Charlie Duncker’s path to dance world fame began while watching Instagram stories in bed one morning. After he saw a clip in which a friend showed off her new car with girl group Cherish’s 2006 R&B hit, “Do It To It,” playing as a backing track, his phone went glitchy, then the song started skipping — and inspiration struck.
“I was like, ‘Wait, this could be sick!’ ” says the 26-year-old Orlando, Fla.-based producer, who performs as Acraze. Within minutes, he was at his computer to perfect the idea, pitching down vocals and adding drums.
An hour later, he had a rough house edit of the 2006 original (which featured Sean Paul of YoungBloodZ and peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100) that would soon become a global smash. Since its release last August, the “Do It To It” remix has piled up 74 million on-demand official streams in the United States, according to Luminate, formerly MRC Data. It has also reached a No. 3 high on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and become his first Hot 100 hit (peaking at No. 65 in January).
Acraze — who previously was “maybe playing one show a month” — first played “Do It To It” at a 2021 New Year’s Eve show and had roughly 500 DMs about it the next morning. Scene leaders like Chris Lake and Carnage asked to drop it during their sets, with it also getting played by stars like Martin Garrix and DJ Snake.
With the help of his manager and high school friend Alex Akleh, he ultimately signed “Do It To It” to Thrive Music/Virgin as part of a three-track deal. (Thrive helped the DJ clear the sample.) On March 27, Acraze will make his Ultra Music Festival debut with a main-stage set.
Among Acraze’s new fans are the four members of Cherish, who have told him he “revived the record,” he says. They’ve even been in the studio together recently, as Acraze prepares pop/house hybrid follow-ups that he hopes will showcase his skill set beyond the 2000s remix trend he helped inspire.
“I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus,” he says, “but my inbox is full of people, like very big DJs, saying, ‘Yo, let’s collab on this’ and it’s like, a Ciara song. Everybody’s doing it now.”