David Starfire

Los Angeles, USA



Behind the Music

Oscar Wilde once said: “By giving us the opinion of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.” I feel like Ian’s reporting does just this — it sheds light on the rampant corruption and atrocities that happen on the oceans. I was especially distraught after reading of the suffering and pain experienced by Lang Long in the chapter, “Sea Slavery.” I had heard reports of trafficking in Southeast Asia before and knew it was rampant there but had no idea it also happened at sea. 

Most people around the world have no concept of these injustices, myself included. I’m fortunate to live just five minutes away from the ocean, which I had always viewed as a beautiful place. For others, it’s a living nightmare. As an artist, I feel it’s my role to educate my listeners about these important issues through my music. I tried to envision myself in the minds of Ian and other characters in the book in order to understand their plights. Then I channeled their feelings within the songs to evoke their presence, relying on certain samples and sound palettes to conjure up the specific emotions and tension. I want to create a cinematic sound experience that matches the intensity of the book.

David Starfire
About David Starfire

Named by BBC Radio as “One of the most brilliant world-fusion producers of our time,” David Starfire is known as the pioneer of the Global Bass genre. His unique sound has led him to share the stage with top artists, including direct support for Bassnectar and Skrillex. Billboard summed it up best, “David Starfire brings a unique perspective to EDM.”

David has performed at prominent festivals such as Winter Music Conference, Coachella, Outside Lands, Burning Man, Eclipse and Lightning in a Bottle. He’s collaborated with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Sizzla, Ooah (The Glitch Mob), Beats Antique (Sidecar Tommy), Alex Grey, William Close and the Grammy Award-winning vocalist Chaytanya. His “Ascend” album reached #7 on the iTunes World Music chart and he had two #1 remixes on the Hype Machine. He's traded remixes with CloZee, Desert Dwellers, iLL Gates, and Beats Antique.

David has released 4 albums and 7 EPs in the last 12 years as well as various singles and remixes. David’s songs are featured on several TV, cable, movies and video games. Some highlights include “Lie to Me” (FOX), “Outsourced” (NBC), “Live with Kelly Ripa” (ABC), ESPN2, Fox Sports, MTV, MTV2, Fuse, Showtime, HBO, EA sports and a Right Guard commercial. His songs are featured on several music compilations including Sony, Lonely Planet, Red Bull, Craig’s List and his song “Shout it Out” was in regular rotation at Starbucks.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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