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5 Minutes With… Danny Avila

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Bursting out from the depths of teenage normality transforming into a global DJing superstar, Danny Avila has all the tools and potential to experience all the success in the world. With the world at his feet and the decks at his fingers, Danny was diversely talented at a young age. He could wakeboard, skateboard and DJ – he could literally do it all.

Avila eventually took the path of music and hasn’t looked back once. He has performed with the likes of Tiesto and The Black Eyed Peas, he was the youngest resident to ever perform in Ibiza and now has an upcoming release coming out soon entitled “Pump!”

We caught up with Danny Avila and discussed why he chose DJing over other career options, what was his biggest highlight from performing in Ibiza and if he could collaborate with any one artist, who would it be and why.

The average teenager of society are just taking their exams, beginning university or still living at home with their parents. You on the other hand are boasting monthly residencies at international radio stations all over the world. What does it feel like to have made so much success at such a young age?

I’ve been doing this for six or seven years now so it doesn’t feel weird or that strange now. It’s just the way it turned out in the end. I’ve been doing this for quite some time now so I’ve been getting used to it. But on the other side, I do realise it’s very different to what other people are doing.

Of course, it wasn’t just the decks you excelled at working with. We hear youve got quite the skill set when it comes to skateboarding and snowboarding and were on the verge of becoming a professional. Why did you opt for the DJ career path?

Actually, when I was 14, I had an injury on my leg so I had to stop wakeboarding for six to eight months. So then I couldn’t do anything else besides DJing so I was behind my computer making music all of the time and DJing in my bedroom. Then, when I could wakeboard again and when my knee was good and I had got over my injury I realised I was more into music than sports. So I decided to spend more time with music. I just realised I liked music more than I liked sports.

You have worked alongside several notable names in your career including The Black Eyed Peas, Tiesto and Fedde Le Grand. What was it like working with such famous names? What effect did they have on your career? 

I had the chance to not only work but meet really cool and talented people. To meet these DJs, singers and bands was such a really cool experience. When I started I was 14 or 15 so I thought it was really to learn from people who have been in the business for a really long time. I had the chance to do that which was amazing.

If you had the chance to collaborate with any one artist in the world, past or present, who would it be and why? 

Porter Robinson because I am a big fan of him. I think he is a really amazing producer. He is very different to pretty much what everyone else is doing right now. I think he is a very interesting guy. I would also like to collaborate with Madonna because she is an amazing artist and incredibly talented. It might happen, it might not but I’m a big fan of hers so I would love to collaborate with her. 

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In 2011, you became the youngest ever resident to perform on the Balearic Island of Ibiza. Were there any stand out highlights for you from performing in Ibiza? 

Yes definitely. Actually we had a show in Ibiza this year because I had a residency at Privilege. It was the same night that Nervo was playing at Ushuaia so we all went to Ushuaia before my show and we ended up playing back to back with Nervo.

How does performing in Ibiza compare to your first ever set you performed back home in Madrid for Kapital?

It was a day time party so it was only for underage people. So it was from 5pm till 10pm – the whole vibe was completely different. Ibiza has a really unique vibe so it’s really different and the crowd is the completely the opposite but at the same time I like both and I enjoy pretty much every single show that I play. 

Switching gears now, you have a forthcoming release on entitled “Pump!” Tell us a bit more about this record and the story behind it. 

There is a bit of a story behind it. I made this track with this guy from France called Merzo and I’ve been playing a lot of his tracks for around a year now. I tweeted him to send me his email and we started talking about making a track together. So we started sending ideas and demos back and forth. He sent me a very rough version with a melody and I really liked it so we started working back and forth. We finished the track four months ago and we had it where it was pretty much ready to go but it had a sample right before the drop where it said “Yo DJ pump this party!” I don’t know if someone stole it or found the same sample and used it but they released a track with the same sample so I wasn’t really happy about it. I talked to the label and we pushed the release back. I wanted to change the track a little bit. So we changed the track sample. 

It’s being released on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label. What do you think of him as an artist?

I think he is amazing. He is a very energetic guy. He knows how to entertain a crowd. Besides that, he is one of the hardest working DJs ever. He has a label, he runs restaurants and is always travelling. He is a busy man and I really respect that. 

You have appeared on the Greater Than UK Tour. You have toured amongst the likes of Calvin Harris, Tiesto and Pete Tong. What was it like to tour with such prestigious names?

It was really cool. I played a lot of shows with Tiesto over the last two years. We played a lot of shows and have done a lot of stuff together. Besides that, I never really did a tour with Calvin or Pete Tong.The whole tour was on the next level – production wise, the shows were all sold out, it was really cool to be a part of it.

What was the biggest highlight of the tour for you? 

It was in London. We played at the O2 Arena and afterwards I played the after party at the Ministry Of Sound. It was really cool because the arena show was sold out and it was crazy. It was really cool to then play in a small club with a different type of vibe. That was really cool.

Finally, 2014 has been a wonderful year for Danny Avila. If you could summarize it with one track, what would it be and why?

I think the track I’ve played the most in the last year was “Springen” by MAKJ, I think that was my favourite one. I used to open my sets with that one.

Words: Matty Adams

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