Interview by Paul Salfen
After releasing much of his own music on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings, Dannic gets joy out of sharing music he’s discovered out there in the word. Although, still baby-faced at 31, he’s been creating music since 17 and sees a lot of promise coming from up-and-comers of that age.
Before hitting the stage, Dannic sat down with AMFM Magazine to share some of his experiences, advice, and the change in direction you’ll hear from him soon.
AMFM Magazine: We’re happy to have you back in town. It’s been a while!
Dannic: Yeah, I played here in 2014 so it’s been a while so I’m happy to be back. I remember the energy was all over the place. I just had two friends waiting for me at the airport today and I was super happy to see them. We shared stories and one of the guys lost his father and back in the day when we released “Wait For You”, that was a song that really helped him. That really blows my mind.
AMFM: That must be the greatest thing to create music that touches people in that way.
Dannic: Yeah, but to be honest, that’s not what I think when I make it. I want to make music that works on the dance floor and what I like myself but you never think that you might save a life or that I’m going to change someone’s life – but that’s super cool.
AMFM: With as much as you travel, I’m surprised you remember when you were here. Is it hard to keep track when you’re in a different city or country every night?
Dannic: Sometimes it is, yeah. Seventeen hours earlier I was in Amsterdam, so sometimes it’s weird. It comes with the job but I love it because it keeps me fresh and keeps me going. Even a half an hour ago, I was in the car checking for new music and thinking of something to play here. I’m always thinking ahead and thinking what kind of music may suit better somewhere.
AMFM: Sometimes you get into a room – possibly like this one – and maybe the crowd is different than you thought. Do you change up the set if so or do you have it ready to go as is?
Dannic: I think that’s why I’m a DJ. And that’s part of being a DJ, interacting with the audience and playing certain tracks at a certain time. I have an intro and I know what song I’m going to play at the end. But in between? I don’t know yet. I don’t even use Record Voice – I just have, like, a thousand MP3s on my stick to see where the evening takes me.
AMFM: Since you’ve got your own label, maybe you can tell us who we should look out for coming up?
Dannic: Label-wise, I’m really happy to have some young talents up-and-coming guys like Tom & Jame and Holl & Rush – major things in the scene. Not only releasing on my label, though, they have a new release on Hexagon, Don Diablo’s label coming up. There’s so many guys that blow my mind – and they only get younger and younger. When I started, I was 17 years old and obviously we didn’t have YouTube tutorials and all that stuff. Everyone can be a producer and you can look it up but the only thing you can’t learn is being creative. So the creativity is there and they’re becoming younger and younger and the technology is all the charge right now. But I’m happy because it gives me a lot of new talent to work with.
AMFM: As long as you’re creating good music, is age really a factor?
Dannic: No, of course. It’s all about the creative process and the general idea. That’s something you can’t learn.
AMFM: In a couple more decades, you could still do this, but keep the lights lower on stage, right?
Dannic: [Laughs] Exactly. But in the end, Tiesto is what? 47? And he’s still killing it, so…as long as you’re relevant, that’s what it’s about.
AMFM: And you’ve got more music coming out soon, right?
Dannic: Yes, of course my own label was the logical step for me so this is more myself from what was out there already. My own style is more groovy. It’s still EDM but it’s groovy. But then again, Spotify, YouTube, and all the streaming media is blowing up real fast so I’m working on new music as well. Because I want my mom to listen to my music as well instead on FONK Recordings, which is just my club shop. That’s where I do all the instrumentals and all the club shit. [Laughs] The club shit? That sounds good. Uh, all the club tracks. But yeah, I’m experimenting with all different sounds and music but this is the time to do it and I’m going to change mode with different sounds.
AMFM: What advice would you give to up-and-coming DJs and producers?
Dannic: First of all, put all of your effort into your work and don’t be satisfied until you’re ready to get it out there. It took me two and a half years before I put something on the internet. Sometimes I see people who have been a producer for one week and there’s the track. No, work, work, work, listen to reference tracks. Let your mom, dad, or sister listen first and make sure you nail it before you put it out. And make sure it’s yourself – not some copy of Martin Garrix or Hardwell.
AMFM: So we don’t know what we’ll hear tonight?
Dannic: I don’t know, actually. [Laughs] I’m going to go all in I guess. I mean, the crowd is super diverse and they’re ready to rage so I love that. It’s going to be an energetic set for sure!