the world become even more strategic now living in this current world with everything being recorded at all times?

Dom Dolla: I’m honestly terrified of it now. I don’t know what to do. The strategy before was quite literally play it in a set, see if people like it and make adjustments from there. Now, the first demo that you put out there and the first demo that gets tested could be the version that people want. You really need to think about it abit more. Or you can be completely stubborn. I feel like the middle ground is to write music that you love and make sure that you love the record that you eventually release and make decisions from there instead of being super reactive and freaking out.

Having thousands of people all telling you to do something quite often makes you want to do what they say. I remember having phone conversations with my manager and the label in regards to Rhyme Dust asking them how we could make it happen because it was proving quite stressful.

I don’t see it as a lesson just for me and MK. I’ve had a lot of fellow artists and producers who have pointed it out to me that it is influencing the way they approach testing records. It’s a line in the sand to be honest and I have no idea what is on the other side.

MK: I think it is a great thing. Yesterday I put a song on my Instagram and I do that every once in a while just to see what the feedback is. I do gauge a lot of what happens after that creatively from the feedback. 

Does the feedback being so instantaneous make it scarier?

MK: I just post it when I think it is a banger and then you get the affirmation from the post. Then you keep going, or take that feedback on. It’s a great tool to use. 

It’s easy to think that the chaos that Rhyme Dust created was nothing but good given how much hype was associated with the record before it came out. But on your side of the fence, how would you describe that period of waiting? How anxiety-inducing was it?

MK: Dom and I feel the same way. We are like, whatever. Whatever happens is what it is. We definitely are not expecting the song to go crazy. That’s not what we do, or what our mindset is. We made a song that we love, we are glad so far people like it.

Dom Dolla: To expand on that. Lowering our expectations now that release is here is important. I’m already thinking about what the next records are. Once you put it out there it's out of our hands and in the audience's hands. It’s up to them whether they love it or they don’t. They also decide how big the lifespan of the record is so there is no point about stressing about it. We’ve just decided to keep moving. I love the record, I’ll keep playing the record and I like listening to it and keep listening to it. 

In terms of my producer and songwriting hat, I’ve got a million other things I’m working on and we are going to keep working on them. 

Now that it’s out in the world, what is the feeling? Is it relief, excitement? Talk on it.

Dom Dolla: It’s always about achieving happiness. It’s defined by expectation minus reality so I’m trying to maintain it. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. 

MK: I don’t think I’ve ever done a song where someone has said, this is going to be massive and it has. It’s typically the opposite. With Piece Of Me, the label didn’t even want to put it out. They didn’t want to put 17 out either. Look Right Through was a remix I did just for fun. My Head Is A Jungle, same thing, there was never any expectation. 

Dom Dolla: I had the same with with San Frandisco. Next minute, it did alright.

MK: You never know.

Dom Dolla: We just write a release music we like and hope it finds a like minded audience who believes in the vision as much as you do.