Where are you currently based?
I am based between Barcelona, London, Newcastle, Andorra & Ibiza.
How did you first start playing music/producing?
First DJed (as a cheesy pub DJ with pop music and a microphone) from 1997, then started DJing house music from 1999/2000. I started in 2003 in a production duo. Then started releasing and producing on my own since 2006/7. Then the rest is history really. Evolved ever since.
How has your Lockdown experience been so far?
Frustrating & annoying. Lots of changes in my personal life, not the same amount of time to make music as I have a small daughter so she requires more time with no schools or nanny’s an option. Love spending time with her, she is the world but I also like to lose myself in my music as it helps to relax me. I also can’t wait to get back to DJing.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I have actually been revisiting albums from the likes of Fatboy Slim, UNKLE, The Who, Fleetwood Mac and others. Plus I listen to new music daily via my labels 33 Music & 1980 Recordings.
Please describe your production process:
Sit down. Open Logic. Open a starting template I have set up. Get a beat going. Maybe use a sample to get inspiration (I don’t always end with that sample in it). Then add a bassline. And a synth line. Maybe add vocals. Then arrange. Send it off for mastering. Plus always keep hydrated while I work.
What programs/equipment do you use?
Logic X. UAD Apollo Twin. Waves Plugins. Fab Filter Plugins and many other plugins & softsynths. Access Virus TI Snow.
How are you staying creative during lockdown? Any tips for other artists to assist with stay inspired and creative?
Well if you look at my answer above, the creative side has taken a knock with not having enough time. For me I usually finish a track a week that is release ready but I have finished one track over the last 6 weeks. Frustrating.
My advice would be if you don’t have the distraction of children make as much music as you can. Don’t rush the finished production. And don’t rush to sign them, they are only old to you at the end of the day. The other day I sent an email to a person who sent me some demos. This was the 5th or 6th email in about 2 weeks of new music. Some of them had good ideas but some of them needed to be finished. Take your time and make that one demo/release ready track a week sound the best it can rather than dilute and make 7 ok/average tracks.
How are you coping mentally during lockdown?
Not going to lie, it’s been tough. Trying to remain positive. I am quite a strong positive person in general, yes I like to be grumpy just like any other Englishman ha but in general I try to stay positive. Not like a happy smiley positive in your face but try to see the positives in situations for the better. Being locked in the house with a child and partner and no escape is hard for a social person who is a DJ.
What advice would you give for others to help with the mental strain caused during this period?
Talk to people, talk to your parents, talk talk talk. It really is good to talk and get stuff off your chest. Talk. Don’t keep it all to yourself. That never turns out good.
Your EP ‘Dance’ is out on 8th May, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this EP?
The influence was the vocals. I worked on another track with King Hitz & Paul Browne (the lyric writer), called Cake which was signed to EDX’s label Pinkstar Black. Paul said he had this accapella, so he sent it to me. I loved it. I wanted to do something cool with it but not ’too commercial’. I think I have made it have that accessible radio vibe but still making it cool and underground.
Where and when did you record/produce it?
I produced this one in Barcelona in January 2019. I then sat on it, revisited and had it finished in Feb 2019. I did the usual send to larger independant labels then decided to get a good set of remixes and release myself as the offers I had for it from labels were shocking.
What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the creation of ‘Dance’?
Nothing really challenging. I just wanted to not over do it and make it cheesy. Keep it with that underground vibe. Which I did. So I guess that was rewarding.
You have a proposed stream set to run on 1st May with artists across your own labels 1980 Recordings and 33 Music running over 14 hours, how did this concept come about and what can we expect?
I saw the likes of Beatport & Defected doing this and they seemed great and what better oppitunity to raise money for charity and showcase the talent I have been working with over the years on both labels. You will have a plethora of genres from funk, disco, soul to house, deep, & tech to techno. It really does have it all.
What’s planned for 2020?
More releases across both labels, some rather large ones on 33 Music. More live streams, I have a taste for it now. I currently do one every Friday around 15.00h (GMT)/16.00h (CEST) and let me followers on IG (@danmckiedj) vote for which genre they want to hear. Then use mine & my labels catalogues to make the mixes live. We Are Live.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I have a bar in Barcelona which is my favourite to go sink a few caña with mates but I don’t want to name it as it might get ruined ha. My favourite food is for sure Curry.
Dan McKie’s ‘Dance’ is out on 8th May and is available via Beatport