Toulouse, France

Our Duty


Behind the Music

The stories and images of The Outlaw Ocean were incredibly inspiring to me when making my tracks, particularly the chapters “Storming the Thunder” and “Jail Without Bars.” While the words of the book were evocative, I wanted to use imagination and empathy to really make listeners feel as if they were in the stories themselves. 

This especially applied to “Jail Without Bars,” which I drew much inspiration from when creating my first track. I tried to weave a narrative of a human trafficking victim - someone captured by pirates, being torn away from their family and slowly losing their sense of time, until he finally shouts all his feelings. I used the melancholy melodies of a violin and cello for the “narrative” of my character, as well as a clock sound effect to express the slow ticking of time in captivity. 

While I understand everyone has their own individual experience listening to music, I hope a few listeners see what emotions I want to express, and maybe even are able to discover their own.

About DLJ

Felix Schmidt (aka DLJ) is a 25-year-old music composer and beatmaker from France. After working for several brands in a video company as music composer and sound designer, he created his own label Retro Jungle Records in 2018 and now lives off his streams on Spotify with his personal musical project: DLJ. Combining jazzy chords and lo-fi (low fidelity) hip-hop beats, he reached more than 35 million streams in a year and is now focusing on several different musical projects and his label.

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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