Interviews With Successful People – Daniel Kandi – Producer, DJ and Label Owner


One of many first songs I heard from Daniel Kandi was ”Make Me Imagine”, and on the time of its launch, I used to be blown away. Though this music is now over 5 years outdated, it’s nonetheless one among my favorite songs. Since then, I’ve heard many different productions and remixes from Daniel.

What stands out about him isn’t that he has been producing for a few years, however fairly the truth that his productions have remained constantly excessive in high quality. At first of the 12 months Daniel launched his first-ever vocal monitor entitled ”Change the World”. Not solely did this monitor have his trademark manufacturing type, however it additionally had nice vocals. This was not the one first for Daniel of the 12 months, nonetheless. He additionally produced a music with Jack Rowan titled “Arigatou”, which was very completely different to his different productions.

I initially contacted Daniel in December about doing an interview, however resulting from him being based mostly in Denmark and DJing all through the world, it has taken some time to pay money for him.


Lately, only a few Danish musicians have had the identical influence on the world of digital dance music as that of Daniel Kandi.

Now established as a number one title within the world trance scene, Daniel has been on the prime of his recreation for a few years having been answerable for a number of the most memorable releases in current reminiscence, corresponding to ‘Breathe,’ ‘Change The World’ ‘Symphonica’ and ‘#Trancefamily,’ and he has lit up the globe together with his stadium rocking performances.

One among solely a choose few artists to have been personally chosen by Armin van Buuren to play on the A State of Trance 400, 450, 500 and 550 events, Daniel has additionally carried out on the greatest occasions on the earth corresponding to occasions corresponding to Trance Vitality, World Gathering and Tomorrowland. Hailing from Denmark, Daniel has been around the globe and again once more, enjoying the biggest membership reveals from Pacha, Buenos Aires to Ministry Of Sound London, and at main cities corresponding to Sydney, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Moscow, Singapore, Rio De Janeiro and in every single place in between, incomes himself consecutive appearances in DJ Journal’s coveted ‘Prime 100 DJ’s’ ballot.

Daniel is greater than only a DJ; a number one artist on world famend labels corresponding to Anjunabeats, Armada and Enhanced, and his personal Enhanced sub-label, All the time Alive, he’s closely featured on famend reveals like A State Of Trance and Group Remedy, and thought of an absolute fan favorite of the listeners of these reveals with an countless checklist of Future Favorite / Document of the Week accolades to his title. To not point out he’s additionally the star of his personal radio present, All the time Alive, a showcase of essentially the most just lately found expertise. It isn’t solely on the airwaves that Daniel’s productions have dominated, for you may be exhausting pressed to ever see the highest obtain charts be absent of his breathtaking productions.

Such are his producer achievements; Daniel is likely one of the most in demand remixers for the trance style, handpicked by the most important names for remix remedy, corresponding to Above & Past and Gareth Emery.

One of the crucial vibrant artists within the scene, Daniel Kandi will proceed to be one among its main lights for a few years to come back.


Q: How Did Your Life Start?

A: Properly, let’s return to even earlier than I used to be born. My mum was truly pregnant with me and she or he was on a small Cessna with my dad and a pal of hers in actually unhealthy climate. My dad’s pal was the pilot, and he apparently did not have a certificates or a allow to really fly in unhealthy climate, particularly with a small Cessna. They had been fortunate sufficient to pay money for the company management on the bottom throughout this storm, they usually had been those who guided the pilot down safely. At one level, nonetheless, the pilot did truly say ‘Might Day’ and stuff like that, because the engine went out through the touchdown. When my mum informed me that – I feel the primary time was once I was about 12 or 13 – it made me realise how fortunate I’m as a result of I wasn’t actually imagined to be round, clearly, if issues had gone in a different way. That was a enjoyable begin to the whole lot.

Rising up, I used to be very completely different. My mum form of knew that already from, I feel, once I was about age three or 4… or one thing like that. It could possibly be attributed to the truth that I used to be born not alive, in case you can say so. See, my coronary heart was out for about 4 minutes or one thing like that earlier than they obtained it began once more. Three or 4 minutes. That would have result in me changing into not likely retarded, however a bit particular in methods. That is what we’re truly making an attempt to look into now: if I’ve obtained Asperger’s Syndrome and stuff like that. I’ve at all times been just a little bit particular. All people who is aware of me, has seen me on video and sees me across the decks is aware of that I’m a bit completely different to so many different individuals.

I did have a troubled begin and obtained bullied rather a lot in class as a result of I used to be that completely different. Apart from that, I did not have my actual dad round from once I was about one 12 months outdated till I used to be about 9. I had a step-dad as an alternative. I at all times puzzled who my actual dad was, the place does he reside and stuff like that. I began speaking to my actual dad once I was about 9, and he ended up being part of my life for a couple of 12 months or so. The contact began slowly, however we obtained to speaking once more. He finally flew me from the north a part of Denmark over to him in Copenhagen, and I obtained to know him once more. So I had a little bit of a hard begin, however I’ve learnt to reside with how issues had been. Clearly you possibly can’t management that form of stuff.

Q: What Motivated You To Turn out to be A DJ?

A: At first I actually simply needed to make music. I began DJing on the age of 13 once I entered a youth membership that had a pool desk, which is paradoxically one among my different passions. That is the place I obtained to know pool and the music facet of it, due to the disco tech they’d there, the place you may earn a license and stand there and play music for whoever could be there and stuff. That is primarily how I obtained into DJing. Proper round that point, my aunt had a boyfriend who was a DJ himself in a number of the native golf equipment in my city. He confirmed me a program known as Cool Edit Professional, and that was actually once I began sampling stuff and making my very own tunes, even on the age of about 13. Again then, you did not have any correct sequencer, the tools was scarce and the computer systems had been not likely that good. You understand how it was earlier than we entered the ‘Pentium Age’, and it was actually, actually exhausting to run these applications.

Typically you’ll have the ‘out of reminiscence’ downside as a result of it was such an outdated PC, however it was enjoyable truly to begin out that approach: the DJing, doing the sampling and making an attempt to create dance music… that approach, about 13, yeah.

Q: Inform Us About How You Really feel The Second Earlier than You DJ?

A: Actually it is determined by the scale of the gig and if it is the primary time in a brand new territory. After all once I go to play in London at Ministry [of Sound], it is at all times particular as a result of it is an amazing nightclub, and it is obtained an amazing popularity. It has been working for therefore, so a few years. It is a choosy crowd. They do like their trance, they usually do like their home, however it’s important to maintain inside sure boundaries, I feel, and simply attempt to maintain it actually exhausting as a result of that is what the gang loves there. We’re right here in London now, and I’ll play there tonight. I am truly enjoying after John O’Callaghan, which goes to be powerful as a result of he performs actually exhausting. I am digging deep in my report field right now to really see what I ought to play as a result of I do not wish to play too gentle. Folks may go away if I try this. So truly tonight I am just a little bit nervous, as a result of although I’ve been right here earlier than, that is going to be the toughest one to comply with up on as a result of I’ve at all times had somebody play both softer or slower earlier than me.

Final time I used to be right here with Gareth Emery, it was fairly simple as a result of he simply performed actually banging and progressive stuff. He truly left me a number of room to construct on his 34 BPM. That was an excellent gig, and that was streamed as nicely on-line. The reactions had been additionally actually good. Tonight I’m a bit extra nervous, however normally whenever you get to these massive festivals, whenever you get to five or 6 thousand individuals at a mini outside pageant or one thing like that, that is once I can begin to get actually nervous. I feel in case you get nervous although it is a good factor as a result of it means you actually need it as nicely, and you are not bored of it. Proper earlier than I DJ, I’ll try to compose myself. I’ll have a bottle of water and ensure all my stuff is in place. Then, I will go on stage and try to really feel the gang in some sense and simply take it from there.

Q: How Would You Describe The Expertise Of DJing In Entrance Of Hundreds Of Folks?

A: Properly persevering with on the final query, it is a tremendous feeling. It isn’t as intimate, and you do not actually get to speak to as many individuals within the crowd as, to illustrate, a crowd of about 5 or 6 hundred individuals, which is, like, the optimum. Something between 5 hundred and a thousand individuals is the place you get the last word contact as a result of you possibly can take a look at everyone and form of try to level individuals out, particularly when individuals have sure gadgets and memorabilia with them. If they’ve an indication or tattoo or shirt together with your brand on or one thing like that, it is simple to level out when you may have these small crowds. If you get to the actually large crowds, nonetheless, in case you play the correct tune, there may be nothing higher than seeing 5 or 6 thousand individuals leaping up and down for only one monitor. That is a tremendous feeling.

Q: How Did You Get Into Producing Dance Music?

A: I at all times needed to make EDM in some kind of sense. After I began out, I used to be listening to a number of crappy Euro-dance, in case you can name it that. Now we have all been there, in case you’re about my age, 29. All of us began making actually, actually dance-y music, like Euro-dance stuff, however needed to make it extra trance as nicely. In 1999 or 98, I feel the primary monitor I heard like this was Paul Van Dyk’s – “For An Angel”. That was one among them, as a result of that obtained into the membership charts in Denmark. It was wonderful as a result of nothing of trance had ever actually obtained into the charts. Then Cosmic Gate’s “Exploration Of Area” hit the radio waves, and that was actually large as nicely. That was earlier than, as you clearly know. Cosmic Gate are actually way more deep and progressive.

It was an excellent begin. Then you definitely had Mythos ‘N DJ Cosmo, Above & Past and Cygnus X Superstring and stuff like that… these sorts of tracks. I obtained them on the Dream Dance compilations from Germany, and I form of constructed from there. That is once I knew what I needed to do. Oh yeah, clearly I can not neglect ATB’s “9pm until I come” – huge tune. In order that’s form of the place it began for me.

Q: When You Produce A Track, What Is Your First Step?

A: Really, as a result of I make the melodies that I do, lots of people assume I’d begin out with the melody at first. If I try this although, it truly makes it more durable to combine on prime of a beat. So I at all times begin with making the beat first, and as soon as I’m glad with the beat and the baseline, I can form of work the melody on prime of that. It makes it simple to combine and it makes it sound higher, in my viewpoint anyway. That is how I am going about it, normally with the beat and baseline.

Q: How Did You Go About Getting Your First Track Signed?

A: Let’s return to Euro-dance stuff round 2002, or truly 2001. I used to be imagined to do a remix for Barcode Bothers’ “SMS”, which was a very tacky music. I despatched them the remix because it was instrumentally, and I stated to them, “I need the vocals so I can do the remix”. It was a cross over between trance and Euro dance on the similar time. They stated they actually favored it, however the single was already out they usually weren’t releasing any remixes from it. What they provided as an alternative was for me to remix Catch’s “Stroll On Water,” which was a pop music as nicely. I ended up truly realising that as my first actual monitor, a remix of “Stroll On Water”, a monitor which Above & Past apparently additionally remixed. I simply felt actually completely happy to be on that vinyl, being on the B-side, with Above & Past being the A-side remix. That was fairly a tremendous feeling to be sincere.

Q: Your Radio Present And Document Label Are Each Referred to as ”All the time Alive”, The place Did This Come From?

A: I feel I simply needed one thing that actually simply appeared good on print. It wasn’t that I used to be making an attempt to overly take into consideration what I might do that will relate to the precise sound of the label. I knew that I needed to make some kind of title for the radio present that will stand out. I did not simply wish to name it “One Hour Trance Session by Daniel Kandi”, as a result of everyone has obtained “Trance Session” or “Trance-port” – actually generic titles for radio reveals. Not that there’s something improper with it, I simply did not need it occurring to my radio present. As completely happy as its sounds with “All the time Alive”, the entire thing got here from a chill-out monitor that I began again within the day known as “Virtually Alive”. I assumed, “I can not name it ‘Virtually Alive’. It is obtained to be A and A, as a result of that on paper seems actually good”. So “All the time Alive” simply grew to become the title for the radio present at first, after which clearly it was a pure factor to name the label “All the time Alive Recordings”. It sounds good, in order that’s why I needed to call it that.

Q: In 2010 You Have been Ranked At Quantity 77 In The DJ Magazine 100, What Did This Imply To You?

A: That was a significant accomplishment for the workforce behind me and everybody that labored actually exhausting for it. It was only a approach of claiming, ‘you are doing alright for the time being’. That was again when trance was nonetheless doing alright, in comparison with now, right here, the place a number of the house-y types are mixing with trance. If you happen to take a look at the Beatport prime hundred, a number of it’s actually not trance, however fairly it is the entire new “Trance 2.0” factor occurring. Again then a trance DJ might make it within the prime hundred, and these days we see so many alternative types, like dubstep and tremendous duper electrical music, actually doing nicely on the DJ Magazine.

It is tougher now in case you’re a trance DJ, which can also be why I am making an attempt to department out just a little bit – not as a result of I am fearful in regards to the DJ Magazine rating, however as a result of I additionally wish to play on the massive festivals. Let’s be truthful. The DJ Magazine rankings impact what promoters go and do. Sadly, they do take a look at a rank, however they need to take a look at what a DJ is able to and what he brings to the desk. I do imagine that even when I do not get on this 12 months once more – as a result of I’ve been out of it for 2 years now, simply outdoors the highest hundred. I feel I used to be 124 this 12 months or final 12 months – I nonetheless assume that it is a good factor that I can get booked out for actually good events. I simply have to pay money for some extra festivals now. Granted, if we get to the DJ Magazine votings on the finish of September/October and I am not in once more, it isn’t going to be a significant downside. I am simply proud to have been there for 2 years in a row.

Q: When You Have been A Little one, Did You Think about That You Would Be Doing What You Are Doing Now?

A: I at all times had a dream about it. I’d be singing to myself consistently, to the purpose the place my mum would truly be actually aggravated typically. I began watching a number of expertise reveals on TV once I was a child once they began out, approach earlier than X Issue and Idol and stuff like that. If it was about singing or making music or one thing like that, I watched it. I at all times had this sense that I needed to do one thing with music. I did not know what it was, however I feel that once I began on the youth membership at about twelve or 13, I form of knew that was the highway I needed to go down, it doesn’t matter what it will take. I even thought to myself, if it comes right down to me doing music full time and ending up residing like a bum (which I truly ended up doing for some time as a result of I did not wish to proceed after the tenth grade of college), then that was the best way I needed to do it. I simply actually needed to guess on it a hundred percent. I could not let different individuals come and do the stuff I needed to do. I felt like, “I’ve obtained to do it now earlier than it is too late”, which is foolish as a result of I used to be possibly about eighteen or nineteen when all this began. I felt like, “I have to hurry up as a result of there may be going to be another individuals that may do that stuff as nicely”. So, yeah, I at all times actually needed to get forward of the sport and do it earlier than taking an training. I form of remorse it just a little bit now, as I do know it will be an excellent factor to have one thing to fall again on, if, to illustrate, I ought to turn into deaf or develop another incapacity for making music. However , you simply try to do the very best you possibly can, and that is what I’ve tried to do.

Q: At The Starting Of Your Profession, Who Have been The Most Supportive Folks Round You At The Time?

A: Really, there weren’t that many. My mum and pop had been like, “you’ve got to have an training, and you have to do that, and you have to do this.” I did not actually look after it, and actually, I used to be not in too good spirits with my mum and pop typically, as they at all times stated you’ve got to have cash to pay lease and stuff like that. I could not see previous the music. I used to be simply betting the whole lot on it that I might, which was in some methods clearly silly, however I simply actually, actually needed it. As for the supportive individuals: now we have obtained to speak about an outdated manger of mine whom I am not likely on good phrases with now, however who actually noticed one thing in me and the expertise that I had. Beginning out doing remixes, although it was shitty pop music, I nonetheless had an excellent present for making good melodies and stuff. He form of knew that and needed to construct that potential, so he was one of the crucial supportive individuals once I began out with the music. Apart from that actually, it was an uphill battle for essentially the most half till I began getting recognised, getting signings and DJ jobs.

Q: What Has Saved You Going When You Have Skilled Setbacks?

A: There have been just a few setbacks. I feel the truth that I simply stated to myself, ” what, I can not fail, that is what I need”, stored me going. I simply stored believing that in some unspecified time in the future, I’d make one or two tracks that will form of open the door. Ultimately “Breathe” was the monitor that opened that door, as a result of that was the primary tune that I obtained signed to Anjunabeats.

Simply earlier than that, an excellent mate of mine in Denmark named Michael and I launched a monitor known as “Sorrow”. That one obtained signed to a now defunct label. We ended up not seeing a dime of that, because it did not promote. That was form of like the primary setback the place I felt, “OK that is by no means going to occur for me” or no matter.

Following this, I despatched a demo of “Breathe” to Anjunabeats, and I did not hear something from them till like two or three weeks into the method. I assumed, “OK, if they do not reply inside two or three days or one thing, they need to hate it or they do not prefer it or what not”. So I went on a large bender and obtained actually, actually indignant with myself and really thought I used to be by no means going to get signed, I used to be by no means going to do something with trance and stuff like that. Then, all of the sudden, I went to love a rock live performance in Copenhagen, and whereas I used to be on the dance ground with a few buddies of mine, my telephone went loopy. I had one thing like, twenty textual content messages and other people saying, “Dude you are on the fucking radio present with Above & Past! You are on their Ministry Of Sound radio with their Trance Round The World radio present, they usually had been enjoying it!” That was again once they had been nonetheless mixing reside on CDJs and stuff from Ministry Of Sound radio. That was the primary goose bumpy feeling I obtained about it, and regardless of the setbacks, it was definitely worth the wait. It obtained signed in 2006, early 2006. After I went residence from that – I am not kidding you. I left the rock live performance earlier than it stopped – I instantly turned on my laptop, actually shaking, wanting to listen to the radio rip of the Trance Round The World. I feel it was 85 or 86 episodes, however once I heard them point out my title, it was probably the greatest emotions ever as a result of I form of knew that this was my door opened. I felt that from there, it was all going to be alright.

Q: The place Does Your Drive And Ardour Come From?

A: It most likely comes from the truth that I obtained bullied rather a lot. All people stated, “you are a fucking failure and you’re a no good individual”. I used to be made enjoyable of as a result of I used to be clearly completely different and doubtless additionally due to my sexuality, being principally into guys, that made me appear so completely different. I feel children can scent it. They do scent a unique sexuality, and I simply did not play ball with the fellows outdoors, I did not get muddy or run round and act like typical guys or boys would do at that age. I used to be simply actually bullied in that sense, they usually at all times informed me, ” what, you might be by no means going to quantity to something”. For some purpose they’d even decide on my mum, they usually had by no means actually met my mum. That actually angered me, and I used to be similar to “OK, I’ll make it”. So a part of my success I owe to the bullies, which you’ll be able to see is the same case with so many entrepreneurs around the globe that was once geeks. They will most likely additionally thank their bullies, in a way, as a result of the bullies motivated them to go on and turn into one thing better than what these guys had been. I do know for a proven fact that a number of the bullies have amounted to completely nothing, working a daily job in a store or one thing. I’ve one pal who has stated to me, “sorry for being like I used to be once I was a child, and I want that I might take that again”. On the similar time, that individual stated “you might be actually residing the dream. I spent such a very long time looking for out what I wish to do and not likely going for what my ardour is as a result of the eagerness may be unsafe or one thing like that, by way of job alternatives”. He stated he actually envies the truth that I’m travelling the world about 30 out of 35 weekends a 12 months and see so many alternative cultures. I can actually respect that when it comes from a former bully, in that sense, saying sorry about that. The bullies have been the motivators, principally.

Q: Do You Imagine In A Larger Energy?

A: I do, however I don’t imagine in a god per se.

Q: The place Does Your Inspiration Come From?

A: My inspiration comes from life, like earlier than: failures, love relationships and good friendships. These days, to illustrate once I’m doing a tune that is nearly good get together music – an excellent instance could be the brand new “Arigatou” – it isn’t an excessive amount of about inspiration from life or something like that; it is simply me and my pal desirous to make a very good melody and, on the similar time, have a very good driving baseline. It would not at all times must be about inspiration from life. Typically it is simply, “let’s make an excellent get together tune, have a few drinks and form of see the way it goes from there”. “Arigatou” was the newest end result the place it was extra about having enjoyable and seeing how we might go about it within the studio.

Q: What Do You Assume Are The Most Necessary Components To Being Profitable?

A: I feel a very powerful factor is that you just keep true to your self it doesn’t matter what type you make: exhausting type, dubstep, trance, home or no matter. Simply try to do what you’re feeling is true, and if the music is sweet sufficient, it would communicate for itself. Folks will such as you as a result of the music would be the most true to you, in comparison with whenever you try to comply with developments after which individuals begin to comply with you solely that approach. It is nearly actually staying true to your self I feel. Proper now, I am on the cross-roads the place I desire a larger viewers, however it’s exhausting to not promote out whenever you discuss to uplifting trance followers, as a result of they at all times really feel that you just’re promoting out whenever you do stuff like “Arigatou” or different house-y stuff that is a 130 BPM. It is the truth that the whole lot must be 138 or 135 BPM and above and must be with a rolling baseline and be trance. I’ve obtained to cease taking a look at that and make music that I love to do. I feel that is a very powerful factor. If I do what I like, the true individuals who wish to comply with me for what I do will nonetheless be there I feel.

Q: What Are Your Future Plans?

A: My future plans could be shifting to the Cayman Islands or Hawaii. No, it will be simply to proceed doing this for about fifteen or twenty years and try to save up cash for a quiet life or one thing like that. Simply, normally, to maintain on travelling and to try to truly journey nicely – be as a lot in enterprise class as potential, so I can save my well being, and never being in economic system class on a regular basis. Simply having an excellent time, flying round, doing these gigs and hopefully getting to larger and greater crowds.

Added: by Utopia Realty

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