She’s dedicated to hard dance music. She enjoys pretty much all styles, starting at 150 BPM. She’s from Australia and love’s to rock the stage. Her sets are diverse, fresh and uplifting. At the moment she is working hard on her Hardcore act. It seems that this crazy lady is exactly what our scene needs! We caught up with Kamikaze to find out more.
First of all, thank you for giving me a bit of your time Danny! In case our readers haven’t heard of you yet, could you please introduce yourself, and where you come from?
How could I say no! Thank you for having me. Hello Hardstyle lovers! My name is Danny – aka Kamikaze – and I am a Hardstyle producer, DJ and lover from Sydney, Australia!
What brought you to listen to Hardstyle? (or, what made you start listening to Hardstyle?)
To be honest, I don’t think there was ever even a chance of keeping me away… I have been listening to harder-style music since I can remember, the passion for this crazy kind of music has been growing ever since the moment I walked into my very first Hard Dance event (an underground rave in Sydney) when I was underage and probably a lot cooler than I am now haha. It’s a huge part of my life and I honestly can’t believe that some people don’t feel the same way … I feel sorry for them that they are missing out!
And what pushed you to produce Hardstyle and later to start your career as “Kamikaze”?
As much as I absolutely love performing and playing Hardstyle live, I always felt a bit strange only playing music made by other producers. So I began editing nearly all my tracks, either cutting them shorter or adding new elements/samples so I had something a little different from all the other DJ’s to play. From here I started making mashes, then bootlegs before finally booking in production lessons, upgrading my computer and starting the never ending production struggle. It’s weird … the more time you spend producing, the more time you actually want to produce.
If we look back in time, you seem to have already a few achievements done with both your mixing and producing talent. I imagine you would like to share a bit of your old glory today, how many gigs did you perform at?
It’s been pretty crazy, I’ve been pretty lucky to have had so many amazing experiences and meet so many inspirational people. I’ve played at Defqon.1 Holland (which was insane), represented Smirnoff at Smirnoff Ice PopUp Club parties around South East Asia and then more recently I was in Borneo playing at Mysterious World. Every gig is a new adventure and I am so excited for 2016 as it’s already looking to be one of the biggest in my Hardstyle career.
Kamikaze started off as a duo. What was it like performing as a duo?
Working as a duo can only be described as a paradox – completely absurd, self-contradicting and conflicting. On one hand it can be super motivating, inspirational and rewarding whilst on the other it can be testing, confusing and intricate.
For Kamikaze, our personal differences were always one of the most distinctive traits as a duo, and while it was definitely the key metric to help us create such unique projects, it was ultimately the key driver for the closure of the partnership.
Did you choose to continue on as Kamikaze? How has life changed since becoming a solo artist?
It was just your average battle to the death – winner takes all scenario, you know how it is haha. No, but seriously, it was a unanimous decision for me to continue on with the brand. I am extremely lucky in the fact that Joz and I have separated and moved on, being closer than ever, and that as a best friend she let me continue my passion. Kamikaze is more than just a DJ name for me, its my complete music inspired creation, I have put so much work into it and become so attached that in no way could I start another music project without feeling almost empty haha. Dramatic but true, I truly believe that it is so important to love your brand and be happy with your work … otherwise how are you ever going to get sh*t done ?!?
So what does this year hold for the fresh solo Kamikaze performer?
Gigs – New Tracks – Travelling – Collaborations! In 2016 it’s all happening. Probably my most recent news is that I have just been signed to Pure Bookings (Gearbox – UK). I am actually so excited about it as Gearbox is such an epic brand with so much potential, they do things differently and I really like that new fresh approach.
You seem to spend a lot of time in the studio, according to your videos on your Facebook page and the tracks you update on Soundcloud. Where does your inspiration come from?
Wow, if you think I post a lot of the studio videos on social media you should see my hard drive haha. I have so many terrible clips of me trying to rap over the tracks, thinking I can hakk or still shuffle, always a good idea at the time until I look over it the next day – and it’s just plain horrifying haha. I’m in the middle of about 10 different projects right now, it’s a constant battle to be honest. I seriously get inspiration at the most random times, but hey, anything weird and wonderful is a good thing – you can’t force creativity.
When have you started producing and what program do you use?
I started taking production seriously about 3 years ago. Like many other Hardstyle artists I started using FL Studio, but it wasn’t long before I moved across to Ableton. I love the never ending DAW debate between producers, nothing better than seeing people get so (so so SO) passionate about music – in my opinion it’s not the program but how you use it 😉
Did you learn to master all the sound production by yourself?
Noooo way! There are some things you just can’t learn from YouTube tutorials haha! I have been having weekly music production lessons since I started, I don’t know how people do it without tuition. I’m extremely lucky my teacher (Splinta) is also in the Hard Dance scene so from the very first lesson I have had my training streamlined to what is relevant for me.
How would you describe the Kamikaze sound?
I love everything with the Hardstyle spectrum – any track that is hectic, regardless of sub-genre, is good for me. But I guess in a general sense, Kamikaze is like gangsta Hardstyle … I want every track to be epic the whole way through, with no “fillers” … and I guess it’s always nice to have some elements of ghetto in each track too 😉
Who is your absolute favourite artist? Why?
For Hardstyle it would have to be Kutski. Apart from being one of the best technical mixers, he is doing amazing things for the scene with KTRA as well as being an all-round nice guy. Then for Hardcore it’s a tie between Ophidian and N-Vitral, both super lovely and both happen to be absolute musical masterminds.
You have quite a few tracks on your own. But which one do you play the most when you’re on the stage?
I go through massive phases … I’ve come to the conclusion I have a 3 month (max) track cycle system. I fall in love with a track, pump it every chance I get, go crazy, crazy for it, and then out of nowhere I finish a new project that I think is even more amazing – and the love/breakup cycle starts again. Recently I have been testing new sounds to different crowds to get a feel, as well as dropping Akira (my recent collab with Mikazuki -JPN) on the regular. It was released a few months ago and I was pretty happy to see it go straight to #1 on the TrackItDown Top 100 – there is no better motivation than seeing results from your hard work.
You are also producing under another name “Mistortion”, but this time, it’s all about Hardcore.
Seriously, I have a multi-dimensional life haha. Kamikaze is the good opposing my evil Mistortion side. It’s a really different energy and presence that goes with making/performing hardcore and so I just couldn’t play it under the Kamikaze brand. I also didn’t want Hardstyle fans to come see me play and I then go ahead and ruin their life by opening with a 200bpm+ track … sometimes people don’t like surprises 🙂
So what is coming up for Mistortion? I saw you played after N-Vitral at this years Defqon.1
I have been building up a collection of my hardcore productions and 2016 is the year they are finally going to be released! It also just so happens to be the year that I expand into other avenues too. I don’t want to say too much right now, but lets just leave it at there might be a new sub-label coming out of an extremely successful UK born Hardstyle (specifically Rawstyle) label pretty soon… So watch this space!
Where can we find you playing/performing in Sydney? (What club, if you have any residency..)
So in Sydney I am lucky enough to be a resident at the infamous Masif Saturdays for both Kamikaze and Mistortion, as well as other Sydney brands such as HardstyleONLY, Mutilate and Style (King St Hotel). I have several interstate bookings around Australia over the next few months and I will also be seeing you guys over in Europe this Summer as well ! Lots of things coming up! Very exciting 🙂
Thanks for having me xxx – Danny