It’s not often that a 17-year-old joins the pre-eminent ranks of DJs without even having released a single, but Madrid’s Danny Avila is just one of those up-and-coming producers that projects a star buzz when you see him. Perhaps that is why his bestowed moniker as the “Justin Bieber of dance music” is especially fitting—never mind the hair. The teenager has swag and his energy emanates profusely when he is in the booth, giving you the sense that he is meant to be there. Now, after a few months of hype and frantic touring of the US, along with not just one but three Ibiza residencies this summer, Avila has released his debut single, “Breaking Your Fall,” on Big Beat Records. Watch out for a remix package that will be on the way shortly as a complement to the big-room progressive vocal track—but first read what he has to say about his rapid progression in the dance world.
Tell us about how you were first exposed to house music.
Before I started DJing or listening to electronic music, I played the piano for four years and the guitar for two years, so basically I spent so many hours listening to different music styles. I don’t think it’s something I discovered—I’ve had so much passion for music since the beginning. When I was around 12 years old, I can remember that I used to exchange music with my friends at school, so I was like, “Why don’t I start mixing it?”
So what made you then decide to start producing?
Before I started producing my own tracks, I started doing mash-ups and reworks of tracks that I really liked but that didn’t fit in my sets. I used Logic 8 to fix all these tracks, and then I realized that I could actually make my own music with it, so I started searching on the internet about how to use it. That’s how I got started.
Given that you spend a lot of time on Ibiza, the island itself must have had some influence on your music. How has the island inspired you?
The whole island is like some sort of magical inspiration. I know I’m not the only one to say that—there’s just something about the place, it’s like it casts a spell on you or something. And the parties—there’s nowhere like it in the world.
Tell us about your summer on Ibiza this year. You had three residencies. Did any particular show stand out to you?
The whole season has been amazing! Every single show at Blue Marlin, Space, and Pacha was so special for me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of something like that, but I never imagined that it would happen so fast and to do the three clubs, it was incredible. Those clubs are legendary on the island. Trust me, it was such an honor for me to have this opportunity during my first year in Ibiza. I got to meet so many cool people and some of my heroes, and playing in those DJs booth, it was a dream come true, for sure.
So, you’re being called the “Justin Bieber of house music.” What do you make of it?
Some people say it in a bad way, some of them in a good way. To be honest, I don’t care at all. Actually, he changed his haircut a long time ago, so I don’t know why people keep saying it, but anyway, I have my own style and I’m not going to change just because people call me Justin Bieber [laughs].
Are you excited about having your debut single, “Breaking Your Fall,” come out on Big Beat Records? How has the reception been since you started playing it out?
You can’t imagine! The reactions are incredible. People love it so much. Nicky Romero, Thomas Gold, Max Vangeli have already played it on their radio shows. I’m very, very happy.
Did you have any specific inspiration for the track?
I had so much fun producing this track and it’s very special for me because it’s the first big release that I have put out there. I’ve released other tracks, but they actually don’t show who I am, what I am doing, and the music style that I play. They basically show my first steps making music. I have almost like 10 tracks already finished on my laptop, but I was not 100% sure about releasing them. And I think “Breaking Your Fall” is definitely the one. I just came up with the melody and I had some vocals already on my computer so I tried them all and that one fit perfectly. And at some point of the vocal it says, ”Love has a way of breaking your fall,” so I was like, “This is going to be the title!” And now here it is.
You’ve been in the studio with some big names, including Fedde le Grand. What have these experiences been like?
I was in Holland and he invited me to go to his studio, and all I can say about it is that he is the boss. He is such a genius and knows exactly what knob he has to press; I learnt so much just by sitting there and watching and getting advice.
Are there any producers you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
Of course, I’d love to collaborate with Knife Party, Nicky Romero, and, of course, the legendary Madonna, if I was going to do a vocal track.
Can you tell us about anything you’re releasing or working on?
There is a remix package of “Breaking Your Fall” coming up—it’s incredible! I’m already playing some of the remixes out on the road and they’ve gone down super-well. Right now I’m working on new stuff, so I’ll let you know very soon.