A Chat Among Women—Dani Deahl Interviews NERVO

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Chicago based DJ slash producer Dani Deahl chats with Mim and Liv NERVO.

I’m not going to discredit our collaborators, but we came from a world where we were actually ghostwriters for others…

Do you think it’s still hard for female electronic artists to be taken seriously?

DJing is definitely male dominated. I think in a way it works for us, but sometimes it works against us. I don’t think our generation will see the day when there will be more female DJs than male DJs. We try not to let it affect us. We love working with the guys, that’s always fun. I have worked with a few other female producers and female promoters, and certainly female artists. I think being a DJ; people think that we’re different from artists. In the end I still feel like we’re taken very seriously, and I believe in our artistry, just like any other normal pop star or artist would.

Speaking of the artistry, before this interview someone on my Facebook said, “Ask them who their ghost producer is.”

We don’t need a ghost producer. I wish we did, cuz we’d be a lot more productive. We have a lot of people we work with. I’m not going to discredit our collaborators, but we came from a world where we were actually ghostwriters for others, which is fine because everybody has their own journey and their own leg up into this world. There is a lot of time that goes into touring and marketing and all that kind of stuff that does take away time against being in the studio. But I think it’s a really easy way to hate on producers and to hate on artists, because I’ve worked with a lot of artists who are phenomenal producers and DJs, but they do have a few guys that help them out, you know, engineer and all. If you want to call it ghost producers that’s fine, but I have seen these guys one on one, and I’ve seen their talent, and it’s certainly them. Maybe there have been some guys who have kinda, I don’t know, written off other people’s work a little bit and sort of given everybody else a bad name. But truly we’re super involved in the studio, and just like a lot of other guys, we might have a little bit of help.

Do you prefer being in the studio or do you create on the road as well?

You know we were six and a half…seven year’s full time in the studio, eight days a week before we started DJing. Then we started as official DJs and it’s been good because we get to test our records, which is just incredible. We never got to test records whether we were writing for other people or not. Now we get to do that, and it positively informs our work. You know we’re constantly tweaking. Just when you get bored of being in the studio for like four days, five days, six days of just intense, twelve hour, fourteen hour

Rocking…I think DJing really helps.

So what was EDC like for you this year?

EDC? Incredible. Last year we played like a fuck off last minute little gig; this year we were properly on the bill. It was just such a thrill. We got there to the stage and there were fans who were so kind, and custom t-shirts like “NERVO will you marry me,”’ or, “I’m yours,” or whatever they were writing on the t-shirts. It was just such a thrill to see them. It surprises me every time, because it wasn’t that long ago that I was in the crowd going to other people’s gigs. It was great, the weather was perfect, we had no after parties to run off to, so we got to hang around the whole night, bounced around the stages, saw a lot of our friends, and guys that we collaborated with, and it was a great night.

What do you think about EDC saying they want to stay away from booking the superstar DJs?

I think ultimately, that’s a really cool, artist friendly, music friendly, step. I mean, I love the big guys as well, but why not give the little guys a shot? Everybody’s gotta start from somewhere.

Do you think it’s getting harder and harder for unknowns to be seen?

No, I actually think it’s a lot easier than when we both first started. You know, the Internet has made it all so accessible. We’ve reached out to so many collaborators, big and small, just through Facebook or Myspace.

What was it like to work with Avicii on “You’re Gonna Love Again?”

It was great. You know we originally wrote a totally different chorus. And we went back and forth on the vocals and the track. We would have loved to have Avicii be on the track with us, you know that was the original plan, but I don’t know, maybe he had a full release schedule or whatever, and couldn’t be on it in the end with us. We were tweaking the production ourselves, because Tim didn’t have time to finish it up for us. So we were testing it for a good six months before we finally took it to the label and were happy.

What do you coming up?

We have a bunch of collaborations, and we’re also focusing a lot on our artistry and our work, which is probably going to knuckle down in November when our touring stops, or slows down a little bit, and try and get back home.