The capacity for music to convey emotion and energy is well known. We have all experienced days where a song has taken us from feeling negative to lifting our spirits. This is essentially a transference of energy through the medium of music.
Drum & Bass act, Danny Byrd, is one of those music producers with an expert level and universally loved ability to put the right elements into a track so that the energy is inescapable.
From ‘Gold Rush’ to ‘Ill Behaviour’ to ‘Better Life’, how does this magic happen? When so much energy is conveyed through his tracks and his sets, what tricks does Danny employ to deal with phases of feeling stuck, tour life and working through the complexities of music production to transmit his unique brand of creativity to the world?
In the past, you have said that persistence and determination are the rules you live by. How do you keep up the energy to stay determined and focused, when things aren’t going to plan in life and as an artist/producer?
Very good question, I don’t always have that zest for producing 24/7 especially with long tours but I’ve always seen the fruits of my labour when I have really applied myself so I keep that in the back of my mind. When it’s not going to plan the best thing to do is take a break for a few days or even better collaborate with others and work the obstacles out together. That persistence quote you talk about was written by Calvin Coolidge who was the 30th president of the United States, it was something Ray Kroc the founder of Macdonalds lived by daily when finding it hard in business. I don’t know if that’s the best example haha but you can’t deny he wasn’t successful.
You have just finished an EPIC tour of Australia and New Zealand. Given the toll that touring can take, how do you recharge whilst on tour?
You just have to sleep where you can, cat nap as much as possible. Travelling with great people can make the experience a lot easier, it’s definitely harder touring on your own. I had a few days off in Sydney at the end of the tour so I checked into one of my favourite hotels in the world, the Langham! It’s a bit pricey but worth every penny, it has a great spa and I think that’s a real important part to recharging batteries.
The track ‘Better Life’ from your 2018 album, Atomic Funk is one of the most positive and uplifting tracks that we have heard. What inspired you as you were producing this track alongside collaborators Maduk and I-Kay?
The track started by Maduk flying over from the Netherlands to my studio in Bath and us hammering it out over a couple of days. I have to give Maduk a lot of credit for some great vibes, as I was in a bit of a rut with production at the time. I was taking far too long with tracks and procrastination and he reminded me that it doesn’t have to take months, we can make a wicked track in a few days. I-Kay came into the fold when we needed to replace the original vocal sample we had used. We often use a sample as a placeholder and then record something original over that at a later date.
You have such a great sense of humour and always have a smile on your face. Is it important as an artist to not take yourself too seriously?
I suppose I’ve always been a bit of the class comedian or clown haha. It helps me get through the insanity of the world sometimes. Humans love to make things ever so complicated when they often don’t need to be. Drum and bass fans can be very serious sometimes which is fine, I get that passion, but we can all loosen up sometimes too.
Danny’s latest album “Atomic Funk” is out now