I often wonder if there is something in the water when it comes to certain things; i.e. friends getting married, friends all getting new jobs at the same time, etc. But, then I look at the city of Breda in Holland and I actually believe there is something in water. The town is about an hour and a half south of Amsterdam and it has turned out some of the biggest names in dance music over the past 15 years. Yes, Tiesto, Hardwell, R3hab, W&W, Kill the Buzz and Dannic all hail from this city and I would venture to guess it won't stop there.
This year at ADE we sat down with couple of them. Dannic took some time out during his busy week in Amsterdam to talk Fonk Recordings, life on the road and more.
Only The Beat: Here we are at ADE, this is your home country, it's obviously a big event for the city, for you. You are playing four parties this week?
Dannic: Yeah, I actually lost count already.
OTB: It happens. So, this happens every year here. What is it like to have this huge event here?
D: It's really interesting because obviously in the states you have WMC in Miami and this is almost the same thing although this is more the business side of it. So for us as DJ's it's really easy to meet with all the people you've been e-mailing with or meeting fellow producers. It's just amazing. It's more like a networking event.
OTB: Yeah, and that's kind of how I feel. It's funny the past couple of days I've been meeting people that I have been e-mailing with for two years and I've never met them in person.
D: Exactly, see that's great.
OTB: First time in Amsterdam, anything you would advise a first-timer to do while they are here?
D: Yeah, take a tour around the canals, obviously The Dam and do some site-seeing. Amsterdam is amazing. I'm from Breda which is south and it's so different from my own place. So for me it's almost like being a tourist in my own country.
OTB: But that's kind of great though, you get to experience and do things you don't normally do. I wanna talk about your label. I was at Fonk Recordings party for a bit last night. Great party, great crowd, talk a little about what is coming on Fonk Recordings. It's really exciting to have your own thing.
D: It was super exciting, it's a dream come true to be honest. I'm finally able to focus on my own sound as well as helping young artists. And then yeah, yesterday was amazing. Sold-out show, it was really cool. Also, we had like 10 to 12 DJs and all wanted to give them the opportunity to play a little bit. So they all played like a half hour. To see the joy in their faces, because some of them even played the first time ever.
OTB: Last night?
D: Yeah, besides their own bedroom. So, it's just great to help those guys and being able to do it together.
OTB: The first time playing outside of your bedroom is at ADE. How cool is that?
D: It was really cool!
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED DURING ADE 2016
OTB: I'm a big fan of the new track on the label with Will K and Corey James 'Let Me See You'. I love that track.
D: Thank you!
OTB: What went into the decision to sign it?
D: I mean this year, this past year, last ADE I launched Fonk Recordings, announced it. And back then we had gotten a lot of demos, all the way from trap to progressive and it was because people didn't actually know what kind of sound we were looking at. And right now I think we're really establishing the label and people know what kind of sound they should expect. When Will actually sent me the track I was like, "Oh shit, this is so big." I immediately saw like Steve Angello playing it. I could imagine that and he did actually.
So it's a perfect blend of what the label is about. It's groovy as hell but it's still so energetic that I could play it out at a festival or obviously in a club it fits really well. That's the sound we're looking for energetic, groovy house.
WILL K & Corey James - Let Me See You
OTB: Well, I think you've achieved that. Talk a little bit about touring, you have a very aggressive touring schedule. How do you maintain some kind of balance?
D: Um, it's really hard. Especially the social side of life, I mean I never see my friends anymore or if they throw a party it's always Fridays or Saturdays and I'm always playing. But, you know that's the way it is. I don't see myself playing for another 20 years. The only downside of what I do but besides that I just try to stay healthy, doing some exercising while I'm tour.
And when I'm home its always really hard to not go straight to the studio because I want to finish those tracks I made on the road or whatever. But, obviously I need to see my family.
OTB: You need some family time.
D: Yeah, you need some family time and it's also good to chill down a bit.
OTB: I would imagine the time to just relax is so needed.
D: Yeah, because touring is all about that big rush. The adrenaline is really high and every time I come from the stage and I go to my hotel room I only have five or sometimes three or four hours to sleep. My adrenaline is so high that I can't sleep. So, it's really hard to come down a bit.
OTB: I will say that I have felt similarly the past two nights here.
D: The adrenaline is a constant rush and then you get home and you feel how tired you actually are.
OTB: It takes a lot out of you I would imagine. I am in the Netherlands and I haven't gotten to try a lot of the food yet. And it doesn't have to be from here but favorite food and where to find it?
D: Oh, I'm a big fan of Italian food. Actually, yesterday we had Italian food here in Amsterdam. Some really nice places with some genuine Italian people in the kitchen which is a big plus. I actually love everything. I'm an easy eater.
OTB: That works out well when you have to travel so many places.
D: And I like trying new things as well as long it's not organs or stuff. I'm not really into that.
OTB: Two more questions, I know the year is wrapping up. What can we expect music wise from you? Anything new coming out in the next few months?
D: Yeah, obviously besides the Fonk Recordings tracks, I just made a new solo track, especially for my opening as well which is really about the funky sound. Besides that I'm working on loads of different music as well just to evolve myself and to improve myself as a producer. I made some deep house, I made even some more poppy songs. Just to improve myself, maybe I'm gonna release it, maybe I'm not.
OTB: But, it's always good experience.
D: It's a good experience, yeah. And I'm actually working on a new vocal track which is really cool. It might be more of a crossover which is really cool.
OTB: When you go to choose a vocalist, how do you go thru that process? There are so many incredible voices out there.
D: That's the hardest part of the whole production thing. Sometimes it works two ways. Sometimes I'm making an instrumental and I'm searching for a vocal. But, sometimes I get a vocal in and then I have to arrange the whole production around it. Obviously the lyrics and the vocal itself, that's what it's all about. It has to hit me in some way. If I don't get goosebumps, it's not a good vocal.
OTB: Next year, anything on the horizon that you can talk about?
D: Yeah, there's a big collaboration coming. And obviously will be touring and releasing lots of new music.