DANNY HOWARD on BPM SIRIUS XM #055 Saturday 13th December 2014

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with our resident artist for the month of December Mr. Danny Howard. We are beyond excited to have this talented producer take over the ninja site and share with us why he is such a name in Europe and why the US better be ready.

TMN: Danny! Hi! First off, thank you so much for agreeing to be our resident artist this month!

DH: It’s an absolute pleasure, thank you for having me on your awesome blog!

TMN: Let me just say welcome, I know you are here on your first North American tour ever which started a week ago in Chicago. How has it been going thus far? Tell us about some of your experiences playing in the states over the past week.

DH: America has really embraced Electronic music over the last few years and that’s reflective of just how incredible the shows have been! All of the cities have been great but New York at Pacha was a particular highlight…One of my favorite clubs to play! I’ve been making an extra effort to experience as much of each city as possible including riding the rollercoaster attached to the New York New York hotel in Vegas, I went up the CN tower in Toronto, Ran the red steps in Times Square, Visited the Hollywood Sign and met some interesting people. I really love it here!!

TMN: Now let’s turn back the tables a bit here to when you were just a little guy. Did you grow up in a musical household at all? Any experience playing instruments or singing at a young age?

DH: My family is not musical so I’m not sure where it comes from but I learned to play the piano when I was 8 years old but gave that up when I was 12 to play soccer. I really wish I kept going but that was my first interest in music. I definitely can’t sing or dance, which is part of the reason I thought it would be safer to stick to DJing.

TMN: Who were some of your favorite artists to listen to when you were younger, let’s say middle school, high school, and college age?

DH: In high school, my best friend and I used to sit and watch the DVD of Tiesto playing the Amsterdam Arena over and over again dreaming of one day being able to do that! It was really the first moment I decided that DJing is something I would love to do. College days were all about Hed Kandi, I really loved the funky house and it became massive in the UK!!! That was my entry level into the scene and then I saw Morillo play… House music became my thing.

TMN: Tell us the story of how you started dabbling in music and how that went from, well, that to being a world known DJ and producer. There are many young people today who like to dabble with the newest software out there, who have some sort of music experience, or who just really love the idea of making music, and they all like to hear the how you started story.

DH: It started about four years ago, my friend Fran who is a member of the Futuristic Polar Bears called me with the idea of producing tracks together. They were newly formed and I needed help in the studio… it was the perfect situation, so we started our journey together. Now we have Top 10 beatport releases together on Spinnin Records and they had great success with Hardwell’s Revealed Records and had a number 1 beatport hit. It’s important to make your own music as everything is so accessible in the digital world so DJs play a lot of the same tracks. You need to have unique moments in your sets so your own productions, edits and remixes are key.

TMN: Now, the beginning of DJ Danny Howard starts with winning a competition back in 2011. Talk to us about that competition and how you prepared for it and, what it was like to win. Were you surprised? How did it feel when you were told you had won?

DH: I was very surprised and never expected to win. I borrowed my friend’s camera equipment to record the video section of my entry and I told him that if I won, I would take him to Ibiza with me, not thinking I would ever win! After it was announced I’d won, guess whom the first person was to call me!!! Haha. It was an incredible feeling to win, I’d been a BBC Radio 1 listener for ten years already and I had already been to Ibiza twice so it was a dream come true, it didn’t feel real.

TMN: And from there, you just kind of exploded! You currently host, not one, but two radio shows – one on BBC Radio 1 and one on SiriusXM? I mean, why host one when you can host two?! Tell us more about those shows and what you like to do to prepare for each one.

DH: Haha, it’s amazing to have shows on the biggest stations in their respective countries! BBC Radio 1 is the ultimate achievement for me just because of everything it stands for and how legendary it is worldwide.
It takes me a full day to prepare for each show as I put a lot of time into ensuring I’ve programmed the best possible music. The shows are very personal to me and I feel very privileged to be able to play my favourite music to so many people. I love how what I play on the radio can have an impact at that very same moment on someone’s life! The radio is a very powerful thing and I’m proud of what I do on both stations.

TMN: 2013 saw you bring the ‘Nothing Else Matters’ brand front and center to the UK as well as ‘Clubbers Guide’ from the epic Ministry of Sound. Talk about one heck of a year for you! I have so many questions that go along with this but I guess you should maybe just start telling about that year as a whole. So, 2013 in a nutshell please and thank you.

DH: 2013 was the year that it properly all started after Radio 1. To have my own album on MOS was something I never even imagined and it was even weirder sitting at home and seeing the TV advert come on!
To then be in a position to create my own brand was another highlight but it was really just a soft launch and we haven’t properly kicked that into action…Watch this space!

TMN: 2015 is quickly approaching and I’m sure you have some big plans for the next year, care to share any with us?

DH: Woah Woah Woah… What about 2014?! Haha. This next year is all about building on the last 12 months. It’s been a key year having landed a summer residency at my dream club in Ibiza (Pacha), multiple releases on Spinnin Records and my first ever USA tour. 2015 I’ll be concentrating on my music more, going down a more ‘house’ route and hopefully getting stateside more!

TMN: It wouldn’t be a good old Ninja interview without a few humorous questions thrown in for our pleasure as well as yours. If you could be one member of One Direction for the day, who would you be and why?

DH: Ermmm, I think Louis so I could teach myself some manners. He was a bit rude to me once backstage at a Radio 1 festival!

TMN: Best meal you have ever had in your hometown of Blackpool?

DH: Fries with cheese and gravy!! It’s the perfect post-club meal!

TMN: Best thing you have eaten in the states so far?

DH: I had the BEST dessert at the Madeo restaurant in L.A. Napoleon!! It was like a cream party in my mouth!!

TMN: What is the most embarrassing thing you used to wear as a kid (I will openly admit I had fabric overalls covered in multi-covered paint streaks handmade by throwing marbles on the pants…don’t ask, please).

DH: Hmm… I can’t remember as a kid but the most embarrassing clothing I have worn is a Borat style ‘mankini’ in Ibiza. I walked down the beach after losing a bet and I am still working hard to get the pictures removed off the internet.

TMN: What is one group/artist you cannot get enough of right now?

DH: I really love a progressive house producer called Grum. He’s from the UK and has a sort of Eric Prydz style… I have played almost everything he’s produced this year!

TMN: Tell us about the weirdest conversation you have had on public transportation.

DH: I live in London and nobody talks to each other on public transport. It’s weird if you try and talk to someone which, being originally from the north of the UK (where people like to talk), I find it weird that they find it weird that your weird if you try to talk to them… Weird.

TMN: If you ever found yourself stranded on a deserted island with one other person, who do you think you could stand for a month or so of conversation and survival?

DH: I think Russell Brand. He has so much energy that it would be enough for me to survive through just his presence.
He is also a great talker and I can’t imagine just how amazing some of the stories he must have are. I think by the time he’d told me half of them, a month would’ve passed.

TMN: And finally, the question we like to ask all our residents, if your music were an animal, what animal would it be and why?

DH: I like sexy big room house so I’m going to say a rhino! Music that gives you the horn…

TMN: Danny, thank you so much for chatting with us, best of luck with the rest of your North American tour and for the new year!

DH: Thank you and hopefully see you guys soon!

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