Social Festival Podcast + Interview By Joey Daniel

Arriving in time for the due season of Social Festival, Rotterdam born/Amsterdam-resident Joey Daniel hits up a Music On-recorded podcast showcasing his low-end dubby tech spectrum of dance music.

Joey Daniel was well known in his native Holland for his classic 300MPH party series at Toffler – an event which saw curated artists as big as Loco Dice but now is making big waves internationally, where he has made appearances at the likes off Awakenings, Time Warp Holland, Mysteryland, Sonus, Welcome To The Future, Pollerwiesen Festival, Extrema Outdoor Belgium, and many more. He’s performed at the renowned BPM Festival in Mexico, struck out the lights at Berlin’s Watergate, and, after an epic 11 closing set at Sunwaves Festival, picked up as resident by Marco Carola‘s acclaimed Music On parties at Amnesia – Ibiza. With a long list of achievements, we had the chance to catch a few words from the man himself – covering everything from his upbringing as a DJ to his upcoming performance, where he will be going back to back with Mark Fanciulli, at Social Festival.

“…the vibe at that moment is something you can’t plan, you have to create the atmosphere and that has to come naturally.”

How is the summer of 2016 treating you thus far?
It has been really amazing so far. Actually my summer started at the beginning of the year, when I played at The BPM Festival in Mexico for Music On and 100%JC, followed by the Sunwaves Festival where I had the unexpected chance to close the Main stage after Marco Carola, I payed an 11-hour set. That gave me so much positive energy, I had such amazing feedback from the gigs that it motivated me even more to work hard in the studio, both on solo remixes and collaborations; that resulted in my releases on Moon Harbour Recordings and my upcoming EP on Moan Records. Both labels were on my wish list and both releases are collaborations with two amazing artists from Bosnia, Rub A Dub and Zlatnichi.

Speaking about the real summer, I have a residency at Music On Amnesia Ibiza; I have moved to Ibiza for the whole season and I’m so happy about that. I try to stay focused on my music and spend every day on it. I sometimes go to the beach to relax and clear my mind, I try to enjoy this opportunity as much as I can. I travel a lot both for work and privately, I have met a lot of people and played at all these amazing places. I’m very happy.

What was it like growing up in a musically influenced city like Rotterdam?
Rotterdam has always fascinated me musically and in many different ways. The people, the skyscrapers, the port, the futuristic architecture… Rotterdam’s landscapes makes it a very special city; definitely it all comes together and that is reflected in its music style and artistic expression. Besides that, Rotterdam is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. For me it was great to grow up there and be influenced by all the amazing sounds. As a very young kid I always joined my dad at jam sessions with his band, and I started to play drums at a young age. Sometimes I went out and listened to other bands that were jamming; for example, I once walked into a room and discovered a completely different world with African jazz. We have a strong techno scene with artists that put Rotterdam on the map: Speedy J, Secret Cinema and nowadays ROD aka Benny Rodrigues and all those organisations that do everything for the love of music and straight from the heart. Even though that is not the sound I play and I always try to do my own thing, I’m very proud of that. In Rotterdam I learned not to talk but to do, which has made me the artist I am now.

How did you get into DJing/producing? Was it something that you always wanted to do?
At a young age I was very attracted to DJing and producing but I played drums for 14 years. My parents weren’t very happy about that as they thought there was already enough noise around ;). When my dad and I went to the music store, I would always take a look at the DJ department, play with the controls and dream of being a DJ. As I got older, besides my study as a graphic designer, I had a part-time job across the street from a record store. During my breaks and after work I always went to listen to records and sometimes I had a go on the mixer and the turntables. When I turned 18 and moved into my own place, the first thing I bought was some turntables and a mixer. Later on I bought my first Mac and Logic and I then started producing.

What is your favourite musical memory of Rotterdam?
That would be the Fast Forward Rotterdam Dance Parade, which was inspired by the Love Parade in Berlin. There were like 40 trucks with massive sound systems, representing record stores, labels and clubs with famous DJs playing and party people on it and thousands of people following the trucks trough the streets of Rotterdam city. It all came together in the end at the famous Mullerpier with a massive end party. Unfortunately it stopped in 2010 because of stricter safety requirements and a stricter licensing policy. That was something I always used to really look forward to every year.

How did the residency at Rotterdam’s leading nightclub Toffler come about?
It all started with Catwalk, the club that was in the venue before it became Toffler. I started there with my own night called 300MPH and I booked artists like Loco Dice, tINI and Pan-Pot which was very unusual at that moment because the club had a small capacity. But I wanted to do something different, let big artists play for a smaller and intimate setting and give them the chance to play sets as long as they wanted. Later it became Toffler and I was asked to be a resident and to continue with 300MPH from the beginning. Last year I stopped with 300MPH and I now only do my solo nights three times a year and one or two special gigs like last time with Marco Carola.

You are known worldwide for your marathon sets. Do you plan these or do you just go with the flow?
I just go with the flow. I don’t believe you can plan long sets. I try to get the people into the story that I want to tell with the music I play; every time it’s different, the vibe at that moment is something you can’t plan, you have to create the atmosphere and that has to come naturally. To be honest, for me the longer the sets are, the better. I love that by playing long solo sets, you can lead the musical direction of the night yourself and once you have the attention and the people into the music, you can go wherever you want.

After publishing a number of great releases on several labels, can you tell us which is your favourite and why?
That was my first track and release called “You Know My Streez”.

I still remember I was at Sonar Festival and I think it was five years ago. Marco Carola and Loco Dice played back to back, I was by the stage and I heard this groove coming in and I was telling my friends ‘this is really nice’ (haha OK I drank a few shots so I wasn’t so sharp at that moment) but all of a sudden I realised that Loco Dice was playing my track. It was my first track and first release and it was played by Dice. I didn’t know that he played my track and it was the first time a big artist played a production of mine. I almost got emotional which is very funny now I think back to that. I even made a movie of him playing – I totally forgot to film the crowd when the bass came in haha. Later I saw a pic of me filming them with full flashlights on their faces (lol).

You are now a resident for Marco Carola’s Music On. Can you tell us what it’s like to be a member of the Music On team? And how did it come about?
Marco Carola and Music On have always been a big inspiration for me, from the first moment I heard Marco play and the first moment I went to Amnesia I felt a strong connection to my own music and as an artist. I think it’s no secret that all DJs dream of being part of a musical group they feel connected to. Music On took me into its family, believed in what I do and fully support me. I’m blessed and very thankful for that. Being part of Music On really pushes me to do everything the best I can, and to work harder than I have before. I feel a responsibility to carry the name of Music On and it feels amazing; it works perfectly for the both of us.

How it all came about is a long and special story, but to make it short, I played at the after party after Music On in Ibiza, after the musical director of Music On was tipped by mine and his friends who heard me playing in Rotterdam on my solo night. He had news that I was in Ibiza and asked if I wanted to play. From that moment things started and I played at more after-hours nights where they heard me time after time and from there I got my first Music On booking the year after that. After that booking everything changed… I joined Orbeat bookings and became a member of the Music On family.

You make your debut this year at The Social Festival in the Techno Barn. Who are you most looking forward to seeing in that arena?
I’m excited and looking forward to seeing my dear friend Mark Fanciulli, we are going to play a B2B for the very first time. I met Mark a couple of years ago when I booked him at 300MPH and from the very beginning we had a strong connection that grew to become a special friendship. Even if we don’t speak to each other for months, when we see each other we have plenty to talk about and it’s always great fun. Mark is a very talented artist, I have great respect for him both as a DJ and as a producer. Each of us has our own sound but it fits perfectly. So I can’t wait for this.

See also: The Social Festival Podcast + Interview By Mark Fanciulli

Last but not least, what can we expect from you this September at The Social Festival (UK)?
Mark are I going to make it special, that is for sure. We are both very excited, but if I tell what you can expect it wouldn’t be a surprise for you ;) To be honest I don’t know what to expect either and that makes this B2B so special and exciting.

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September 10th | The Social Festival | Tickets | Maidstone, UK