INTERVIEW | DANNY DAZE
Dainel Gomez, better known as Danny Daze, got started early. Growing up deep within the Bboy scene of Miami, Daze started DJing weddings at the age of 14 and never looked back. He quickly honed his mixing skills, started producing music of his own, and soon after launched his first label. With the release of his single, “Your Everything,” word of Danny began to spread like wildfire. Today, he is known worldwide as an innovative and esoteric artist with a cerebral sound, and fans of the dance floor prosper because of it.
We recently had the chance to have a quick chat with Danny where he provided insight on all that is him.
Describe growing up as a Miami B-Boy. How did the culture shape who you are early on?
I was exposed to quite a few different kinds of dance music coming up in the Bboy culture. Bboys dance to everything from Jimmy Castor to Egyptian Lover to James Brown. This really made me open my ears when it came to all sorts of music and how it can be played to fit in a set.
At the age of 14 you made money mixing at wedding gigs. What are some of the earliest records that you purchased with your hard earned cash?
I still remember this day clearly. First record I ever bought was Sugarhill Gang – Rappers Delight, while the second was Newcleus – Jam On It
Today, the electro genre has not been getting the respect that it deserves – I’m happy you are keeping the sound alive. What was the Miami electro scene like while you were growing up?
The word “electro” got a bit detoured by the likes of the huge EDM sound that made it popular. “Proper Electro” is still a live and well thankfully, the scene in Miami was like nothing I’ve experienced once it dimmed down out there. The electro scene was very tied in with experimental music which is why I was sucked into labels like Schematic, M3rck, Warp ect …. They had a really great sound that integrated both worlds. In Miami, the scene consisted of about only 2.5-3 thousand people but many people from west palm beach and Fort Lauderdale would come to the events which made it what is what back then.
Your mom purchased your first decks. Awesome mom! How did that go about?
Yep. She bought me my first set up thinking I would just be a wedding Dj but had no clue that money would go to electro/techno vinyl. At first she wasn’t very happy about but came around rather quickly and supported me 100%.
Over the years you have defined yourself as an eclectic DJ, unafraid to introduce sounds that don’t fit within the mainstream mold. As an artist, what constantly pushes you to do something different?
I believe art is something that constantly evolves, not only within yourself but within culture in itself. In order for it to consistently feel like art, and give you the feeling of something you haven’t seen or heard before, you have to force yourself as an artist to not fall into the cookie cutter side of art. Sure it would be much easier to make a living off of having a particular sound, but this would not make me happy. I see how it may make others happy just having a certain sound, but my upbringing in Miami with its diverse culture really made me a person that needs to feel refreshed on a consistent basis.
How did your career take off after your 2011 hit, “Your Everything?”
Prior to that record, I had been traveling for 5 years under the name DiscoTech with a couple other buddies of mine mostly in the US, that record let me break out as a solo artist and got me noticed around the world in a matter of a couple days. It was very shocking to see what the power of the Internet holds.
Previously you have stated that the Miami and Detroit scenes have a much greater bond than most people know. Would you mind expanding on this?
Not many know how closely knit Miami and Detroit are. Many mention Detroit and Chicago together but not many know how the Detrot Ghettotech scene and Miami’s booty bass scene fed off each other. While in Detroit you had guys like Dj Godfather, in Miami we had Dj Laz and 2 Live Crew and a lot of them were friends who listened to each other’s stuff. We had the same vibe going on, Detroit had Juan Atkins, Miami had Pretty Tony. Both electro producers which made huge impacts in the world with their signature sound.
You have brushed upon the fact that you have ADHD. I’m personally well versed in the diagnosis. How has being ADHD influenced your creative process?
It holds me back quite a bit. I need to consistently be doing something, but if I don’t finish or feel like I have a track at least 70% done while sitting in a session, I tend to get distracted and start a brand new project the next day. This explains why my Ableton project folder has 900 ideas in it.
In a previous interview you mentioned that Anthony Rother has been a big inspiration to your work. How has he inspired you?
He was one of the first electro artist I ever heard. Specifically the track called “Don’t stop the beat”. I’m very inspired by his minimal-ness and how impactful the music is on the dance floor meanwhile it consist of very simple elements.
Describe how you have seen American dance music culture shift and change over the span of your career?
It’s a bit sad to be honest. Seeing the techno and house influences travel to Europe and stay in Europe is odd. I blame the U.S. radio for not expanding people’s heads when it comes to music. The best thing to happen in the states regarding pushing of new sound is college radio. This is where most of the younger generation is finding music and taking it upon themselves to search and dig deeper. I’m happy to see the US starting to dig deeper into stuff rather than “blatant in your face” dance music.
What can fans expect in the future?
I’ve started a label which I haven’t announced yet but we’re on the 6th release. I’ve also got an album coming out next year which is a bit across the board, not too much dance music in this one. Rather showing where it is that I come from.