Daan Romers speaks
Daan Romers (aka Dannic) is one of the most prodigious and technically gifted DJs in today’s progressive house scene. His phenomenal rise has seen him eclipse many of his DJ contemporaries, with the DJ/producer residing at No. 26 in DJ Mag’s latest Top 100 DJs poll.
There’s something about the town of Breda that has given rise to some of the hottest DJ acts in recent years, from Tiësto and Hardwell to the municipalities latest export, Dannic. Forging his reputation over a 10-year period, he honed his craft playing in bars and small clubs before winning top prize at Netherland’s multi-venue music festival ‘Dancetour’ in 2009.
Demonstrating a natural acclimation to audio production, Dannic has made strides to set himself apart from his peers. With his unrelenting DJ schedule, which has seen him blow away capacity crowds across the globe, and a slew of potent releases on his own FonkRecordings, Dannic looks set to remain a driving force in dance music for years to come.
1. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
“First of all, Michael Jackson is one of my biggest idols ever. The Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson were one of the first things I listened to as a young guy and, as a bedroom DJ, Billie Jean is also one of the first tracks I tried to mix with other songs as well.
“For me, the simplicity and catchiness of the song is what caught my attention, and even after all these years you can still blast it out of the speakers.
“Nowadays, everything is in a format and there are only a few people that actually try to do something different, whereas back in the day you had great pop music and hip hop and that was about it.
2. Jamiroquai - Too Young To Die
“This song gives me the chills. Jamiroquai is one of my favourite artists because I love all the disco influences he uses and there is a lot of grooviness in his tracks as well. It’s still electronic, but not 100% dance music – it’s somewhere in-between, almost as if he picks a lot of different genres and combines them.
“Besides that, I love his voice - he has this high-pitched vocal, which has a lot of energy in it. Too Young To Die is a beautiful song that really emphasises his sound.”
3. Supertramp - Logical Song
“It happened to be that my dad bought a Supertramp CD when I was young. I would always listen to his CDs and grew up with the music he bought. He had a really broad musical taste, so I tend to really love music from Sting or The Police, Radiohead and Supertramp.
“I used to karaoke this song when I was at primary school. It’s a funny story because every year at school everyone would do a performance – one would do magic and another kid would sing something or do a little dance, and I always did a karaoke thing with a whole performance around it.
“This was the song I did, because it’s a really heavy song. It actually starts out slow and then builds up towards a really happy vibe. I also did it at my uncle’s wedding, and everyone really loved it because they all knew this song from their childhood.”
4. UB40 - Red Red Wine
“It’s a cover but I love to play out the live version they did. I don’t remember which one it is, but there is this big orchestral live version and when it starts you don’t have a clue that it’s going into UB40.
“When I was playing in a bar, I’d always use that at the end of the night. Everyone was dancing and cheering and I’d have this intro as a sort of breakdown, then the strobe lights would come on and there would be smoke in the room, and all of a sudden it drops with ‘Red, red wine’. It was the perfect end to the night.
“I’ve always been into White Reggae and poppy or rocky songs from U2, The Police, Van Morrison and John Hiatt - it was only when I was 17 or 18 that I started to listen to Dance music more and more.”
5. Otis Redding - Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)
“My mum used to play Otis Redding all the time. I’m a big fan of motown and funk music in general, soul music as well – B.B. King and stuff. She’d always play his records and I loved this song back in the day.
“I didn’t know what the lyrics were about and only heard “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa”, which was the only thing I could sing along to, but it really made me happy so this song has a special meaning for me.
“These Blues songs are all sad stories from their life, but delivered in such a rhythmic way - maybe it’s the chords they’re doing, but it’s always uplifting. Music is emotion, they go hand in hand.
6. John Hiatt - Have A little Faith In Me
“This is also from a CD that my dad used to play a lot and it was my favourite track of all. I thought it was John Hiatt’s track and then I obviously heard the Joe Cocker version, or was it Bob Dylan?
“I just happen to love the song, there was no particular reason – I love the lyrics. I like listening to other types of music, especially when I’m at home. I always listen to different music to dance music, because I hear that all the time and sometimes get a bit tired of it."
7. Sam Sparro - Black and Gold
“I just don’t get why this track wasn’t a big hit because I love it so much. It has all the elements, including dance elements. Everything about this song is 100% right. I love the lyrics and I love the way he uses the vocal as well. It takes you on a journey, so for me it’s just really interesting to listen to because every time I listen to it I hear new elements.
“I’d love to work with him because I love to work with interesting people who can give me new insights into making music. Sam is a perfect example of a singer-songwriter that doesn’t care about certain hypes or trends - he just makes his own music. For me, it’s really hard because I’m a DJ kind of guy.
“Until now, I always made music that I felt was needed in my DJ sets, so they’re really dancefloor-oriented, but right now I actually have the time to switch it up a little. I just finished a record that is totally different to what I used to make; it’s more like a song instead of a dance record and I think it’s really important as an artist to make music that is not just suitable for the dancefloor - then I can really focus on music that comes from the heart."
8. Jamie Cullum - High and Dry (Live)
“I bought his CD in a shop as an extra, where you buy two CDs and get one free. I’d never heard of the guy before to be honest, but I’d play it in my car all the time. I just love the jazzy vibes and his voice is amazing.
“The last track of the CD is this one, High and Dry, and it really got my attention. It’s six minutes long, but I always put it on repeat because I love it so much. It has so much emotion in it with the lyrics, which have some elements of what I’ve experienced in my life as well. He’s a super small guy, but his voice sounds like he smoked cigarettes for 50 years or something [laughs].”
9. Coldplay - Yellow
“I love everything about this song, it’s my favourite Coldplay record. Chris Martin’s voice is amazing obviously – you can instantly recognise it; and Yellow is just a classic Coldplay song and why I started loving them. It’s a pop song with no electronic influences like they do nowadays.
“I don’t make the same music that I made four years ago either, so it’s good to see them evolving and adding new elements to their tracks, but back in the day they wrote songs that could really touch your soul.
“I don’t know why, but when I was young my favourite colour was yellow and everything had to be yellow. My mum and dad had to make me a yellow room as well [laughs] – cream, not bright yellow; that would have made me crazy."
10. Chris Malinchak - So Good To me
“I wasn’t familiar with him and this is the only track that I know. I accidentally found him on the internet through YouTube when I was passing through.
“It’s just an ideal lounge track, or the sort of track that you love to play on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It has really mellow beats and a relaxing vibe to it; good voice, good song – I love it. It’s probably too mellow to play at the end of the night at one of my DJ gigs, but I would definitely try to make an edit of it.”