Brazilian based producer and techno virtuoso, Daniel Oliveira, aka DNYO, has been soaring high in 2012 after a series of superb releases onmicroCastle, Proton, Sasha’s Last Night on Earth and his own Konstruktimprint. Genre bending remixes for Flow, Vapour and Noizen have only furthered Daniel’s futuristic electronic sound and his fan base continues to grow at a rapid rate. Daniel’s remix for Tim Penner feat. Amber Long ‘Forgive Me’ is out this week on 99percentrecordings, we had a chance to catch up with the Brazilian producer on the eve of it’s release, a transcription of the interview is below and we hope you enjoy it!
1. What are your earliest memories of music, what did you listen to growing up? How did you get involved in electronic music and what made you decide to pursue it full time?
DNYO: My earliest memories as a little kid were singing in the church choir, classical was my favorite for sleeping, there used to be a station back then that played only instrumentals and classical, I remember that’s how my mom would put us to sleep. I liked what my mom would put on the radio, I remember the 80s being very melodic, and music was amazing in the 80s. I got into electronic music in 97, I already knew what dance music was, I usualy say that it found me and not the other way around, very unusual actually, walking to a bus stop and finding a cd on the sidewalk called “Tranceport – Paul Oakenfold” that was it, a week later was downloading BBC’s Essential Mixes on Napster and buying singles on CDNow.com. That era was magical, it was the 1st time I felt good about everthing in my life, and it took me to a whole new world you know? At the time I didn’t think of being a DJ, I would get started spining as one a few months after that, but what really caught my ears was how all of that music was being made, so producing really is my first love.
2. There are quite a few newer producers from Brazil making quite a bit of noise in the new landscape of progressive house; yourself, Andre Sobota and GRG all come mind. What is the club and party scene like in Brazil? What are the predominant music styles? And do you get a chance to DJ much in your own country?
DNYO: I’m very proud that André and GRG are out there, representing what we love. Brazil used to be great, then it was just good and nowdays, for the underground, it looks pretty bad. The whole “Everybody is a DJ” idea has gone beyond worse, now days you see things that make you feel like your about to throw up, nasty feeling, shameful. I remember that having your hot record printed on a mixmag review was good enough to get promoters and club owners interested in having you around, there was still people out there with a sense of “quality control” both party makers and party people. Nowdays the music does not speak for it self, like everything that becomes popular, it becomes harder to rise quality, the access to everything is so fast and so easy, the social media incusion, it’s a cycle and I hope it circles around fast. House music is back, I love House, artists are always trying to bring back some things from the past in a new translation, and I love that idea. There are great acomplishments in the past of electronic music, I learned a lot from this new hype around house music right now, but my priority is to look a lot more towards the future. Not really anymore, I don’t have the same agenda I use to, I still spin in parties and events that like to have me every year, I keep those people very close to me. There are new people in the industry here, new clubs, I’m willing to take a look and go touring later after im done with my debut album.
3. You’ve been producing now quite some time and you’re regarded as one of the more cutting edge producers out there in terms of sound design. Did you have any formal music training growing up? in regards to composing or engineering / sound design etc.? and if not did anyone help you out along the way?
DNYO: Thank you! Yes it’s been a while now, specialy when you’re not an active DJ anymore, but these years have been good to me, I have learned so much. I didn’t have any training, I just tweaked untill I learned I guess. I would get some music that I loved and I would sit there for hours, days even, trying to figure out how that sound was made. I sung as a kid, my family was very musicaly influenced, everyone either sang or played an intrument; so growing up, I did have musical knowledge, which was a big hand I guess.
4. Talk a bit about your new label imprint Konstrukt, the first release was in September. What would you say the vision of the label is and what advice would you give to producers hoping to get their tracks signed to the label? How would you suggest they approach it?
DNYO: Yes, these past couple of years in the studio and as a cluber in the nightlife, made me pay attention to the creation process of a brand in our industry. I respect and love what some labels do with their brand and it’s artists. Konstrukt is a collective really, that’s the root, the core. A collective of artists making noise, a group of people, producers, sharing similar visions and ideas, who knows, we might just grow into the industry. Tim and I work very close and we have a great couple of people helping out as well, I count on him and these others as a collective to really make this happen. Musicaly speaking, we want to push sound forward, not backwards. I don’t believe in being part of something that’s going to grow into a hype and stay stuck down the rest of the way. I want people to know that when they see that “K” somewhere they can hope for a better world of electronic music. If I were to suggest, I’de say there are 2 kinds of music, thoughtful electronica and thoughtful electronica for the floor. It has to be different, really unique.
5. Konstrukt is not only a record label but also a Sound Design Studio, what do you offer for today’s home studio producer?
DNYO: Yeps, Konstrukt offers sound design so that you can push your sound twards the future, you know, sounds make the producer, sound makes the DJ, at the end of the day, it’s that little sound you made that took you into a direction and made you a hit track or what not. So in Konstrukt you can buy small sound packs for very small prices, instead of paying big bux for a big library that you wont use much. Right now we are in the making of new sound libraries, some new material for Ableton Live users and NI’s Maschine.
6. Your remix for Tim Penner and Amber Long’s ‘Forgive Me’ is out this week on 99percentrecordings. It’s an incredible interpretation, which is very different than the original, it was also featured as one of Beatport’s 10 Must Hear Progressive House records for this week, talk a bit about the process of doing this remix.
DNYO: Thank you, i guess Amber’s voice reminds me of jazz, I love jazz, she sings with freedom, that really made the difference for me on the take of this remix. I wanted to try something more emotional and free of genre, using brass and live percursion for a more organic and rich sound but also something that can be played on the floor. Tim is a fantastic producer and I love the Original, it’s hipnotic and sexy, it’s completely the opposite of my interpretation.
7. Many people may not be aware but you also record under the alias Danny Loko and you’ve had a few releases on Anjunadeep. What’s the status of your Danny Loko alias? And how would you say it differs from DNYO?
DNYO: Danny Loko, he’s been waiting for DNYO to finish an album first. Back in January this year, I recorded a lot of Danny Loko material, some fresh ideas in there. The next one will see a release this year still, hopefully. There are lots of new music like I mentioned, i’m working on how I will put these together, but the next release already has a label. Danny Loko differs a lot I think, from DNYO, it’s more DJ friendly, club friendly, its easier to comprehand and the most important thing about it is the energy it brings to the dance floor, I would say. The sound it self is “fatter”, very big beats and explosive builds while DNYO is more instrospective, harder to undesrstand because there are way more sounds, more elements, details, it’s designed - drawn with more colors and more lines.
8. Is there a DNYO sound? and if so how would you describe it?
DNYO: I think so, there might be. People tell me there is. I think the sonora behind DNYO is based on anything that sounds futuristic. I always had a thing for blending styles and bringing them into one track or a mix. The future, I’m always looking towards it. I wanna make electronic music that can be thoughtfull and crazy enough for you to catch certain details on your headphones at home but that sound is also big enough to bounce a dance floor, that’s how I would describe it.
9. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic?
DNYO: Not a lot really, I like to keep my mind within electronic music, because its where things shift, its in here that great minds take the next steps, its those small little room producers who made, and still make the freshest ideas, I respect that a lot, im one of those, I hope to continue with that state of mind. And now days it’s bigger wider then ever, electronica is in everything almost. But I still listen to Classical and Jazz, 50’s, 60’s, some Elvis and some Jeff Beck. Recently I got my self some underground hiphop from the early 90’s.
10. How big of an influence are other artists or music genres when it comes to composing tracks? Could you give any examples?
DNYO: Yeah that’s a big thing! Recently, I was having a converstation with André Sobota, he’s a big Pat Matheney fan, we were talking about how these Jazz musicians would sit down for a recording session and at the end of the night, they had a whole full album recorded, all in 1 take. Past 2 years I have been studying live music, its process and performing, and how I could use that into my composing and my producing. Takes you into a whole new crative process, after all, its music, and not just electronic music in terms. The results are out of this world, it’s not easy because you have to study music a few more steps deeper, but it’s a big thing, it’s the next thing, I think. You can hear some of that on Invol2ver or a lot on Guy Gerber’s Fabric compilation. Aquatika and Belvedere are examples as well.
11. What does the core of your current studio consist of and what are some of your favourite tools to use?
DNYO: It consists of 3 things. First one is good coffee. And this is everywhere really, can’t work without coffee. Then the second one is the place you are sitting in, because I could sit in a place full of synths and gear but the vibe in there is just not good, that sort of thing messes up my creation process. So a place where you feel good is very important. And the last and most important thing is a combo of tools that make my sound become alive. Either digital, or analog, both need the same attention when your making sounds. I can’t name one synthesizer and one compressor for example, it’s the combo that makes it happen really. Also on that note, keeping a studio alive in Brazil is very hard work, we can’t go on ebay and buy what ever we want, what ever we import into this country it’s like sticking a knife in our hands, just very expanssive to bring gear in. Some tools that I can’t go without include, Ableton, Reaktor, Kontakt and Soundtoys. Anything that I can use for processing recorded audio and for manipulating those sounds, I use a lot as well. An iPhone, an iPad and a pocket size digital recorder.
12. What artist or track would you love to remix?
DNYO: Something classic like FLUKE, maybe Patricia Barber, some old trance and techno, James Blake.
13. A lot of people feel that electronic music has lost much of the character it had 10-15 years ago, would you agree with that and why?
DNYO: I agree. You know something? I could sit here and type a whole trip about the order of things and how this happened and etc, a 200-page book and take you into a journey of facts and figures, but it’s not worth it. Because it just drags you down into finding the best explanations for how it happened and not for how to change it. Like everything else, it’s a cycle. It popped! Popular, just pops one day. And whenever that happens, quality goes away. Because your neighbor, who’s a young nice guy, but, well he’s not talented, but he thinks he is, and so does other 2000 of his friends who have worse taste then him. – Taste! See what I’m saying? It’s a new taste that’s going around; bad taste, yes, because popular just means the opposite of smart. I think we should try to focus on meeting new people, making new things, new music and not old oriented music, everything new, so we can bring out the next big thing, or things, eventually, this will change people’s taste, because taste, to certain things, taste is not constant, but to some it is, we have to make new things, get people interested, constantly interested, and start the cycle again I guess. Then character comes back, because when ever something is new and fresh, it is pure, nude, its naked in its true form I think.
14. DNYO Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Drink: DNYO’s Nevada – Vodka, Sweet Condensed Milk, Cononut Milk, Lime, Ice.
TV Show: Fringe, Suits, The Newsroom
Movie: Ágora – Alejandro Amenábar
Album: BT – Morceau Subrosa
Producer / Band: Dusky, Simon Garcia, Jamie Anderson, Mathew Johnson
Record Label: microCastle, Anjunadeep, Natura Sonoris, Last Night On Earth, Life & Death
DJ: Mathew Johnson, Tale of Us
15. What do you do outside of music? Do you have a regular day job and what do you like to do for fun when you’re not working on music?
DNYO: I don’t have a daytime job; I’m making music full time, remixing and creating, I couldn’t be in an office somewhere, can’t be happy doing anything else other than making music and going out there to show people what I can do. We don’t have much time here in this world, hell I don’t even like sleeping, the fact that I have to stay 7, hours in bed makes me nervous so if I’m not making music or sounds, I’m playing around with photoshop or thinking and being nerdy creative, but I always relax watching a movie or having a good conversation.
16. If the final DJ set of your career was next week what would be your last record be?
DNYO: Tough one! Very very tough one, I think it would be Gus Gus – Purple (Sasha Vs The Light Remix) i can imagine the goosebumps already.
17. If you were trapped on an island for the rest of your life what is the one album you would take with you?
DNYO: In an island, trapped? Don’t know if I would die out there or get out some how, it would probably be “Tranceport”. I would imagine it would be very hard to survive out there, back when I found that CD, tough times were ahead, so I think it would belong just right with me on that island.
18. What can we expect to see from DNYO and Konstrukt over the last quarter of 2012 and on into 2013?
DNYO: Busy times right now, lets see, I got some remixes coming up for Lank, Quivver, John Sweet, Darin Epsilon. Some original colaborations on: Replug with Tim Penner with Cid Inc on the remix duties, and with GRG on Flow. More of the colabs with Fran Von Vie and hopefully I get Kasse Voorn’s and mine finished soon enough. Kassey is about to kill me, by the way. On Konstrukt we have just put out “We Are All Here”, next up is Tim with somethin of a twist of an anthem that’s really gonna get people exited about. Further into the New Year also on Konstrukt, André Sobota and a new talent duo We Need A Name. And finaly, my debut album and some touring.
DNYO’s remix of Tim Penner feat. Amber Long ‘Forgive Me’ is out now on 99percentrecordings, you can purchase the release: here.