Artist of the Week: Mischa DanielsMarch 19th, 2009
He owns two labels, remixed Sophie Ellis Bextor, released more than 10 originals and has been dj’ing for more than 15 years already. He’s got the right groovy house sound and skills to bring it to the masses. Need proof? Listen to tracks like ‘So Strong’, ‘Disconnected’, ‘Another Place’ and the upcoming De Nuit remake ‘All That Mattered’. Yes, ladies and gents, we’re talking about Mischa Daniels. With a brand new album coming up, it’s right about time to check up on one of Armada’s favourite house artists.
Are You Dreaming?
There was definitely a dream. And for Mischa, that one started off early, at the age of 12. Mischa: ‘When I was 12 years old I discovered electronic dance music because I heard older friends of mine playing these tracks as a DJ. So from that moment on I was sold and started to make and play my own music. You have to look at it like playing vinyl on a school party and not like doing a professional gig in some international club, haha. The reason I started this young was because the school had a special event organization run by students of the school. Obviously, I was one of them and that gave me access to the very professional equipment this organization had for their own use. So basically, I was playing on the school’s equipment every spare hour I had every day!’
Even though Mischa was caught by the beat in his early teenage years, he also realized that it took more than dreaming to realize a musical career. His DJ career has a swell kick-off, as he won a DJ contest on Dutch national radio being aged only 16, and Mischa saw his every weekend filled with bookings. But Mischa wouldn’t be the successful DJ he is nowadays if he did not have a back-up plan. He decided to start a real estate study at the university. Aged 22, he graduates. But he just couldn’t let go of the music. Mischa: ‘I first graduated in real estate development, which took me quite some time because I was so into the music already. But when I finished my study and got my diploma I was fully focused on making music and tried to DJ as much as possible. So I think I made the decision to go for music fulltime when I was 25/26, not that long ago.’ And a good decision it has been.
Mischa’s name was already settled as a DJ, the only thing missing was a strong position as a house producer as well. Luckily, it didn’t take long till that dream became reality as well. His first release, ‘Pumping Groover’, led to a list of housy, up-to-date tracks that now fill his discography. ‘So Strong’, released in 2005, was even chosen to be the official theme to Dutch dance festival Extrema Outdoor. Looking back upon that track, now makes Mischa realize the house sound has quickly changed over the past years. Mischa: ‘That was the last filtered house track I did. It was the 2005 theme song and this style was on its way out. People needed to hear new cool sounds. ‘ Nevertheless, it totally rocked the crowds at that time. But a short moment of success didn’t mean Mischa wasn’t keeping a close eye on what was hot or not. He’s seen several changes over the past 5 years. Mischa:’ Yes, it changed a lot. When I started with house music, it was basically filtered house music. So every house producer was seeking for rare unknown disco records from the past and try to sample some cool chords and fill it up with beats and sometimes a vocal. But it changed very rapidly end 2005, from that moment on filtered house was more or less ‘not done’ and producers started to create more electronic generated music. That’s the moment electro house was born, which is now more or less evolving into minimal at the moment.’
Take Me Higher
A different chapter in his career, is the one in which he plays the part of a label manager. In 2005, Armada Music snatched him up to start 2 new labels: Fame & Zouk Records. Why, one might wonder? Well, Mischa doesn’t know either. Mischa: ‘Good question. I guess the CEO of Armada Music and I were awfully drunk, because I can’t really remember this, hahaha! I do know that we were both very enthusiastic to go for the names and I also know that ZOUK stands for ‘make a party’.’ Always good to know big decisions are made in a very, very mature way. But in the end, the Fame and Zouk imprints have proven to be a big success and host some of the hottest house tracks available. Mischa: ‘The labels were and still are doing really great. It’s just that I have to create more of my own new tracks! This was my bad habit in 2007 and 2008. I only did 1 original track in 1,5 year. Can you imagine? So, luckily this year I am working on the album which will see the light pretty soon! Gigs are going well but I do block some dates now to create more music. I have so many ideas in my head, I need to create them now! I am working really hard to finish the album, with 12 new songs, as soon as possible.’ So stay tuned for more info on that hot item! Other interesting stuff, is that Mischa will be mixing the upcoming Pacha Summer Anthems 2009 album, with a release party on the lovely Bloomingdale beach in June.
All That Mattered
When it comes to remixes, Mischa has done a few legendary ones. And another one can be added to his list.The hot news reached us a few months ago: Mischa Daniels was asked to remix Sophie Ellis Bextor. In the meanwhile, the track called ‘Just Can’t Fight The Feeling’ has received the Mischa Daniëls treatment and transformed into a banging house cracker. Mischa: ‘The track will be released in April. What can I say’_it’s cool to remix such a major pop artist and her voice is golden. She has a very own sound. But I can add to this that I freshly remixed the new discovery of John Legend, she goes under the name Laura Izibor and she is doing a world tour with John Legend. This one will be released soon by Atlantic Records US.’ Plenty of exciting stuff coming up then.
At the moment, you’re able to enjoy Mischa’s remake of De Nuit’s big house classic ‘All That Mattered’. Mischa: ‘De Nuit’s ‘All That Mattered’ track was one of my favorite tracks back in the days. So I was very fortunate to use this vocal in association with De Nuit. At this moment the track already received huge support from the likes of Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, John Dahlback, Sander van Doorn and many more!’. We’ve got to admit, he’s done a fantastic job. More than 8 years after it first came out Mischa’s remake, with a steady beat, the shivering vocals and a hypnotizing synth on top, is about to break down the house and tear down the clubs. A promising track for the upcoming Mischa Daniëls album!
Mischa Daniels vs De Nuit
All That Mattered
Availabe now at Beatport