After shedding his DJ Funkadelic moniker in 2012 Daan Romers began his next project—Dannic. Over the past four years Dannic’s accession to dance music’s elite has been astounding. Hailing from Breda, in the Nethelands, Dannic found comradery on hometown legend Hardwell’s Revealed Records and never looked back. Although Dannic has released club hit after club hit, his true artistry can be found in his uncanny ability to weave truly unique sets for fans.
As the anticipation for his back-to-back long weekend shows, Union Hall in Edmonton on September 5th and Venue Nightclub in Vancouver on the 6th, continues to rise we took the opportunity to sit down with Dannic and explore a bit of his unbridled optimism for the industry.
Blueprint: In a previous interview you stated that you often find people saying, “oh, he’s a friend of Hardwell.” Do you ever find this musically restricting or somewhat artistically demeaning to have others associate you as an attachment of another artist?
Dannic: I don’t find it demeaning; Hardwell is a great talent and like a musical brother to me. It’s not restricting either…we collaborate together and also do our own individual thing. Fans and journalists compare artists and people in the industry with each other all the time. I’ll be starting my own label soon and I’m sure there will also be associations with that between artists. I guess it’s just the way it goes.
Blueprint: How does a Dannic centric event, like your upcoming show at Venue in Vancouver on September 6th, differ from a larger arena show with multiple DJs on the bill?
Dannic: I get a chance to experiment more because those people in the audience are there to see me and my sound. At festivals there are always a certain amount of people in the crowd who could be there to see other artists that day and have no interest in you. At club shows I get to test out productions I’m working on and maybe drop in a bit of trap, tropical house and moombahton…I can’t wait to come back to Vancouver!
Blueprint: You recently released part one of your new documentary series entitled Dear Life. In it you mention that you have only had the name Dannic since 2012 but have been DJ’ing for 11 years: how important is it that your fans see you as a skilled DJ first, and a producer second?
Dannic: I learned to DJ before I produced, but they go hand-in-hand of course. I love both, the elements of playing a huge tune of the season that sends the crowds crazy, with my own, new productions or collaborations is brilliant—I enjoy the fact I do both and I don’t think one outweighs the other.
Blueprint: In your documentary you aim to have others tell your story—who are the most important narrators of your life to date?
Dannic: My Sister Nikki and my mother and father—their support for me and my career from the early day’s right up to right now is just brilliant. I wanted them to be some of the main speakers in the documentary as they know me best, throughout the ups and the downs!
Blueprint: After Dyro discovered that Seth Troxler had referred to his music as “sonic ear rape,” he took to twitter to respond eliciting this response from Troxler: from “a core musical theory sense, or sound design EDM is fundamentally on the bottom.” Do you have any thoughts on Troxler’s jab at your fellow Revealed Records mate, and how do you feel about Troxler’s disparaging view of EDM?
Dannic: Well it’s to each their own. Seth does his own thing and that’s great for his scene and his crowd, but our thing and our crowd is different. I don’t know the guy so can’t say much but to me and the friends I’ve spoken with, he just comes across in the media as being very negative and vocal about any music or scene that doesn’t fit into his ideals. It could have been anyone playing the main stage that day and playing the big room sound which fits that stage best and which the fans want, and he probably would have said the same thing. If it’s not his thing then he just shouldn’t listen, there are plenty of different types of music and parties to go and enjoy. We should all be supporting each other not arguing who has the best genre.
Blueprint: Currently what are your top non dance music tracks for everyday listening?
Dannic: I’m a big fan of Motown, artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross are the perfect artists for winding down to after a show or chilling out to on a Sunday when I’m not on the road!
Blueprint: Do you find that as you continue to get bigger and more famous people become ‘yes men’ and offer less original opinion and useful feedback when it comes to your original productions? Is there someone you can always rely on for providing a truthful critique?
Dannic: I don’t think so, I have a great management team around me who guide me and keep me grounded and informed—and my family of course, they are always honest with their feedback on my career.
Blueprint: In reference to festival gigs Laidback Luke recently had this to say to Billboard: “the stakes are too high with so much money involved, so risks can’t be taken, we DJs feel that pressure too.” To what extent do you find the current business culture of dance music artistically restricting?
Dannic: I understand Luke’s point, it’s like I mentioned earlier about being able to take more risks at a headline, solo show rather than at a huge-scale event but that happens even outside of dance music. For example, when fans go and watch a rock band or an R&B singer, they want to hear the ‘classics,’ the tracks they know and love but it’s also important to road-test new material or projects. This is why I don’t find it artistically restricting as the music I make still has its audience.
Blueprint: Do you have any surprises in store for your long weekend show in Vancouver?
Dannic: I’ll be playing out some fresh edits that I can’t wait to bring to the table; I hope to see the dance floor going crazy, Vancouver!