With a discography of hits that have withstood the test of time and one of the most identifiable labels in the industry, Dannic has worked tirelessly over the past ten years to establish himself as one of the premier producers and taste-makers in Electronic Dance Music. Continue reading to learn more about his thoughts on the current state of the industry, the complications behind IDs, and what's next for Fonk Recordings.
After producing for around a decade, you've accumulated quite a few IDs that fans would still love to hear released someday. At your level, it's not as simple as just hitting "upload" when you finish something new so could you tell us more about what stops a track from being released or puts it in limbo?
In a past interview with We Rave You, you mentioned the phrase "the door is closed" citing market saturation as a huge barrier to entry these days. What do you think it would take for someone new to "break through" in 2020?
What I meant is that during the period where EDM was booming (2012-2015) a lot of artists really established their names in the industry. At that time there wasn't much saturation in the market and it was easier to break through. A collab with a bigger name had a much higher chance of pushing a young producer and would translate into bookings. Because of this success and globalization of the industry, new names have popped up and also tried to make their way up to the top.
A lot of those have real talent and may have what it takes. But what I see nowadays is that these guys or girls have releases on all the big labels and some of them have collabs with big names, but it doesn't really give them the breakthrough as it would if they would have started a little bit earlier. That door is already closed in a way. I'm not saying it's impossible to open that door. I really believe in new talent and I'm sure someone will find a niche and break through. It's just way harder with the whole market being saturated and also the fans who consume music in a different way. Almost up to the point where people are spoiled with these amazing festivals every weekend and free music to listen to every day. This asks for a different approach. For every artist (even if you're established) this requires huge flexibility and creativity to stay on top of your game.
Basically what I said in the question before goes for a label as well. For a brand or label to survive you MUST adapt and evolve. The market has and is changing rapidly and I also need to come up with a refreshed sound and brand. This is something I'm already working on with my team, but obviously takes some time. Having my label for quite some time also means people kinda know what to expect from it. Which is a good thing, but also something to consider if I want to keep growing. Soundwise, I'm looking for different and unique sounds that people wouldn't necessarily expect from Fonk, but still fit on the label. I genuinely believe there is still a gap between mainstream big room and future house. This is where I see Fonk filling the gap and be relevant.
It was recently announced that you signed a new single to the revamped label from W&W, Rave Culture. Can you tell us anything more about this collaboration and some of your thoughts on their brand?
I'm a big fan of Ward & Willem myself and I've known them for many years. I have a lot of respect how they manage to stay the ultimate mainstream bigroom kings. I can't tell too much about the track. I can only say that it sounds a little different than the usual Dannic sound and that it goes off in my sets!
You gave another excellent interview about burnout in light of Avicii's unfortunate passing back in the start of 2019 where you talked about the changes you made in your own life to stay healthy both mentally and physically. Do you think the EDM industry has been doing better about keeping its talents healthy or is there still more work to be done to raise awareness and combat burnout?
I see a lot of young talented bedroom producers all of a sudden have to perform in the spotlight, while their character and psych is not comfortable with it. Forcing these kind of things will result in someone burning out completely because it causes more stress than happiness. You have to watch out for being too impassioned about it as well. Because passionate people always will take that extra step and go over their physical capabilities. A big responsibility lies in the people that you work with like management and booking agency. Making sure routings are a s logical as possible, with enough rest in between. But in the end, it all comes down to yourself. You have to learn your boundaries to not cross them. Be true to yourself as well. If you're not comfortable in the spotlight, find help or make a hard decision.
Before we close out this interview, is there anything you'd like to tell us about your upcoming projects or a message you'd like to send out to your fans?
I'm very excited about the rebranding me and my team are working on. Also there's a lot of music coming, including more solo tracks that I'm very excited about. Other than that, I want to thank my fans for the ongoing support. Love you guys. Hope to see you soon!
Thank you so much to Dannic and his team for making this interview possible! Follow him using the links below!
Chris W. Lao
Written with @hardwell_theboss
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