[Q&A] Black Daniels: Seeing people freak out to my songs is a great feeling

A couple of days ago part of our team returned from Outlook Festival. There we were able to hear great sets by tremendous artists, we were also happy to take part in the first of its kind Outlook Sound System Culture Conference, apart from all that we managed to start a couple of interesting partnerships as well. One of which is with the Danes CART Records and We Make Noise, who introduced us to an artist that goes under the name of  Black Daniels

Black Daniels is one of the most powerful DnB artists in Denmark and is among the biggest names in the Nordic DnB scene. His life passed through many twists and turns, but eventually he finds himself in music. Behind his back Black Daniels released an EP (with a following remix compilation), he's a co-founder of a DnB label and is already working on a second EP. Did we mention his new "Gorilla Dub" video that came out recently? You can find out more about his work and career in the following lines:



Bass Blog [BB]: Hi! Introduce yourself with a couple of words.

Black Daniels [BD]: 
Big bad Black Daniels the “Raver teacher” from the bottom of the underground, Copenhagen town!

BB: For how long have you been involved with music? Which are your favourite styles?

BD: I started playing drums as a young kid. Fell into Dj'ing when I was a teenager working in nightclubs and ended up MC’ing there as well, which was the cornerstone for my MC'ing career. Going on to freestyle rap for a couple of different bands, but it seriously took of when I meet a drum and bass DJ (Nico Defrost), who invited me to MC at a local dnb night in Copenhagen. Here I met DJ Breakfast and the C.A.R.T Crew was formed soon after. Along the years I developed my style and went on to make my own music. Touring a bit in Europe, starting a label, getting a live band and great team around me - determent to take over the world in the name of drum and bass!!!

BB: You grew up in the streets of Copenhagen. How has that affected your music?

BD: Actually I grew up all over Denmark. I've lived more places than I can count - all over Copenhagen and in the countryside. I've been 7 years in boarding school, I’ve been homeless on and off for many years, so I've had a turbulent life on the run. That has shaped me a lot, my struggle and experiences has definitely fuelled a lot of the energy I put into my music and Copenhagen has always been a cornerstone of my extinction. It is definitely my town aka "my hood", and a place I can call home. Actually there is some shout outs and big ups in my music here and there, but as a whole it's not "Copenhagen music" per say. I see it more as international music for many reasons - the main ones are that I rap in English and then I’m the only drum and bass MC releasing original material in Scandinavia.

BB: A couple of weeks ago your new video Gorilla Dub came out. Who's behind the beat of the track? Who shot the video?

BD: Yea I’m so proud of that track and video! The producer or should I rather say my producer is "Shield" the bass genius behind all of my productions and hands down the best dnb producer in Scandinavia. We have been a team in the studio and on stage for a couple of years now and many more to come, I love working with him !!! The video is shot, written and directed by Daniel Brinck & Anders Restoff and a whole team of Students from Zentropa (Nymphomaniac, Antichrist & Melancholia) it was an absolute pleasure to work with them, they captured my idea and told my story so well. It was an amazing project and a super dope video that came out of it. From huge fire cans, stuntmen, a deep sea diver, a break dancing gorilla, to me swimming in an ice cold pool in January, and a huge production team that made me feel and look like a movie star ! if u haven't seen it go check it out NOW ;)  

BB: The lyrics are filled with revelations. What are the inside demons you fight with, described in the song?

BD: Yea a lot of the lyrics were freestyles I re-recorded or rewrote a bit, so it’s a very
honest song mixed with a kinda party hook. It describes my struggle with making it in music, surviving a troubled life mixed with political undertones, an in your face kinda wake up call for myself and the change I wanna see in the world. I didn't really realize what this song meant to me before I got it out and gained a bit of distance to it.

BB: Gorilla Dub is part of your ЕР Concrete Jungle. When is it due to be released?

BD: Yea it’s the first single for my forthcoming EP. I don't have a date set in stone yet, but hopefully it will be out sooner than later. I can't wait to share it with the world !!!

BB: Which other artists are on the EP? Which is the label that is publishing it?

BD: Well, Shield is the bass brain behind all of the beats as always and then I have the lyrical queen bee and my "partner in rhyme" Alvarado on a track or two ;) to help me hype up the vibe and bring a totally different flow and lyrical universe that compliments my sound a lot. Then I have recorded a live version of the track "Shot caller" with world renowned drum and bass drummer Anders Meinhardt "half man-half drum machine" who is also a part of my live band, so I’m pretty sure we are gonna blow some amps and speakers around the world with this EP ! It will be released on CART Records a label I co-founded with my manager as platform for us all to reach the world!

BB: You were part of the Outlook Festival this year. Your performance took place at the Arija Stage. What type of impressions did the event leave on you?

BD: It was amazing to play Outlook Festival, and a huge honour to see my name on a line up alongside so many legends (shout out to my manager for making it happen), and tons of names I’ve MC’ed for throughout the years. The cool thing about Outlook is most of the stages are roughly the same size apart from the few bigger main stages, so that means you get to be equal with a lot of big names playing on the same or similar stages, that was supa cool. The Arija was not the biggest stage I’ve ever performed on, but the vibe when we played was amazing, we really killed the show and took it to another level than the acts playing before us. Seeing people freak out and rave their heart out to my songs is always a great feeling and it shows us that we can throw down anywhere in the world, but mostly this performance made me more hooked on playing in UK as most of the crowd was from the UK and if they can rave to it on a festival in Croatia, then they can boogie down with us in UK!

BB: On the stage, with you, there were a lot of other artists. What's the name of your organization and what inspired you to show up at the Arija Stage together?

BD: Well its my amazing and unstoppable manager (Lizette Meinholt) who has spearheaded this Nordic bass movement called "Viking Junglist Massive" with a mission to create a strong fellowship between the Nordic countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland with the sole purpose of strengthening Drum and Bass in our patch of the world and help develop dnb artist and advance then whole scene locally and internationally, so she hook us all up in the start of the year. We have done a few events with participating artist from all of the Nordic countries and it was such a success that she eventually made is possible for us to host a stage at Outlook Festival!

BB: Any forthcoming festivals you will take part in?

BD: I’m playing at a local festival in Denmark in a couple of weeks with my live band which I’m looking forward to a lot and then I have a lot of gigs waiting to be confirmed.

BB: How about your forthcoming studio projects? What's on your to-do list?

BD: Well I have a ton of ideas for songs I wanna do and I got some projects with more live instruments that I’, itching to do as well. I wanna have a full string quartet on one of my tracks, I wanna do something with upright bass and I gotta have some scratch DJ’ing on a tune soon !  Other than that I’m just wrapping up my EP, so I can start working on a remix compilation for the Concrete Jungle EP. Afterwards I wanna do a live compilation of all my tunes! So I got more ideas than I have time, but hopefully I get a lot more done in 2015 than I did in 2014 ;)

BB: Have you considered any other releases after the one on Concrete Jungle?

BD: Yes I’m gonna do the remix compilation with remixes of all the tunes on the Concrete Jungle EP as I did with the Danger EP and then I’m hoping to do a live compilation of all my tunes one day. Then I’m featuring on a couple of tracks that is gonna drop in the fall or winter, so there is a lot more coming up for my fans out there !

BB: Thank you for your time! Wish something to the readers!

BD: Thank you for your interest ! I hope you all have a great day and get to rave when the weekend comes ! I have a gift for you all on my soundcloud, I’ve put my debut EP “Danger” up for free download so you check me out ! Much luv and bass from the big Black Daniels ;)


Follow the links:

Black Daniels:                                 

Danger Remix Compilation: http://tiny.cc/34fg3x

Shield Free download

CART Records:
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