Popularity Doesn’t Equal Talent
Speaking of the DJ Mag Top 100 rankings, we had the chance to ask Dannic what his thoughts were on the poll and its validity. Currently, Dannic holds the #30 spot, a 44-spot jump from the previous year, while his pal Hardwell set up camp at #1 for the second consecutive year in 2014. Despite his position on the poll, Dannic isn’t so sure the poll is representative of the talent out there.
“I know the DJ Mag [Top 100] is not about DJing anymore, it’s a popularity poll. To me, I find it really important that it’s genuine, at least from a DJ perspective. So if a promoter books you and says ‘oh he’s the #30 DJ in the world’ but you only sell 50 tickets, that doesn’t make sense.”
In other words, you can be the #1 DJ in the world, but if you don’t have any real fans at your set or supporting your music, then are you really #1? At that point, it’s just a number. “That’s not the point for me, I [DJ] because I love what I do. It sounds really corny, but it’s true. I believe that if people like my music, they’ll vote anyway.” That’s a viewpoint we can certainly get behind, and even applaud.
Dannic said he doesn’t bother with a big campaign, with only a banner ad that links you to the poll on his Facebook (what you enter on the ballot is up to you). As for those guerilla tactics some other DJs are accused of using, Dannic has witnessed them firsthand.
“I was actually walking in my own city by myself, and someone came up to me with an iPad and asked me to vote for a certain DJ. As Hardwell mentioned, the new music should do the talking and not someone on the street saying ‘hey you have to vote for him.'”
It’s a strange world we live in where even someone as notable as Dannic can’t walk down the street without being accosted for DJ Mag votes. And a disappointing one as well, where too many people will hit “vote” on that pre-filled-out screen just to get a person to leave them alone on the street. Guess we’ll let the music and the crowds do the talking.
We also had the chance to ask Dannic about an issue very near and dear to us at Dance Music Northwest: harm reduction. Not only do fatalities, event bans, and legal action affect the event-goers, but also the performers. It’s not a situation that anyone is happy to have on their hands, and though no one wants to be too bold in their statements, it’s clear that most of us are hoping for change.
“It starts with education. The EDM scene is not to blame. It’s a bigger problem. It’s something the government needs to educate the people on.”
He didn’t propose anything outlandish, only that the government educates people on what they may choose to become involved with. He also proposed that water be free or considerably more affordable at events, since dehydration is so often a factor in festival medical tent visits.
During our talk, Dannic mentioned that in Holland you can test your drugs at dance events. And it’s not the sole perfect solution, but it’s “the first step into making it more safe” for people to partake. Much like at Shambhala, it doesn’t provide a perfect track record, but it’s a hell of a lot closer than we are now. In the 10 years since Shambhala introduced pill and powder testing, there has been only one death.
Rising To His Zenith
Dannic has seen a huge rise to success in the past few years, and has come a long way from winning one fateful remix competition as DJ Funkadelic. It’s easy to see why, too. Dannic is a risk-taker not afraid to blur genre lines, even if it may mean upsetting a few fans of the original here and there. Most stop there, but he has continued to make waves helping to nurture the musical talent of others, and still has time to be one of the top DJs in the world driven by the passion for his art alone. With the birth of his own label, and no signs of slowing down, it’s clear to see that Dannic will be a well-known figure in dance music for many years to come.
Really, Dannic may not be that different from us. Despite the fact that his friends are famous, he’s really just a guy with some friends in the same industry who all support each other. Whether he’s in the DJ Mag Top 100, or not on the list at all, he’s a person with exponential love for the music. And the love he has for his fans shines through when he talks about keeping them safe. He’s just a guy who worked hard for his passion and has found great success in it. We can’t wait to watch Dannic continue through his career as he shoots toward his zenith.