Miami homeboy Danny Daze (AKA Daniel Gomez) blew up big time in 2011 thanks to a bass-heavy dancefloor bomb called "Your Everything" signed to Jamie Jones and Lee Foss's Hot Creations label.
Needless to say, the record made our cut for Miami's Best Albums of 2011. And it put Danny's name on the lips of EDM cognoscenti everywhere.
But Danny is far from being a rookie. He's been active in the South Florida scene since he started DJing for local raves at age 13. And he first made a name for himself as part of the DiscoTech and Señor Stereo outfits.
Danny's longevity definitely makes him an authority on the Miami dance music scene. Which is why with the world's hordes of EDM fans alighting in our neck of the woods for WMC next week, we decided to pick his brain.
Crossfade: How did growing up in Miami shape you musically? Were there specific Miami artists or records that influenced you most? And when did you get into electronic dance music?
Danny Daze: I really got influenced by the b-boy scene in Miami — Hot Wheels, Thunder Wheels. Then little by little got into the rave scene. Specifically the Full Moon parties which were held at Malibu Castle Park.
You've been DJing since your early teens. What was the scene in Miami like back then and what sort of parties were you playing?
I really really really really miss that scene, to be honest. IDM, electro-bass, Detroit techno was huge out here. Parties like Laptops & Martinis and Full Moon were the places to go to. There were loads of breakdancing and pop-locking crews and less DJs! Vinyls! Needles skipping! Battles on the dancefloor! That's long gone now. I was like 13-16 at the time, so I would DJ a wedding or baby shower or some weird party at Chucky Cheese, then go to a rave taken by my mom in her green Caravan.
2011 was your big breakthrough year. Did you have a feeling "Your Everything" was gonna blow up the way it did when you first produced the track?
Nah, not really. I knew the tune was a cool one and very different, but didn't have a clue it was gonna blow up like that.
What advice, if any, do you have for other budding young producers aspiring for your type of recent international success? What are the dos and don'ts of a successful working DJ-producer?
That's a tricky one. The year of the DJ is gone! You must make music now, and when making music, you must take risks. I have way too many promos that sound like a cheap imitation of something else. You're better off making some extremely weird tune that only one person might like, but it sets you apart and eventually you'll make a big tune. Don't get down on yourself if labels don't hit you back or pass up on tunes you send for demo. Fun fact: "Your Everything" was passed up by three pretty big labels.
How has life on the road been for your so far? What are the pros and cons of being a globetrotting DJ?
I've been on the road for the last 5 years with my other monikers, which only some of you may know about. I've learned what to do and what not to do. With this solo tip I'm on, it's not as glamorous as you'd think. It's pretty lonely and there's a constant lack of sleep involved that can drive anyone insane. Biggest thing for me when traveling is being able to fly with ONE WORLD, which gives me upgrades to first class, free meals, etc. I do enjoy traveling the world and seeing new things, but it's really tough to enjoy a city when you're there for just one day. Double-edged sword.
You recently spent time with in the studio with Maceo Plex — one of the most hotly tipped producers in the scene right now. What can fans expect from those sessions?
As per Eric [Estornel — Maceo Plex]: none of this must be spoken of!
What other projects or releases can we expect from you in 2012?
I've got a bunch of remixes coming out soon along with originals. I tend to not really plan where I'll be releasing or what kind of sound I'll be pushing. I just kinda go with the flow. My Facebook page is the first one to get blasted with my stuff, so gimme a shout on there.
As a long-standing Miami DJ, how do you feel the EDM scene has changed in the last decade? Do you think we have the potential of becoming a true dance music mecca, and not just during March?
To be honest? With the club owners on the Beach and downtown? No, I don't think it's gonna change anytime soon. 10 years ago you had some sick spots. Space was dope! The Mix Afterhours was dope! The Edge was dope (even though I never went — heard many stories.) Groove Jet was dope! If there's gonna be a real change in the Miami scene, it needs to start with the owners of the clubs. It's all money now and GMs telling DJs what to play because of a douchebag spending three grand on a table.
So do you plan to keep calling Miami home for the long term, or do you see yourself moving closer to the action in Europe or elsewhere in the near future?
Miami will always be my home. I move to certain areas during certain times of the year to be closer to the action, but yeah, I can't leave Miami. I need to be able to have palm trees on flyers! That's the only reason I really get booked.
What do you have going on in Miami during Conference week? Can you give us the rundown and what to expect?
Sure! This Sunday the 18th at the Electric Pickle, with Murk, Lazaro Casanova, Maxxi Soundsystem and Walker & Royce. Wednesday the 21st, playing at two spots: Chalk Miami first, alongside DJ T, PillowTalk, Kim Ann Foxman, and Maxxi Soundystem. Then going over to Gavanna to play alongside Tensnake, Simian Mobile Disco and Miguel Cambpell. Thursday the 22nd, doing the Hot Creations Boat Cruise alongside Jamie Jones, Lee Foss and Miguel Campbell. Friday the 23rd, at some unannounced thing somewhere. Saturday the 24th, at Get Lost at the Electric Pickle alongside too many DJ homies to list.