Prodigious DJ & producer Dannic is synonymous with Dutch dance, cementing himself as a name that consistently delivers some of the finest music the Netherlands has to offer. From his debut releases on labels such as Toolroom, Revealed Recordings and Spinnin’ Records, prior to the launch of his highly-praised Fonk Recordings, Dannic has maintained a consistent output of dancefloor-ready bangers and groove-laden productions, which continue to excite across live shows globally, as well as productions that set alight the biggest mainstages.
Known for anthems such as ‘Feel Your Love’, ‘Light The Sky’ and ‘Noise’, Dannic has devoted plenty of attention to his creative side in 2018, by experimenting with new sounds, evident in tracks such as ‘Coco’s Miracle‘ with Fedde Le Grand & CoCo Star ( peaked at #1 on the Beatport Big Room chart), ‘Falling in Love (SOS)’ and ‘Tenderlove’. Boasting an outstanding 2018 campaign, Dannic kindly took the time out of his hectic ADE schedule to sit down with We Rave You and discuss the importance of ADE, creative experimentation and advice for bedroom producers
You’ve got a hectic ADE schedule this year, including your own Fonk Recordings label night! Tell us a bit about that!
“Last night we had the Fonk Recordings party for the third year in a row, it was just an amazing night! It was amazing to see so many die-hard fans and it was crazy to see how we filled the room with all that young talent. For me, it was a dream come true to have my own label night.”
You also hosted a masterclass at the Revealed Recordings Day Conference. How does it feel to give back to bedroom producers with events like this?
“It feels amazing because that’s how I started as well! There were a lot of people who gave me support and obviously the dancetour competition that I won [in 2009] gave me the chance to play in front of 20,000 people. That’s what I want to do for today’s young talent as well, with things like masterclasses and last night’s Fonk15 winner, a guy from Sweden flew in and had a 15 minute playing slot at our party. The eagerness I had back in the day, I saw in his eyes! That’s why I do this.”
What makes ADE so special to you? What makes it different from other music conferences?
“Miami is much more about parties and it’s far more hectic, here you can actually meet people, there are more people who are here for the business side of things. During the year, you’re emailing so many people and here you can finally put a face to the name. So this is the place where you actually meet people and this is where I see my fellow DJ’s and can actually speak to them, instead of just seeing them at a party and saying ‘hello’.”
Your single ‘Tenderlove’ cracked the Beatport House top 30 earlier this year. Can you tell us a bit about that track?
“To be honest, I don’t really look at the charts anymore. For me, if I’m passionate about a song, I’m just going to put it out. Obviously, I want it to be a success but that’s not the main goal. The main goal is to release music that I feel passionate about and that I’m happy with. Obviously everyone knows me for my Big Room and Progressive stuff, but I wanted to show that I can do different stuff as well. ‘Tenderlove’ is one of those and of course ‘Falling In Love’ was more club-oriented.”
At the start of your charting is very important, as this is what earns gigs, however, this changes with time. At what point do the charts become less important?
“At first, the numbers mean a lot because you want to present yourself and come up big so that promoters can book you and so you can also earn recognition. I evolved as an artist and eventually focused more on my creativity and what felt right.”
Having experimented with new sounds, do you believe there’s a difference between changing your sound and adapting to what’s popular?
“Yeah for sure! It’s really tempting to adapt to what’s current and what’s doing well in the charts, but I’ve always wanted to stay true to myself. That’s why I have my own label. Fonk Recordings is the the definition of the Dannic club sound, and my more commercial stuff is going through Spinnin’ [Records]. My sound will always be ‘Housey’, not Pop or Future House or Trap or whatever is popular.”
Today, the industry is bigger and more saturated than ever, yet an abundance of new, talented producers are still making their way into the industry. Do you think breaking into the industry as a bedroom producer is easier or more difficult than before?
“Right now it’s more difficult. I always tell people that the ‘door is closed’. There are so many talented producers who’ve put out music on loads of big labels like Spinnin’ and Revealed [Recordings], but it doesn’t give them the recognition or the fanbase or shows. That’s because it’s so saturated. Promoters won’t take risks on booking lesser-known DJ’s unless they have a big hit or loads of streams. It’s definitely way harder to get to the next level and make it to the top right now.”