We caught up with Danny Avila to talk about new music, career highlights, favourite places to vacation, fashion and much more.
How did you first get into music?
I grew up in a hugely musical household. I was classically trained from a young age, mainly focusing on piano and guitar all throughout my childhood. It wasn’t until I sustained a knee injury while wake-boarding (my original career plan) and had to take some time out, that I discovered the world of electronic music production. Turns out I was pretty good at blending my classical training with ‘in the box’ production in a variety of electronic genres, and it snowballed from there!
When was the pinnacle moment you knew you could make a career as a DJ?
When I was 16 I was granted the Best Newcomer title at the Vicious Music Awards and that’s when the realisation started to sink in. Not long after that, Tiesto started talking about how I was going to be EDM’s next big star and from there things really just got crazy. I was DJing in a lot of clubs at the time that I wasn’t nearly old enough to get in to!
Where and when was your first ever DJ set?
That must have been at Blue Marlin, Ibiza. I recently found a video of that show, actually. I was sooo young, haha. Good times!
Name the three main artists you had on your playlist growing up?
Tiësto, Fedde Le Grand, Roger Sanchez
Do you have any new music out at the moment you can tell us about?
Earlier this year I released one of my biggest collaborations yet, which was ‘Too Good To Be True’ featuring The Vamps and Machine Gun Kelly. Just last month I followed up with ‘BRAH’ on Spinnin’ Records which is one of my favourite club-ready anthems I’ve made! Super fun to play out. Listen to the track here.
What has been your career highlight to date?
This year I signed an international deal with SONY Music Spain which was completely unreal. I flew over to London to visit the SONY offices and chat with the team – the whole experience was just great. When these things happen, the message really starts to sink in that my music is touching people in a big way. I can’t wait to show you what else is coming up!
If you could collaborate with someone past or present, who would it be?
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my fellow producer and friend Tiesto would be a great guy to collaborate with. I think we can all admire his dedication to and impact on the electronic music scene – traits I continuously I try to replicate in my own work.
Who’s you favourite DJ to go B2B with?
At the end of last year I did a B2B session with NERVO for our Spinnin’ release ‘Loco’, which was super fun to record. I get to hang out with the girls quite a bit these days as I’m often part of their NERVONation goings-on in Ibiza, and they’re always good fun. The three of us are very passionate about what we put in to our DJ sets and about the journey we take people on with our music, so it was a particularly exciting B2B to take part in.
Who’s your favourite DJ to watch live?
This is a difficult one. But, since I’m playing with them so many times, I really have to give to NERVO for their on stage performance. They are what I would say the perfect DJ duo. They just know how to engage the crowd, they do it perfectly. All shows with them a such a thrill.
Favourite song out at the moment?
I’ve actually just made a new playlist on Spotify of my favourite tunes right now – it’s called ‘Danny Avila x Private Collection’. On there right now are my current favourites ‘Everyday’ by Logic, ‘Sober’ by G-Eazy and ‘Call Out My Name’ by The Weekend. I’m a big hiphop / R&B fan.
What DJs should we have on our radar for this summer?
We just had a guy called Jumpa join the management where I am. He is so good, when it comes to production.
Festival season is here, what’s your favourite thing about playing festivals?
One of the things I love about playing festivals is the fact I get to DJ on some awesome stages. I’m a big fan of innovative stage set-ups and the whole theme concept at festivals. It makes the show feel really immersive and special. The second thing I love about playing festivals is the pure energy of the crowd. They don’t care that they’ve been dancing in the sun for 7 hours by this point – festival crowds bring the energy no matter what!
Which has been your favourite festival moment?
Again, difficult to name just one, but looking back Ultra 2014 for me was mind blowing and next level stuff. Insane crowd response, the floor was mayhem. Production wise Untold Festival takes the crown, the stadium in Romania is from a different world.
What’s your festival outfit?
You need to get the mix of comfort and style right during festival season. It gets hot up there on stage, so I often go for a ripped denim jean paired with a t-shirt and a bandana to keep my hair out of my eyes. In the evenings I’ll rock a denim jacket or some leather if I can get away with it. Mix and match.
How do you spend your down time away from music?
I haven’t actually had much time to have a break lately! I’ve been working hard to perfect the touring / music production balance so that’s been demanding a lot of my time as of late. I’d say my second biggest passion after music is wake-boarding, which I’ve been practising for most of my life and I still thoroughly enjoy practising when I have the chance! So in my time off, I like to hit the water. It’s the ultimate escape from the daily chaos of work and is some quality me time.
If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be…
A professional wakeboarder for sure. I’ve never let go of that high-adrenaline feeling of rushing across the water. I was getting pretty good before I decided that electronic music was the world for me!
Who’s your dream girl?
Someone who appreciates the little things in life and enjoys the chill times just as much as the wild times.
Favourite place to vacation?
Philippines are just beautiful. Went there and dove with whale sharks, next level experience. Also, Bali. I just went there and they gave me a very cool room, with a pool facing the ocean. I can only recommend saving up some money and visit Asia in general. Amazing food, amazing people. Perfect!
Drink of choice on a night out?
Love a good, chilled white wine, to be honest.
Describe your fashion/style?
I like to experiment with my style a lot. I’m not one to stick to the classic ‘black jeans and t-shirt’ DJ look! I’m in to anything from a comfy but stylish tracksuit when I’m on the road (Adidas have a green one that I’m in love with) to a vinyl red pant when performing. I’m also a big fan of denim and have a lot of whitewash denim items with the ripped look, or with metal accessories. You’ll often catch me rocking a headband as an accessory to some of my outfits, or some loud sneakers to add a pop of colour. Generally I just don’t like to stick to one style – I like to combine various fabrics, colours and brands to create a fresh look each day.
Finally, words of wisdom for those wanting to make it in music…
Get your head down and believe in your own capabilities. Starting in music is extremely daunting, I remember feeling like I was about to climb mount Everest what with all the competition and amazing producers out there. It’s about finding your ‘why’ – ask yourself why are you doing this? Once you focus on that true motivation and work at your craft every single day, the path will start to unravel in front of you.