He sings, he DJs, he produces, he stuns. Mystery Skulls captured our attention during CMJ back in October.
Formerly known as The Secret Handshake, the multifaceted talent has since decided to switch gears. Opting for a more refined sound, Mystery Skulls was born. MS has been making his rounds across Los Angeles with an ability to insert life into any venue at which he performs; opening for Flume, and playing alongside guys like Chromeo, Avicii, Yeasayer and Chic. MS wowed at Brokechella this past summer, resulting in a deal inked with Warner Bros. Records.
Mystery Skulls’ latest tune comes in the form of electro retro funk. “Ghost” features the appealing and upbeat vocals of MS himself. Tantalizing disco-inspired harmonies will no-doubt get you dancing. Turn it up, and be on the lookout for his debut album which features none other than the legendary Nile Rodgers.
Get to know Luis Dubuc, the man behind the Skull in the VIBE exclusive interview:
Who is Mystery Skulls? Describe your sonic style.
Mystery Skulls is Luis Dubuc and Vice Versa. Mystery Skulls is something people haven’t really heard before. I like to say it’s what would sound like if Prince was in the movie Blade Runner. But thats not really all of it, you know. It’s aggressive and sweet at the same time.
How did you get started in music?
When I was eight or nine we moved from Caracas, Venezuela to Toronto, Canada. This was the first time I had ever really seen music videos at all and it blew me away. In Toronto a lot of UK stuff gets played on the radio and so I was super into dance music almost straight away. Eventually I got super into metal and hip-hop. I got a job at a record store in High School and I think that was the first time I really wanted to do music.
Let’s talk about your latest single, “Ghost.” What inspired the track? The Exorcist-inspired video?
I live in Los Angeles now, but at the time I was in Dallas and it was a song about the idea of basically moving away and not telling a single person. I wanted a new start and this song is about that. About wanting to disappear completely and start over. The music video was a collaboration between a lot of folks, actually, and even though the Exorcist vibe sounds weird, it’s actually pretty fucking cool so check that out.
What’s next for Mystery Skulls? Any new music or collabs in the works?
I just came off my first tour and I’m about to be back in the studio, so just finishing the album. I have a collab on there with Nile Rodgers, which I’m really excited for. Its a tune called “MAGIC.” I’m really excited for it.
For you, what will be your defining moment in your career; the moment at which you’ll know you “made it?"
I dont know what my defining moment would be, I think so far it has been signing with Warner Brothers and really getting to do things without compromise. From the music, to my visuals, to the videos, I feel like they’re all extensions of me and that is something I’m very proud of. I make this stupid joke all the time about how when people sell bootleg merch outside of your show that’s when you know you've made it, but the reality is probably a lot weirder, I’ll let you know.
What sets you apart and inspires you as an artist; why should people come out to see you play?
I think the main thing that sets me apart is that I fell into being an artist from being a fan. I was just a record store employee and I felt like I wanted to hear something that didn’t exist, so I made it myself. It’s music inspired by Otis Redding and Daft Punk. A mix of dance music and soul vocals.