Big Blue Sessions 001: Interview with DANI
We were honoured to have DANI as our first Big Blue Session. DANI played an organic, Latin house set with sounds from nature to move your body and connect you to your higher self.
listen to his set on SoundCloud here
view on YouTube here.
Studio Big Blue (SBB): What are the origins of your passion for music?
Dani: Ouf... the passion for music for me comes from my Mexican side. The inspiration that I've received from the Aztecs and the Mayans, throughout my time in Mexico and in South America, has given me a sense of pride and connection to the ancestral roots. The spirituality of those leaders back in those days has really helped me connect with who I am on a higher plane and purpose. The inspiration from them, the flutes, the percussions, that root sound that they often use in their ceremonies for plant medicine and rituals has really inspired me to bring back that sound that we crave as human beings.
2019 is coming to an end, and you were moving around this year! Mexico, Toronto, Montreal... Can you tell us some of your highlights of this year?
My highlight was doing plant medicine with a few of my best friends. That helped me shift my consciousness from doing what I was doing before, which was just mixing and creating sets, to shift toward production, which has elevated my game. The highlight was connecting to my future self, my higher self, in those ceremonies, and it changes my mindset of using other peoples' music to create a flow into actually creating music myself and allowing my expression to come through sound. So yeah, that was definitely a huge highlight that revolutionized my path. In Toronto, I've played a few little festivals and began my own residency called Tulum Tuesdays, which was awesome to kick start my sound.
Another highlight was working with this team called Urban Mystics, and we've created a couple of events called urban jungle. These events include breath work, meditation, yoga, and deep ancestral house. All this to create an environment where people can connect to their higher selves through meditation, yoga, and then come down to dance like animals and be free.
It's been amazing to see the reaction of people connecting to themselves and telling us, "we didn't need alcohol or drugs to get an elevated sense of ecstasy - it was all within us the whole time!" So grateful for that and we cant wait to see what happens in 2020.
So tell me what are you looking forward in 2020?
2020 is going to be a big one for all of us. For me personally, I think 2020 is a time to travel in the winter to Mexico and disconnect from the pressures of the ordinary social world and really focus on my production, creating as much music as I can, cultivating the connection with myself, and using that connection to express through music. I also want to curate the Urban Jungle events in Mexico while I am there. Afterward, I am coming back to Toronto and possibly moving to Montreal.
Yes!! I can't wait for you to move here and create more with you!
Jaja yes the scene in Montreal- wow. Can’t wait to see what comes next but I am taking this one step at a time.
I am so excited for you! It seems like you are aligning to yourself and it sounds like you are turning all your life into music.
Well music is one thing but its really the connection that I want to provide. I want to make events and create nonjudgemental parties and events where people come and show up and do whatever feels right and connect with others. Our events are a bridge for people to connect with others and connect with their higher self. We actually got invited to a festival to have our own tent at a festival in Jamaica called Tomorrow Today. I think its a step to take this global, which is what we want.
Wow.... cant wait. Now, going back to what you were talking about before about bringing your sound to Toronto, I was wondering, how is the scene in Toronto? What is the experience, and how is the crowd like?
Toronto has always been a house music city it began since the 1990s but as rental prices went up, the underground clubs couldn’t afford rent and then the popular clubs moved in and that’s when the big names from hip-hop and R&B came in. There is a big demand to connect with tribal sounds and the spiritual community has really helped me connect with these underground parties that are going on. However, the big room sound is going away since people are getting tired of listening to it. So there is a big demand to connect with the tribal sound, and the spiritual community has really helped me connect with all these underground parties that are going around. People are really craving these events and its the perfect time to be at the forefront of this new age style of music.
Do you have any favorite labels at the moment?
Anjunadeep, All Day I Dream, and Sol Selectas.
I know we have talked a lot of connection and going back to your roots but I wanted to know more about what you are trying to communicate with your music or what emotions do you want to evoke in your sets?
Wow, that question. The feelings and emotions that I'm trying to evoke when I'm playing is a feeling of oneness, wholeness like when we are in bliss. Think of your happiest times in life; that feeling that you received was a feeling of wholeness and connection to source, and I think that what I try to include in my music- what really helps bring higher consciousness to us.
When I'm up there I lose it, I take my shirt off, I put a new character on and I’m just expressing and sweating and people are truly connecting with it! That is what I love to do. Performing, engaging with the crowd, and really stopping to take a moment- that is the real experience.
In my sets, I love to bring a microphone and ill lower the music a bit and tell people to turn around and say hi to a neighbour or simply smile at someone. It created these moments where you think, "man, this is what life is about." Afterward, people are in such group energy and THAT for me what I feed of and its a continual circle. The feeling of connecting is amazing- an abundance of life, feelings, emotions are what I'm trying to bring more life. When the set is over and people are like" wow I gave that everything and I’m sweating, I'm crying, laughing- I released tension and negativity and absorbed love and passion. "that is the biggest blessing I can get a thank you because for me that’s what it’s about- connecting with people.
I feel like when I hear a really good set that is exactly how I describe it as - "Wow, I just released so much"
Yeah and you gain so much too! You release and gain space and allow emotions to come into you.
To end this interview I wanted to ask you about when you were here at Studio Big Blue. Can you share about your experience coming here?
Of course! The studio is in one of the most beautiful parts of Canada. I came in the fall to this amazing studio built by sam and right away you feel love and connection and you are right in the middle of the woods. All you are hearing is nature, the air is fresh, creativity is flowing, and the studio itself is state of the art.
Working at the studio is truly an honor because there is a sense of connection with nature that really heightens your senses and working with sam is amazing. It’s not like its a studio in downtown Toronto and downtown Montreal, where there are cars honking rather you really in nature. I love the flow we do in the morning- we do yoga, we meditate, we have a nice coffee, we walk the Lily (the dog) and then we settle in and that’s when we are truly creative- when you’ve done morning ritual and you are fully in tune with yourself. The studio really allows you to reconnect with who you are and forget about the noise and distractions.
You also make two new best friends and hang out with Lily! I will be back very soon!
Yes we want you back! looking forward to it! Thank you!
Embracing his Mexican & Latin roots, DANI embodies the jungle & community and utilizes its grandiosity to create lush, tribal & percussion-driven sounds for the people. He uses his kinship with nature to produce sophisticated and organic tracks that invoke a sense of higher vibration to the listener. His lyrics speak with a sense of inner connection and higher alignment with the Universal Power inside all of us. His aim is to create a space and environment for humans to truly connect with their surroundings and inner selves through his live DJ sets and performances. DANI often uses the power of meditation to begin his live sets, raising the whole consciousness of the crowd to higher levels, where they can access higher frequencies and connect with each other on a much deeper and intimate level. His style ranges from Deep Melodic House to Progressive; Afro house to Percussion-driven sounds; Groove-forward Tech House to Latin Tribal and finally some tasteful Techno. Having played in over 6 countries and 10 different cities including Melbourne, Bangkok, Mexico City, Tulum, Toronto & Montreal, DANI aims to connect humans with their highest selves through his organic sounds and inspiring messages. His mission is to help the planet raise its consciousness and is at the forefront of this movement with his music & vision.
Follow DANI at: https://www.instagram.com/stories/daguti_/
Listen to DANI at https://soundcloud.com/danisounds