Interview: Radio 1’s Danny Howard


Emma Gibson

The Strathclyde Telegraph caught up with DJ Danny Howard before his gig in Strathclyde Union this week. The Radio 1 DJ is currently touring the UK to promote his new Dance album ‘Clubbers Guide 2013’ which, since its release, has gone on to take the number one spot in the iTunes Dance Chart:

“We released the album in the middle of February and off the back of that we just do some club tours to promote it and raise the awareness.

“It’s been really valuable and lots of people have bought it which was good. It got to number one in the iTunes dance chart which was incredible. I couldn’t believe it actually happened so yeah it’s just nice to go around and promote it.”

The Blackpool born DJ has already made a name for himself in the clubbing world, both here and in the UK, after gaining residencies at Ministry Of Sound as well as the UKs biggest Super club ‘The Syndicate’. And earlier this month Danny travelled to America to play one of his all-time favourite venues:

“I was in Miami at the Miami Music Week where all the DJ’s from around the world go clubbing and it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I can remember, just as a clubber myself.”

“In America at the moment Dance music has really taken off and everyone is sort of embracing the dance music culture like we had back in the UK in the 90s.

“But they are ahead of the game as well, because everything is about EDM [Electric Dance Music], and to be over there and experience that boom that they’re going through is a real eye opener; it’s something that did remind me of Ibiza.”

For a DJ that has just started playing clubs in the past couple of years, Danny Howard’s success has come thick and fast. In 2011 he won the coveted ‘Superstar DJ’ Award and opened Radio 1’s Ibiza Weekend. But now the international star has swapped the strobe lights of Ibiza and Miami for glow sticks and neon face paint to play a number of student gigs across the country. He mentions the difference in playing students gigs to the big ‘super clubs’:

“Students are usually at the crazier end of the scale as far as clubbing goes, which is good. And whenever I have a student gig I always look forward to it because you know the atmosphere is going to be good and they’ll just get involved in whatever you throw at them.“

Danny refuses to typecast himself into a specific style or genre but instead prefers to get his inspiration from the crowd there in the moment:

“I think that a DJ should give the crowd what they want. I’m not one that says ‘plan your set before’ or anything like that. I always try to feel the vibe and go off on what the crowd are giving back and just play what I think they want to hear next and that’s how I do it.”

“I literally just go on and play the music, it sounds boring but it is as simple as that. I do obviously get the butterflies before I go on but I think that’s normal because it means that I care about it.

“I want to make sure I always do a good job.”

Danny announced earlier this month that he will be playing Global Gathering, the world’s first ever global music festival, and the Telegraph tried to get some inside info on any more of his upcoming events. But the DJ refused to budge:

“In the next couple of weeks there will be some announcements of my Ibiza dates and a couple of other festivals that I’m going to be playing, but they’re not announced yet.

“I just don’t want to get in trouble! Global Gathering is the one I’m looking forward to though because that was the very first festival that I ever went to when I was 18, so for me to actually go back and be on the DJ list, on the line up, was just an incredible moment for me and I can’t wait to go back and play.”

But before the summer madness begins, the Radio 1 star is looking to create new music in his time off from promoting the new album:

“I’m doing gigs in various places across the UK just now but I’ve got a bit of time during the week that I can spend in the studio just making tunes because once the summer comes I’m all over the place.

“I’m not going to get as much time to do that so I need to make sure I get as much production as possible and spend as much of it in the studio.”

It sounds like Danny has a busy schedule in the coming summer months so listen out in the next couple of weeks for his upcoming announcements on Ibiza dates and festivals. But for now we students get to experience some of the rising star’s new tunes before he goes off to play in front of thousands at huge festivals and packed nightclubs elsewhere in the UK and abroad.}