DOING IT ALL. The only way to go is up for fan-favorite, chart-climbing, record label-owning producer and DJ Dannic
There must be something in Breda’s water. The historical town in the southern part of the Netherlands has given birth to not one, not two, but three of the highest-ranking DJs. There’s Tiësto, for one, and also Hardwell, who was crowned twice as the World’s No. 1 DJ on DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 list in 2013 and 2014.
Continuing Breda’s streak of producing brilliant dance music artists is Dannic, who created quite a sensation in 2014’s list, when he jumped 34 spots to the 30th position. He once again improved his ranking and took the 26th place in early 2015. If you’re like us at all, you might have noticed a pattern here and can guess where Dannic will go next.
The prestigious list isn’t the only thing he’s scoring, though. To date, Dannic has had three number-one tracks, including the very popular “Feel Your Love,” on Beatport. This year also sees Dannic launch his very own label, Fonk Recording, and accumulate over a million fans on Facebook. Some of these fans could be seen attending his last show in Jakarta in December, and even patiently waited for him at the lobby of the hotel where he stayed to take pictures with him.
DA MAN talked to the multitasking DJ shortly after he finished his Asian tour.
DA MAN: Hi, Dannic. How was the show in Jakarta like?
Dannic: I had a great trip. The crowds at X2 [Plaza Senayan] were off the hook—they brought great vibes for a Wednesday night! I had to rush straight off to the airport for my show in Shanghai the next day. I always have a great trip when I visit Asia.
DA MAN: What is the difference between fans in Asia and back home in Europe?
Dannic: They go crazy for different sounds but never stop dancing. Like back home in Europe, you might hear a heavily electro or progressive set, but, out in Asia, that sound is still exploding so you can take things a little deeper, you know, with deep house, tropical house, mash-ups, etc.
DA MAN: Speaking of your home in Europe, what is the music scene in Breda like? Especially it’s the same town that produced Tiësto and Hardwell. We imagine that the people there must be really into dance music?
Dannic: [Laughs] That is true, we kind of grew up surrounded by it, so it’s just part of our culture and one I’m very proud to be a part of.
DA MAN: Can you tell us about your track “Feel Your Love”?
Dannic: I had great fun in the studio with [Dutch electronic dance music act] Sick Individuals making this one and got everyone dancing across the festivals this summer. “Feel Your Love” also went to the number-one spot on the Beatport Progressive House Chart, which was a great feeling. Just so happy to see the fans showing their support!
DA MAN: Will there be any new tracks coming out soon?
Dannic: Yes! I have “Light Up The Sky” coming out very soon with the amazing vocalist Airto—you should all go check him out—and new tracks from my label Fonk Recordings coming early next year. I’m excited for you all to hear what we’ve been working on.
“The crowds at X2 [Plaza Senayan] were off the hook—they brought great vibes for a Wednesday night!”
DA MAN: Can you tell us about your record label? What made you want to start Fonk Recordings?
Dannic: I’ve always been into A&R’ing [artist and repertoire] since I was putting together my Dannic Selection EPs for Revealed Recordings [Hardwell’s record label]. I found this new, groovy, fresh music that I was such a fan of, and I thought “why not start my own label and show my support?” That is the main force, the tracks I sign have to have the groove to follow that “Fonk sound,” and the rest will follow!
DA MAN: Did your past job as marketing manager help you manage the label?
Dannic: [Laughs] It was a different kind of marketing, but I think you can apply some of that knowledge to a whole lot of things. Plus, I have a great team around me who make sure things run smoothly, like on our first Demo Drop out in ADE and in planning our first release.
DA MAN: What do you think is your main strength as a DJ?
Dannic: I like to think it’s reading the crowds. I think it’s important at a show to know you can drop a mash-up of trap and progressive and it’s not going to clear the dance floor. If a crowd seems to be fading away or the energy is dropping, I switch it up to take it to another level.
“I’m proud of what I have achieved regardless of age”
DA MAN: Tiësto has been collaborating with fashion brands like Guess and Armani. What’s your take on this?
Dannic: I think it’s great that DJs and producers work with all these high-profile brands, it’s a good thing to see how mainstream dance music has become that the guys can now have those deals. I like fashion but there are no fancy clothes in my closet. I prefer simple, well-made clothing—nothing too crazy!
DA MAN: It was your birthday in November, right? How did you celebrate it?
Dannic: I had an amazing birthday! My friends and family threw a surprise birthday party for me with all my loved ones. It was brilliant—I was so shocked.
DA MAN: Have you achieved everything you want to achieve at this age?
Dannic: I’m proud of what I have achieved regardless of age, but I’m excited for 2016, for Fonk Recordings and I want to achieve more and push myself further next year.
DA MAN: Finally, what is next for Dannic?
Dannic: Show Fonk Recordings and a lot of new music to the world! I’ll also be touring, of course, so I hope to see you guys at a show soon.