Interview: Danny Daze
Just like other DJs, he got his fist DJ set when he was 13, just like other DJs, he played all possible dance music styles within the spectre, just like other DJs, he refuses to define his sound within the brackets, but there is a lot to Daniel Gomez, a.k.a. Danny Daze, that makes himself and his sound just not like any other DJ.
If you want to hear a true story worth a Hollywood script in dance music scene, then hear this out. Born and raised in Miami, a kid of Cuban immigrants with many talents and a passion for music gets arrested in a drug bust at merely 18, and seemingly loses almost everything before his music career even starts. While serving jail time and two years of home arrest, he masters his skills of music production to a worldwide recognition. And no, maaam, he did not stop there.
After Seth Troxler and Jamie Jones plays his ‘Your Everything’ in 2011, the internet goes crazy seeking out for it and immediately puts Danny in the spotlight. Looking at his biography, Danny strikes an artist, whose new creative uptakes are chased by the recognition of the previous ones. Thus he proves it again in 2015 with his solid release ‘Ready 2 Go’ which brought him back on his throne.
After 14 years of DJing and 8 years producing (which include an Audio Engineering degree!), Danny starts curating his own label. And to make things harder for himself, after a year of existence and work, he now reveals himself as the mystery label curator behind Omnidisc.
But to his harm or benefit, Danny Daze just refuses to fall under any trap of expectations. Honest, funny and straight to the point Danny shows his very human side in this Q&A for Deep House Amsterdam. On Cuban origin, new label curatorship, on political expression of artists – Danny Daze, an artist with a voice.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working with a few fashion brands now. I work with this guy called John Elliot, I work with another brand called Song for the Mute another brand called Second layer,.
Could you describe a bit the way you work with the fashion world? Do you get creative briefs, what are the requirements that you get from the fashion brands?
Usually they give me a mood board of their look of the season and I bounce ideas back and forth when it comes to the sound, that I think fits with the line. I love the process because I get to expand my sound pallet, I get to make music that I usually don’t get to make. I do a lot of dance stuff and this is the complete opposite, sometimes I’ll do something with no kicks at all.
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Is there some other art field you would like to do collaborations with or get yourself into?
I’m very into sculptures, I used to do them a long time ago. But that takes a lot of work, you need a warehouse, space, a lot of free time to be able to do that, welding kit, etc. But I would love to go back into that. I was doing that back in high school all the way to college and that’s something to express myself.
When it comes to making music, yeah, I would definitely love to do a lot more music for the movies, but actually I always used to really want to act, since very long time ago. And I’ve always been flirting with that idea, but that is just so far ahead. I’ve always been the type of person to try and express myself in any way possible. I’ve always felt acting is a good way to become somebody completely different. That would be fun.
You have been going through a lot of changes in your life, in regards to the activities you took up tennis (professionally), breakdance, music, even sculpture! What drove you into this constant change?
Well, it’s part of life, just trying to make the most of it. I was playing tennis for a long time. Thing is, I grew up very poor. I was able to be noticed and sponsored by a guy, who basically just walked down the street and he saw me. They ended up sending me to a tennis camp and when I got back my mom’s boss, who used to play tennis, ended up sponsoring me, which was pretty cool.
I think it just depends how you are raised, how you grow up. I grew up in Miami, in an area, where these influences are all around. You can go in an instant from listening to salsa music, to listening to break dance and electro, to someone playing basketball right next to a tennis court. I guess its just part of the way we were bred in Miami.
Now that you mentioned salsa, got to ask that. Cuba is responsible for a great influence in music, specially jazz music. How strongly are you connected to your origins, as an individual and musician?
I was not born in Cuba but I consider myself 100 % Cuban. I don’t think where you are born is who you are. My heritage, everything is a 45 min flight away. My entire family speaks Spanish. So we are as Cuban as you can get.
I am very into afro Cuban jazz and afro beat which revolves around the syncopation in the music and a lot of improvisation, which are my two bigger influences from Cuban sound and just the drums, it is a very drum based music.
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Do you use it as an inspiration?
I listen to it when I’m in my car, to afro-beat or classical music, anything that is not dance music, I listen to dance music too much. I don’t take the influences from it directly, but I do take the groove, the rhythm that they do and then maybe go to my studio and recreate it in my own way. Though I don’t remember the last time I did straight on sampling, for example.