Having been given his first big break by Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings imprint, DJ Dannic, who is Daan Romers (in real life) has now, four years later, attained a great deal since exploding onto the EDM (electronic dance music) scene. His phenomenal rise of 44 places to secure the #30 spot in the 2014 DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll, followed by a incredible jump of four more places to take the #26 spot in the 2015 DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll only certifies that Dannic is a force to be reckoned with as he managed to cast off previous associations and step forward as a talented artist in his own right, consistently impressing fans from around the world with a slew of popular releases, collaborations and of course, gigantic DJ shows.
Discover what makes this technically gifted Dutch DJ tick via our exclusive interview.
I feel it would be awesome to start this interview by asking you, to reflect (on your career) on the three very special people that you feel have shaped you and made who you are today.
My sister Nikki who I’m really close to – ‘Dannic’ is actually a combination of my name Daan and her name together!
My Grandad because he was always so open-minded and loved music as long back as I can remember.
My buddy Robbert (Hardwell), he’s a great friend and I’ve learnt so much from him as an artist and about the industry.
You have succeeded as a result of your hard work, to make your own distinctive and characteristic Dannic sound – energetic, progressive and euphoric. How did your musical and artistic vision change since you began your rewarding career?
I still like to make euphoric sounds with big melodies that gets people dancing! But like with my Fonk Recordings releases, I really want to capture that groove and that funky sound now.
What was your favorite memory growing up?
Going through my Grandad’s record collection, he really inspired me to appreciate music of all genres.
[And right now] What thrilling, extraordinary (non-everyday) experiences do you value most in life?
Traveling with my job, you know it feels extraordinary to experience so many cultures through playing and producing my music around the world.
For a true artist whose passion is making music, I feel you want to make a change for the better, but on a bigger scale – what is your ultimate direction for yourself?
The ultimate direction is to keep focusing on my productions and my label Fonk Recordings. Launching the label was a big decision but I want to focus on the business side also, amplifying new artists and supporting talent with the platform.
If you were to look back seven years ago, you probably couldn’t have predicted the level of success you are having today. But can you look down the road seven years (ago) and give us your predictions for the state of music today, and the EDM industry as a whole?
The dance and electronic music industry has exploded! “EDM” has grown from classic genres like trance in Europe with guys like Tiësto, to groups like Jack U with Skrillex and Diplo making this crazy dubstep and trap-style music. It’s a great movement to be a part of, you know especially in the USA where it’s a lot more ravier now and on Asia theyr’e really open to the more groovy sound.
How has your definition of success changed over the course of (your) ‘highs and lows’ in the music industry?
Success used to be about one big chart hit or making a huge headlining show but to me it’s working hard, collaborating with great people and playing at the events I dreamed of since I was younger.
Are there any places or activities that make you feel the most grounded in who you are today?
Whenever I am home! Because I’m lucky enough to travel so much, as soon as I return back to Breda I want to just relax and catch up with family and friends, that makes me feel the most grounded, when I’m back to “normal”.
On a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being the highest and most positive, how would you rate the various elements of your DJ-ing techniques, performances and works – and why?
Hahaha. It’s impossible to rate yourself! I would say pretty positive but not a full 10! I’m very proud of all the work I release and the people that I work with but I can always improve! That’s very important as an artist, to always keep improving.
Lately, what have you learned about yourself? Has it been a discovery or a rediscovery process at all?
I’ve learnt a lot from launching Fonk Recordings already, rediscovering how different music can sound from running the label.
[In general] Can you explain to us the difference between good and bad music?
Good production! If that’s in dance music, rap music or pop music that listeners may not usually be fans of, you can always notice a good track with good production.
Tell us more about your latest music video “Light the Sky”, please? Do you also want to tease us what’s coming up for the rest of 2016 for you? Collaborations? New tour dates?
I had so much fun working on that track and we wanted a fun video to go with it! The vibe that you can party anywhere with the track because it carries that feeling, working with Aïrto was great too. For the rest of the year, I have dates in China, Tokyo and Europe before a whole Summer of festivals including Tomorrowland! You can keep up to date and follow me on Snapchat at ‘realdannic’, Twitter ‘dannic’ and Facebook ‘djdannic’!
Watch the official music video below:
Do you still listen to your own music (or play your songs) when you travel?
I work on finalizing tracks and remixes when I travel but usually I save that for the studio.
You came to Philippines last month and played at Neverland x Raveolution 2016. What was your most memorable experience in Manila and why?
It was awesome! The whole crowd went crazy for “Light The Sky” which really stood out for me, it’s cool to visit somewhere so far from home and still get that reaction!
In which cities/countries have you performed so far where you met the maddest and most happy crowd?
I couldn’t pick just one! Manila was pretty up there last month!
What do you hope people take away from your music and from your shows and performances?
That my audiences can feel together on the dance floor, or connected through my music.
How do you prepare yourself for touring? Is it easy (or always difficult) to live and work on the road? [And ] In all, how does touring and constant traveling change you as an artist – and as person?
It’s important to stay grounded with family and friends as I said earlier. It can be quite lonely on the road if you don’t have a good team around you, which luckily I do!
When traveling, what’s your ultimate travel must-have and other items you can’t live without?
My Senneheiser headphones, not just for when I’m playing but to also check out new demos for Fonk Recordings. I always have Dannic merch with me to get everyone involved at the shows too!
When not working, how do you pamper yourself? What’s your idea of fun?
I like to relax with family and friends and eating out, being sociable is what I really like to do. I took my first vacation in a while just before Christmas to Cuba, such a beautiful place to relax and unwind.
Choose between money, power, love or fame – which one would you go for and why?
All you need is love! [ Smiles. ]
What recommendations would you make for those of us who are trying to maintain a balance between work, family, writing and performing, and personal time?
As long as you love what you’re doing it doesn’t feel like “work”. Follow your passion, look after yourself and surround yourself with a great team, then the balance will fall into place.
You are headlining festivals worldwide, running your own label Fonk Recordings, producing outstanding works to support new artists, and is at # 26 in the DJ Mag Top100. What’s has been the magic formula for success and what’s next for you?
There is no magic formula! I want to work hard in making Fonk Recordings one of the leading labels in dance music, that is my goal, to keep moving forward.
Got any message to our readers and to the young producers who may try to get a release and follow your successful path?
Work hard and always keep improving.
Finally, when it’s all said and done, what kind of legacy would you like to leave?
One with a positive message that music fans are still discovering 50 years into the future. [ Smiles. ]
Neverland x Raveolution 2016 Photos by JM Gonzales | Urban Rebel PR