Danny Avila is young. I had no idea how young he was until this interview. He’s still a kid! Danny is only 18, but is producing some incredible music and is traveling all over the world and is working with some of the biggest names in EDM. He has worked with guys like Tiësto, Fedde Le Grand and more. Oh, and MTV has identified him as “one to watch” in 2014. Needless to say, Danny has all the potential in the world and I am excited to see where he goes from here. Hot off the release of his new single “Poseidon,” I had the chance to sit down with Danny for an exclusive artist interview. This kid is all over the place, and I am pumped to learn more about him and his work. Let’s dance, people!
Your new single “Poseidon” just came out on Musical Freedom. Tell me more about the single and about your experience working with Musical Freedom on this release.
Working with the Musical Freedom team has been amazing. They’re part of the Spinnin’ Records family, so I’ve worked with them all really closely this year and they really look after me and help me get my music out there. “Poseidon” is a big tune, it always goes off whenever I drop it in my set. It kinds of starts off deep, we got this lovely “underwater” feeling to the melody and then it just breaks down into a complete hard banger. I wanted to make a track that had as much energy as I have behind the decks, a track that’s got my personality all over it and I think that “Poseidon” is definitely the one.
Danny Avila – Poseidon
You will be joining Tiësto and Calvin Harris on the UK leg of their “Greater Than” tour. That is a pretty big lineup that will sell out all over the UK. Do you have anything special planned for those tour dates?
Man, I am SO excited! I played with Tiësto and Calvin Harris at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam when it was ADE, and I’ve played with Tijs quite a lot over the past few years so I know it’s going to be wild and big and LOTS of fun. I’ve been busy making my own edits of a lot music to play out especially for the tour, I’m buzzing to be a part of it and also to get to know the GTA guys better who are also supporting them with me.
You are only 18 years old. How did you get started in EDM and how have you, over the years, handled your rise to the top?
I’ve always been around house music, it was always playing at home when I was growing up in Spain, a lot of really amazing, quality, old school house music. I started DJing when I was 12 and so I already had a lot of music sort of filed away in my head, I knew my way around a lot of music. I played lots of parties for my friends, saved money, bought newer equipment, then when I was 14 I moved to Madrid with my older brother because where I lived in Marbella, if I wanted to DJ properly, I had to be where there was a decent night life if I stood a chance of playing out and getting practice in.
My brother is really good at persuading people, but even he found it hard at first to get promoters to give me a chance. No one thought a 14-year-old kid would be any good. Once I got into the clubs though, it all took off, everyone gave me a huge amount of support. I started warming up for some really big artists and that was when I met Fedde Le Grand at Ku Club in Benidorm. We started talking on the night and we stayed in contact and became really good friends, he’s always taken time out for me, to give me advice, that kind of thing. I was a bit cheeky I guess, I emailed his management team to see if they’d take a listen to me and I said that I knew Fedde. All of a sudden I’m signed with them, I’ve got a whole team behind me, I’m playing at Space Ibiza, at Pacha NYC Nightclub, in South America, and all over Europe, they’re telling me that I’ve been booked to play at Coachella, on the main stage at Ultra, it was CRAZY!!!
I just that if I keep on working and I keep on pushing it, it will keep getting better and better. My family have given me SUCH a big amount of support, my friends are behind me and whenever I’m DJing back home they all come to see me and we go out together. As long as I stay real, I think I’ll cope with success just fine. It’s what I’ve been working for, so it would be silly to say that I didn’t want it or that I didn’t want more.
Speaking of Tiësto, you first met him when you were 12. A lot has changed since then and now you are on tour with him! Has he been a mentor to you over the years? What other guys do you look up to?
You know, it’s kind of like a dream! I can’t believe that I count him as a close friend now, that he’s taking such an interest in me and giving me so much support through his label and his tour dates. He’s someone that is such an inspiration to me, everything he does is well thought through, he focuses on what he wants, he believes in himself but is still so down to earth, kind, generous with his time. There are a lot of the big DJs like that, who I look up to. The fact that they take the time out to speak to me, give me advice, just hang out with me, it means a lot.
Las Vegas is a cesspool for EDM in the United States. It is often compared to places like Ibiza, London and Amsterdam. Why do you think Las Vegas has become so popular and what does the city of Las Vegas mean to you as a DJ?
To be honest, I think it kind of makes sense for Vegas to be the epicenter of dance music in America now that EDM is so big. Before, like with Detroit and Chicago and New York, it was all underground. Now it’s very much commercial, it’s a big draw, you can’t deny that there is a lot of money in it and where else in America but Las Vegas? It’s the bright lights, it’s entertainment, they know how to do it there and it’s all in the one place. Plus of course you have EDC Vegas so I think my generation already identify Vegas with EDM.
Speaking of Las Vegas, what are some of your favorite places to play in Sin City?
Of course Hakkasan!!! It’s such a crazy experience, everything is so over the top and luxury, the lighting, the sound system is insane, it’s just a really beautiful place to DJ at.
Tell me more about your relationship with SiriusXM Radio.
That was really unexpected. I didn’t know but when I was playing at Pacha Ibiza with Tiësto, Eddie from Pacha NYC was in the crowd. Apparently when he was back in New York, he spoke to Scott Greenstein who is the president of SiriusXM Radio, saying all this stuff about me and my DJing and to check me out on SoundCloud. The next thing you know, my manager Kai is getting a call to say that he loves me, he wants me to be a resident on the station, that they’re giving me a prime time weekly spot. I hadn’t even played out in America! It was all purely down to him listening to my music.
Ever since I joined them, they’ve been so, so supportive of me. Every time I’m in NYC they get me into the studio, it’s been a great relationship for me and something that I’m very grateful for.
From Electric Zoo to Creamfields, you have performed at some pretty big festivals this year. Do you prefer playing big festivals like that, or do you like the smaller club gigs? How are they different for you as a DJ?
I love them both – I know that sounds corny, but I do. It’s the same as I really like to play warm up sets as well, and I love playing chilled bar sets in Ibiza too. I get something different from each kind of set. When you’re at festivals there is SO much energy coming from the crowd, I buzz off of it, I love getting that vibe, it pushes me higher and higher. When I’m in a club and it’s really dark and you get longer on the decks, the atmosphere is different but it’s just as good, it’s kind of more intimate, more personal and the energy is right there in front of your face, I sometimes feel like I can reach out and touch it.
W&W has Mainstage. Armin has A State of Trance. Tiësto has Club Life. Tritonal has Tritonia. You have Ready To Jump. Tell me more about your podcast and how you stay motivated to produce these while on the road. Also, what podcasts do you subscribe to?
The podcast is a great way to stay up to date regarding music. I always want new music, not only the tracks everyone has, but also unknown stuff and other genres. I love when people send me their music, sometimes there’s a hidden gem among those demos. In my radio show I can try these things and my listeners love it. It’s a great way to give the fans something more, because I can’t be everywhere all the time. I always get great feedback to my radio show, which keeps me motivated to always compile the best and most personal selection of music, every week. We’re approaching the 50th episode, which will be a very special episode!
2013 was a big year for you. How are you going to top that in 2014? What does the New Year have in store for Danny Avila?
There is a lot of stuff going on, plans for 2014 but I’m not allowed to say anything just yet otherwise my manager would probably kill me!
Thank you for doing this, Danny. In all of the interview I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to me. I really appreciate all the support I get and also the chance to speak for myself. It’s been a MENTAL year but the best one of my life, I’m living the dream, I’ve worked my ass off to get here but I’m not stopping, so I’ll see you in 2014!
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