While he may be only 17, Danny Avila is ready to hang with the big boys on the upcoming Generation Wild tour. His journey began when he was 12-years old and haggled his way into clubs, watching artists like Fedde le Grand, Afrojack and David Guetta. In 2012 he saw himself playing early headline slots with the same DJs, as well as three residencies in Ibiza.
While DJing has taken up much of Avila’s life, it wasn’t long ago that he was a championship wakeboarder (To in this video he does a face plant.) He placed 2nd in the Spanish Wakeboard Championships, 7th in the European Wakeboard Championships and 12th in the World Wakeboard Championships. “Since I was very young I've done what I wanted. I love sports and I'm a big fan of wakeboarding, skateboarding, tennis and music” Avila said.
I think life is all about happiness and I would never do anything that I don’t have fun with, so if I wasn’t a DJ, I’d probably be a wakeboard rider.
He released his debut single “Breaking Your Fall” on Big Beat Records in October 2012. “I'm super happy with the result of every single remix,” Avila said. “They turned out really well. The Lucky Date remix is banging, I play it at the big festivals. The Mikael Weermets and Sick Individuals remix are really aggressive and energetic and the Dberrie remix is more clubby.” The song prompted Billboard to name Avila as “One to Watch” in 2013 in their “21 Under 21” list.
Magnetic had a quick Q&A with the Spanish DJ before he left for his Generation Wild Tour today, January 31. Why does Avila think everyone should come to the tour? What does he do with his German shepherd while he’s on tour? And what’s his airline of choice? Read below to find out.
What's the most expensive thing you've splurged your money on?
I spend a lot of money on my studio equipment. It feels so satisfying to have my own machines and equipment. In the end it’s like an investment because you use all this stuff to make music and to improve. I don't like to waste money on stupid things.
What's something people can't tell about you from the surface? Any bad habits or pet peeves?
I am definitely badly organized at airports. I always loose stuff like my passport.
Who would be your dream DJ to do a collaboration with?
I really like the music style that Porter Robinson, Wolfgang Gartner and Zomboy are producing right now. Really refreshing and new. My dream would be to produce with one of these three guys. Also Knife Party is off the hook. If I had to choose a vocalist I’d say Georgi Kay!
How do you deal with English-speakers since it's not your first language? Anything curious you find about the language or any mishaps that have happened because of differences in language?
Of course I'm not a native speaker, but I always try my best. I used to travel a lot when I was doing wakeboarding competitions. The best riders in the world were from Australia and America so there was no other option other than to communicate with them, so I learned a lot of English.
You think it is all just one big holiday youre on but it is actually a lot of work. I recognized that very soon.
Why should someone go to the Generation Wild Tour?
Everyone should go to the Generation Wild Tour because we will put our heart and soul in it to make it a night to remember for everyone. Mikael Weermets is one of the most exciting upcoming DJs around. dBerrie is so skillful, just check out the remix he did for my "Breaking Your Fall" single and Deniz Koyu is the boss. He is one of the most inspiring producers and DJs right now.
What's the biggest difference from how you imagined DJing professionally to be and how it actually is?
I definitely underestimated the exhausting travelling before. It's really crazy. You think it is all just one big holiday you're on but it is actually a lot of work. I recognized that very soon.
Are there any cities or club nights you’re looking forward to playing most on this trip?
Yes! The cities that I’m looking forward to play most at are Miami and New York. Liv and Pacha are two of my favorite clubs in the world. The crowd goes totally nuts and I have friends there as well, so I can’t wait!
The best would be to have a private jet, but I guess I have to work harder to get that.
Do you have a favorite airline? If yes, what’s so great about it?
I hate every single airline in the world. When I hear airline it mean delays and hours at the airport. I like Lufthansa but there is no such thing as a perfect airline. If anyone can find an airline that doesn’t loose luggage or doesn’t delay flights, please let me know.
Are there any airlines you won’t fly? Please explain.
I fly everything. The best would be to have a private jet, but I guess I have to work harder to get that.
What items do you always take with you on the road?
My laptop, headphones, a hard drive with all my libraries, and nanoKEY to draw some melodies while I'm on the road. And I usually bring my skateboard with me.
Do you read books on the road? What are you reading right now?
I don't read at all! I watch a lot of movies and TV series, especially for all those hours at the airports. I'm a huge fan of ''The Walking Dead,” can't wait for the next season.
Do you remember the first time you had a live audience’s complete attention? Do you remember how you felt at that moment, what records you were playing?
Wow, that was a long time ago. It was probably at Dreamers in Marbella, Spain. One of my weapons was Green Velvet "La La Land" (Bingo Players remix). I think I was 13 or 14 by then.
What have you learned about yourself from being on the road and touring?
One of the hardest things to do when you are on the road is to eat properly. It’s so tricky because I never have a regular routine, it’s always different. What I usually try to do, no matter if I go to bed late because I have a late set time, is to have a very powerful breakfast which keeps me with energy for a lot of hours.
Which do you prefer, a smoky, low-lit club or a big stage with bright lights and colored gels?
I like both. When I play in a really dark and smoky club like Ministry Of Sound in London or Pacha in New York City it really feels like I’m playing at a club. The vibe is different. But of course I also like to play at bright venues where the visuals are really important as well.
How much of your set changes from gig to gig?
A lot! I mean I make mush-ups pretty much every day and special edits for every gig. My set is always changing. Of course I have my main bangers but in general I change my set very often.
What’s on your Rider?
Right now I have four CDJ-2000s, one DJM-900 and the new pioneer controller RMX-1000. It’s unbelievable how many crazy things you can do with this controller.
If you were the biggest musician in the world, what would be on your Rider?
My rider would be exactly the same. The most important part for me is the technical stuff. I prefer a very good sound system and incredible visuals to have a great show than the most expensive bottle of champagne. It also depends on how many people you come with. If you have a really big team with a stage manager of course you need a bigger rider, especially when it comes to drinks.
How, if at all, is being on the road conducive to your creative process?
I get to see a lot of other DJs and a lot of clubs and crowds. That's definitely helping and inspiring. But also seeing the many cities and their unique vibes is also inspiring.
Do you work on music while touring?
Of course. I always bring my portable studio set-up so I can work on ideas. And then when I have the main idea of the track drawn and a basic arrangement I go back to the studio and work more on it.
Do you have any pets? What do they do while you’re on the road?
I do have one! I have one German shepherd. I live with my brothers and my parents so it’s not a big problem when I travel because they can take care of it!
What the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
I check my iPhone.
What the first thing you do when you wake up?
I check my iPhone again, I’m an iPhone addict.
What do you look forward to most when the tour is over?
Probably Miami, I'm playing Ultra this year. Also I'm looking forward to releasing new music and remixes that I finished already.