Dannic, the prodigious DJ and producer from Breda in the Netherlands – the hometown of Tiësto and Hardwell – is one of the fiercest acts to emerge from the latest generation of Dutch artists, cementing himself as a go-to name that delivers within the world of big-room, grooving house. Bursting onto the scene with a DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll placing 4 years in a row as of 2016, it’s confirmed to tastemakers that Dannic is a driving force within the scene. Dannic’s long-running stance behind the radio airwaves including his recently-rebranded Fonk Radio venture, also demonstrates a producer that is well and truly tapped into the most vital and important industry trends that appeal to his ever-expanding audience.
From his debut releases on world-class labels including Toolroom and a longstanding relationship with Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings, Dannic’s constant output of dance floor-ready bangers and groove-laden productions continues to excite across live shows globally, as well as productions that set alight the biggest mainstage sets. Seeing the Dannic sound grace the stages of Creamfields, Tomorrowland, Miami Music Week and other big festivals and clubs.
What’s up Dannic! Thanks for taking the time to meet with us. Let’s kick things off by telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Daan Romers aka Dannic and I’m a producer and DJ originally from Breda in The Netherlands!
How did you first get into DJing/producing? Were you always set on becoming a DJ/producer, or did you originally have other plans in mind?
I was working in marketing before I started producing and DJ’ing – my first residency was at Café Bruxelles in my hometown Breda and I then won the Dancetour competition back in 2009. It all took off from there! Apart from Café Bruxelles and the Dancetour with my first steps, I think I’ve always been inspired by electronic music of all kinds. I think it is in my blood, part of being Dutch, haha!
Awesome! How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard your music?
Energetic, progressive and euphoric – making people happy on the dance floor is the most important thing I can achieve with my music.
You’ve come a long way since releasing your first solo track, “Doster” even though this wasn’t even all that long ago. How have you dealt with the increasing success and fame?
Yeah, ‘Doster’ was my first Revealed Recordings release but I’ve also had tracks out on CR2 and I recently did a remix that was released on Armada, which I was so honored to do. I don’t think of myself as ‘famous’ as I can still walk down the street without getting stopped for autographs and pictures every five minutes but I think with the level of success I’ve had, it’s important to keep yourself grounded by surrounding yourself with those you trust.
Can you tell us more about Fonk Radio?
Fonk Radio is my weekly radio show that is broadcast across the globe – we play a mixture of new tracks, old tracks, edits and mash-ups from right across the spectrum. If I’m feeling it, I’ll play it! The format of radio also allows me to play something a little different from what you’d see in a Dannic live set, and it gives the fans a chance to tune in wherever they can in the world online. We’ve also introduced a shoutout line where listeners can leave messages to be read on-show, I’m always thinking of new ways to communicate with my fans like on my new portal Dannicated.com – these are just the first steps!
You’ve performed on some of the world’s largest stages – what do you enjoy most about performing?
The thrill of the crowd having a great time, nothing compares to it. I could be playing to 300 people or 3,000 people, if everyone is dancing and is comfortable, I’m happy!
How do you go about choosing the perfect set list? Does it change depending on the setting?
Definitely! It could vary between a smaller club, to a bigger club, a private party or a monster of a main stage. It also depends on what I’ve received that week! For example if I get a hot new edit from one of my peers, I’m gonna wanna road test it out!
What’s been your career highlight so far?
It would have to be either the first time I played the Tomorrowland mainstage – an unbelievable feeling – or the first Revealed Recordings bus tour, I got to travel with Hardwell and Dyro across the States, 3 buddies having fun, playing crazy shows every night! Oh, and the sell-out Fonk Recordings night we just hosted back in October for Amsterdam Dance Event, insane!
What are the biggest changes you’ve witnessed in the industry during your career?
Good question! I would say the digital world has changed everything – how we make music, share music, consume music, work to get our names out there. Even events, look at Coachella taking on VR, it is an insane step but we’re not far off it! I think it can have positives and negatives, I choose to use these developments to interact with my fans more and cement that relationship – like with my new fan portal Dannicated.com – we would never be able to have that amount of interaction before the internet came along.
Tell us a little bit more about “Front of House.” What inspired you to create the TV/radio show? What has been your favorite part of the show?
“I wanted to offer fans a look behind the scenes from my personal point of view, rather than a typical event aftermovie which just scratches the surface. For the next episode, we’re actually doing what I think is our biggest and best production yet, we’re releasing a three-part mini-documentary and including old footage from when I was little, with my parents and my sister also being interviewed for it which allows the audience to see a side of me they never have before– let’s just hope they don’t reveal anything too embarrassing, haha!”
What has been your favorite part of your musical career?
“I couldn’t pick one single favorite if I tried! My first Beatport #1 was a highlight without a doubt and again, my debut set on the Tomorrowland main stage was something I’ll never forget.”
Who has been your favorite artist to work with?
“It’s always a joy to collaborate with a friend such as Robbert (Hardwell) but I’ve also worked with Bright Lights on vocals before with ‘Dear Life’, as well as my new track ‘Forever’ – but I think each artist I collaborate with brings something different to the table. When I jumped in the studio with Shermanology couple of years ago on ‘Wait For You’ we bounced ideas back and forth before coming up with the final melody and vocal, you just never know the direction these things are going to take.”
Yourself, Tiësto and Hardwell all come from Breda in the Netherlands. How has Breda influenced you musically, and are you aware of any other emerging talent we should look out for?
Yes, for sure! I think it gives you that feeling that anything is possible, knowing that these huge guys came from Breda was a great thing and an inspiration to me. It has certainly pushed me harder and into new sounds and not being afraid to experiment. Lots of talent coming up, especially on Fonk Recordings, guys like Will K, Corey James, SEBJAK – I’m all about nurturing new talent and giving talent a platform with the label.
Tell us something that people don’t know about you.
“I am so not a morning person but I think I can blame that on all the late nights! I’m also a sucker for some Motown which surprises a lot of people, maybe it’s because they’re used to these huge, banging tunes surrounded by cannons and productions coming from me that people don’t think outside of the bubble.”