Danu5ik, the award-winning DJ and producer from Edmonton, Canada has recently dropped his latest in a line of captivating music videos and singles, Imagine. Today, I sat down with the man behind the sleek EDM beats and dreamy vocals, Daniel Lee. With a few international music awards under his belt, including the prestigious IMEA Electronica Artist of the Year for 2016, Daniel was the clear choice when youbloom decided to shine the spotlight on a local artist who was finding success in the music industry. In this two part interview, Daniel and I talk about the cosmic flavor of Imagine, the molting EDM scene, and what goes into finding international success as a local artist.
First thing I have to ask, where did you get that space suit for Imagine and can I get one two?
Getting the space suit was actually a bit tricky. We tried to get one of the Apollo space suits but those are pretty rare. And I’ve got to tell you, those space suits can get pretty hot especially when you’re on set all day. The suit was a really interesting idea when the song was first created. I wanted to do something with a twist.
What were some of the ideas behind Imagine?
The concept behind Imagine was that it was a journey and it’s about this Spaceman in the middle of nowhere and he got lost and wanted to be able to find his way back and he spent all his time in space alone so it’s about getting back into that social circle.
Yeah, that message of dissociation from social groups really comes out. The whole video is fun to just watch but also you’re able to put this deeper underlying message into it.
Well that’s what I really wanted to achieve with it. We’ve become so in tune with social media that we disassociate ourselves with the person sitting right by us. We are always in tune with our phones but how do you reintegrate yourself with society?
If I reflect back on myself back in 2017, going down to youbloom Dublin and meeting new faces and having such a blast or going to LA and connecting with so many people out there. No matter where I went it was fantastic but you have to put yourself out there and that was the message I was trying to achieve with Imagine.
Imagine Music Video – Danu5ik
When did music making begin for you?
I started to dabble in music when I was in high school. My music teacher, he had this old Yamaha keyboard synthesizer connected to a monitor and I didn’t know the logistics of the hardware itself but it was able to synthesize some amazing sounds and I used to spend my lunches there just creating unique sounds and dabbling there.
Moving forward I didn’t do anything with music for awhile and it was only in 2014 where I actually started to jump back into it. That’s when I first came out to Canada and that’s what evolved into the first album, From Sea to Kanata, which is a very Deep House kind of sound. Edmonton was still relatively new to the EDM scene and I wanted to put something out there that could show other artists what this is and what my take on all of this was.
And how do you feel your sound has evolved since then and how have fans responded to it?
Now my sound has evolved from House to more of Electro-House. Especially when I look at a track like Imagine, it’s just a banging track and I love the fact that when I create these tracks fans have such a positive feedback. That’s not to say its always positive but that’s okay I love all criticism. You have to be able to accept positive and negative feedback from your fans. I wouldn’t be anywhere today without them.
“I’m always sitting on that creative edge.”
Would you say EDM has gone through a transformation where now you’re seeing a lot of subgenres borrowing from each other?
Yes, when I ask what people what type of music they listen to and they say EDM, I always ask what they mean by that. There is a wide range inside of it, and we have to be more particular than that. Is it Progressive, is it Trap, is it House, Is it Deep-House? You’re right it’s evolved into a massive genre and that’s how you get those crossovers. If you look at the top 40s, you’re seeing a lot of EDM artists making it in there and it’s great to be a part of it.
Is there a shoebox of unheard Danu5ik tracks hidden somewhere?
Yes, there is a thumbdrive of tracks that I started and which have never seen the light of the day. In the last album Day Light/Dark Night I was surprised by how many tracks I had started but that didn’t make it onto the album. I think just from that album itself I had enough tracks to make two more albums out of it. I’m always sitting on that creative edge. I get an idea for a track and start it and then put it on hold and then start something new and then I might come back to it.
Imagine was not one on the back-burner though, it was one I came up with on the go. I love tracks like that! The last track I came up with was at the airport and I almost missed my flight because I was so in tune with putting down this beat. Its sound was just so surreal.
We may actually hear some of those old tracks in 2018. I’m in the process of creating the new album which will be released in the next year. There will probably be a few remixes of old tracks as well. It’s looking really well for 2018.
What can fans expect from Danu5ik going forward here? Any hints?
For 2018, I want to start out with a big bang. We may be seeing an Imagine Remix which will hopefully spark some interest. It’s too early in the game to say for sure but Imagine is a good hint of what’s to come. There’s going to be a string of music videos coming out in 2018 but I can’t say more than that.
Keep an eye on our tweets to catch the rest of my interview with Danu5ik. And why not take his advice and, “Put yourself out there;” Daniel will be playing at youbloomDublin in May and is eager to meet fans and collaborators alike. Artists that Apply to Play will get free admission to the Festival and Summit.