by Danielle Holian
For our readers, please describe your musical background.
I started playing piano at the age of 4 and grew up playing different instruments. My favorite is probably guitar because I love loud obnoxious rock music. I studied guitar and recording at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Now I mostly stare at my computer screen.
When did you start DJing?
Around 2008. When I first started, I thought it was going to be easy since it was playing pre-recorded music as opposed to playing live instruments. But it’s a whole different skillset. One of my DJ friends asked me to help him at a nightclub where he was a resident. I had to get a lot better really fast. It was trial by fire and quite humbling.
Who or what are your influences?
I listen to a lot of different stuff. Within electronic music, I respect some of the work of older school guys like Tiesto or Swedish House. I like some productions from Oliver Heldens, Deadmau5, Showtek, Calvin Harris, Skrillex. They’re obviously all different styles, but they produce tracks I like. It affects my music and that is why I don’t think I fit neatly in just one genre.
What would you personally consider to be the pivotal moments in your artistic career?
DJ’ing in Ibiza for the first time at Amnesia and Pacha was a great experience. It’s like going from your backyard to a major league stadium. I knew I was nothing special there and I left very inspired and determined to succeed. Also, recently I decided to focus more on making music the way I really want it, and less on how I’m told it’s “supposed to be”. I had some people in the past recommend things need to fit in first before breaking the rules. F– – it. Just make your own rules.
What are currently your main challenges as a DJ?
I joke that the barriers to entry of becoming a DJ are low enough to trip over. Technology and lower priced equipment have made it easier for anyone to call himself a DJ. So it’s getting more competitive every day. But I’m not mad at all. I think it’s a great opportunity for the producer-artist, who also happens to DJ, to rise above someone who can only hit the play button.
How has your music evolved since you began?
I think my production skills have improved which has allowed my music to match closer to the sound I’m trying to get out of my crazy head. I’m far from 100% there, but I couldn’t be more excited as that evolution continues. Stay tuned. I’ve got over 1,000 tracks to write!
What has been a highlight for you so far?
One recent highlight … some of my remixes have gotten very positive feedback and support from even the most hardcore fans of the original song or artist. I don’t write with the sole intention to please the masses. But support from 1,000’s for every 1 dissenter gives you some deserved sense of pride in whatever it is that you’re try to express. No artist should ever forget that or take it for granted.
Where can someone view your music?
http://www.djJounce.com which is where I have a lot of free downloads. Or connect with me via Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Soundcloud, Twitter, Snapchat and all my other social media are @djJounce. I try to respond to all direct messages and as many comments as possible. Or text me (424) 2-JOUNCE to chat. I love chatting with total strangers!
What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJ’s making? And what advice would you give to aspiring DJ’s?
Do not rely on the crutch of technology. Listen and understand what you’re doing because it’s much more than just syncing the tempo of songs. And I think if you really want to stand out, you have to do more than just DJ. Learn music theory and production. Make your own music because that’s something no one else can take from you.
Any last words?
Just want to thank anyone who’s supported me, either at a show, buying a track, or just a simple Like on social media. Music is my passion and I feel very blessed to be able to do what I love. I look forward to connecting with more people around the world. Thank you Modern Retro!