Now 2011 is all wrapped up sights are firmly focused on the year in hand. Artists that made impressive inroads in the previous year are are a bulging stable who are looking to capitalise on there efforts and step things up. Danny Daze is without a shadow one of those artists. Here is a guy with a musical pedigree who has seen his hard work pay off and doors open for him. The Miami native brings an array of influences with him; a long career spanning 13 years that began with him playing at a tender age at electro raves in The States coupled with a latin influence (Danny is a Cuban-American) is paying off. He is the type of atist that is a purist, he has a clear vision of how he wants things to be, both in his productions and his sets, and that comes across to the delight of all that either see him spin or listen to his productions. His authenticity and general “straight-up” attitude make him a credible artist who will no doubt achieve longevity. When we met him last year when he played a gig in Leeds we were enthralled by him. His persona is suave and engaging, like a character out of a mob movie, his gaze burns with intensity that you feel is fueled by his passion for electronic music. We were lucky enough to catch a few words with Danny and asked him to provide us with 10 tracks he feels influenced him in life. Enjoy!
• Hey Danny, mega pleased with being able to catch a few words with you. How are you feeling today?
• DD – Doing great, catching up on some sleep! Laying in bed at Playa Del Carmen. Here for the BPM Festival =0)
• With 2011 drawn to a close and everyone reminiscing about their year we would like to ask; How has it been for you?
• DD – 2011 was nuts! Released loads of music and got to meet a lot of great people.
• How much of 2011 has been built upon “Your Everything” and it’s success?
• DD – I’d say 65%-70% of 2011 gigs were with promoters I haven’t played for before. That EP sure did wonders for me =0).
• So for many of our readers “Your everything” will be your breakthrough track, the one that introduced them to Danny Daze. What’s the story behind this track and how did it end up getting released on Hot Creations?
• DD – The tune started over in LA when I sketched it out and had my buddy Jason Tyler do the trumpet part. I then took it home and sang vocals on it (which is the low part of the vocal), then sent it off to Louisah so she can add the top end/more pronounced layer of the vocal. Jamie heard the tune was unsigned so immediately hit me up to release, of course I agreed. Lee then heard “Fall Away From Love” and said “we have the EP right here”. Couple months later it was out.
• This record was broken at the WMC last year, how did that feel being your home-town and all?
• DD – That was pretty rad. I was playing at another event the first time Jamie dropped the tune and received about 12 text messages all at the same time from my friends who knew about the record. Funny part is during WMC, the track wasn’t even 100% finished.
• How do you think the WMC has evolved and what role do you think it plays in electronic music? Do you think it’s just an excuse for a party?
• DD – Pretty simple, WMC used to be an actual conference. Now its an excuse to wear a neon yellow banana hammock to the beech.
• The differences between the scene in Europe and the States are considered by some to be expansive. Why do you think this is?
• DD – Very true, seems like the states is owned by Clear Channel which pump out total garbage on radio. This affects not only the commercial ear, but also the underground as many aren’t able to flirt with a sound they haven’t heard before. Anywhere in you Europe you can tune into a radio station and here a brand new underground house tune being pumped out. Pretty nuts to know that even most of Detroit & Chicago where House & Techno started have also fallen into Clear Channel’s grip of death.
• Can you see the gap closing?
• DD – Hell no. It’s getting worse as we speak.
• What is your favorite club to play in?
• DD – It’s tough to answer that question. So I’ll answer for 2011 alone, I’d say D-Edge in Brazil and Fabric in London.
• What’s the difference in the underground scenes between USA and Europe? Is there more money in commercial gigs in USA than for underground artists?
• DD – I think the underground scene will always be tougher to make money, the point of the underground is to play what you love, not come into it thinking you’re going to make money. The money is definitely in the mainstream gigs but feeling like you’re selling your soul to the devil comes with it as well.
• A little bird told us that you used to produce tracks for an artist that many would consider a pop act. Care to divulge any more on that one?
DD – noooooooooooope
• You are known as a DJ that doesn’t tend to partake in the party side of the scene, preferring to concentrate on your music. Do you sometimes feel pressured to get involved?
• DD – Nah, at all ….. I have the weakest immune system known to man. I’m like a 4 month old baby so my lack of sleep needs to be balanced out with me not partying that much. This week for example, since I’m at Playa I’ll let loose. I might even drink one of those tequila worm at the bottom of the cup thingy’s.
• Although you did have a beer at your recent gig at Teknicolour in Leeds, granted it was your birthday!
• DD – Haha, aaaaaacccctually I had like 4 …… thats called SUPER BIRTHDAY PARTY MODE
• You recent had some studio time with Eric (Estornil aka Maceo Plex), how was it?
• DD – I hate that guy. jk. Dudes the homie. We’ll be working together on stuff in 2012. Ellum is gonna be a monster label and I’m stepping in as part time A&R since I’m usually on the hustle for new tunes. If you got some new ish …. shoot it my way!
• What’s you current production set up?
• DD – Run Ableton as my DAW, then have craploads of outboard units. MAM-VF11, JP8080, Nord Lead 3, Thermionic Culture – Culture Vulture, blah blah blah ……..
• What’s you opinion on people using engineers to produce? Is it cheating or merely using a tool to get your musical message across?
• DD – Depends on what that person using an engineer is actually doing in the studio. If they just sitting there having someone make music then them just signing off on it, thats complete bull shit. Learn wtf a VCO is then get yourself an engineer so you can at least have SOME credit to your song. If you actually have put time into knowing whats what in the studio but are using someone to tweak stuff out for you then that a liiiiiitle better. I’m not fond off having others make music for me though. I’d rather make shit music than have to show face for something I didn’t do.
• So now onto what makes you tick musically Danny; having been involved in the scene for a prolonged period of time what do you think to the evolution of the electronic music scene?
• DD – This is a conversation that would have to be recorded in audio. Typing it would take 2 days. To sum it up, I’ve been Djing 13 years already and even though I’m young. I’ve done my fare share of create digging and obsessive vinyl collecting. There’s a new generation in the electronic scene that know nothing about Acetates or White Labels which scares the living hell outta me. Who knows where electronic music is going? New technology = new sub genres.
• Do you think technology helps or hinders artists and producers nowadays?
• DD – If you have your basics down (Dj beat matching, recording proper audio, sound design ect) it can help you, but if you just picked up Traktor and decided to Dj because your best friend does it too, then I HATE YOU. Obviously if your a youngster and just started Djing I don’t expect you to go out and start buying vinyl having Traktor and Serato at your disposal, but please don’t start djing just cuz you think it’s cool.
• Who’s really doing it for you this year, production wise?
• DD – ooooooofffffffff there’s so much talent out there its impossible to answer this.
• And performance wise?
• DD – Performance wise …. LIVE PA wise ….. the guy I bow down to is Anthony Rother. Been following him for the last 12 years. His live set up is eventually what I want to do.
• What do you listen to when you want to relax?
• DD – Only time I “relax” is when I sleep which at that time I zone out to the sounds of my AC Unit or and app on my phone called “WhiteNoise” which has some relaxing sounds in there like rain or airplane rumble or white noise itself. I can’t remember the last time I just sat down and chilled out though. I love working and making music and traveling and noisy airports and Skype meetings.
• Who was the better rapper Biggie or Tu-pac?
• DD – Tu-pac as heeeelllllll …… I was all about that west coast rap.
• Do you have an all time favorite band or musician that you always return to time after time and find comfort in?
• DD – To be honest, not really an artist. I go back often to my roots in electronic music which is Electro/Techno/IDM ….
Can you list 10 tracks that have been influential, not only in your production, but also your life. No holds barred here so go wild, any genre, any track, any artist.
DD – Here’s a collection of what made me who I am today, starting off with some str8 up Miami ish.
1 The Puppies – Funky Y2C
2 Hashim – Al-Naafyish (The Soul)
3 Submission – Women Beat Their Men
4 Joe Arroyo – Rebellion (No Le Pege A La Negra)
5 IF – I Do Because I Couldn’t Care Less
6 Sugar Hill Gang – Rappers Delight
7 Two Lone Swordsmen – Sticky
8 Donna Summer – I Feel Love
9 Superpitcher – Joanna
10 Anthony Rother – Red Light District