zondag 23 mei 2021

Interview met Daytona Dreaming

Daytona Dreaming is een van oorsprong Deense synthwave producer, die al jaren in Dubai woont. Vanuit deze plaats maakt Daytona Dreaming nieuwe muziek en draagt hij zijn steentje bij aan de lokale synthwave scène. Zijn nieuwste single Electric Voyager is recentelijk uitgekomen op het Italiaanse label RetroReverbRecords. Tijd voor een kennismaking, tijd voor een interview!

Daytona Dreaming is originally a Danish synthwave producer, who lives in Dubai for many years. From this place Daytona Dreaming makes new music and contributes to the local synthwave scene. His latest single Electric Voyager has recently been released on the Italian label RetroReverbRecords. So time for an introduction, time for an interview!

Daytona Dreaming

Daytona Dreaming can you please introduce yourself?
Hi there! I am synthwave artist based in Dubai. I am originally from Copenhagen, Denmark but have lived in Dubai for about 8 years now. I started making electronic music back in the ´80s as a teenager on an Amiga 500 and the Atari ST, and I had a couple synths as well, the most fancy one being the ESQ1. It wasn’t any good though and it was too hard to make anything that sounded nearly as good as what is possible today. But my enthusiasm for synths and electronic music has stayed with me and I have been involved in music production on and off since then. The synth music that I grew up with has always had a special place in my heart, and a couple of years back I decided I wanted to start creating that music again, and become part of the synthwave scene. Before I joined the RRR team, I was part of a synthwave collective here in Dubai called Trespasser Audio. There is not much left of it, but we managed to support each other and promote each other for quite a while.

Your latest track “Electric Voyager” released this month on RetroReverbRecords. What was the idea behind the track?
The intro part and the A piece had been lying around for a while, when I finally decided to try to make a complete track of it. For some reason that part reminded me of old NASA-USSR space flight documentaries and I decided I would use that as an inspiration. From that came the sort of more ‘triumphant’ sounding B piece. The track was originally called Endless Voyager, but while recording it, my Roland JX-3P started sending electric current through the casing to the point where it was quite painful. So I renamed the track ‘Electric Voyager’ and added the sound effects in the breakdown to resemble electricity.

Can you share some of your plans for this year for us?
Right now I am working on an EP which will lead to a full album later in the year. The EP is based around a concept where ‘Mona Daytona’ (the foxy lady on the Electric Voyager cover) will be the main character. I am also trying to incorporate some more ‘orchestral’ or ‘cinematic’ elements into my music without losing the ‘synthwave’ focus.

When was your first encounter with synthwave music?
If you ignore the ´80s synth music I grew up with, it would probably be while watching Drive around the time it came out. Nicolas belonged to a group of now famous Danish producers who made some really interesting movies, and I used to watch them all. The music immediately resonated with me, having been a big fan of synth music since my childhood.

Who are your influences?
There are quite a few. I grew up in a very musical family, and particularly my dad is very passionate about music. So I grew up as a kid in the mid-70s hearing early Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, the first Jean-Michel Jarre albums and a lot of other experimental stuff that came out at that time. For some reason the sound of synths resonated with me very deeply, and by the time I entered my teens the whole synth-pop explosion happened…I feel very fortunate!. I got into all the stuff with Depeche Mode probably being my biggest inspiration. These guys were really ground-breaking back then and at the forefront of electronic music. But also some of the harder industrial acts such as Front 242, Frontline Assembly, Nitzer EBB has meant a lot to me. Gary Numan and some of Vince Clarke’s stuff was great as well.

You live in Dubai. How is the synthwave scene in this city?
What Synthwave Scene?...if there is one, I haven’t found it yet. That’s a bit of a joke by the way. Of course there are people here that are into the scene, but there is no real community around it. The main electronic scene here is more focused on House, EDM and Lounge/Chill stuff, which is why I am trying to be a bit of an Ambassador for the genre. We got everything here to make the scene thrive, including a pretty ‘futuristic’ looking backdrop, fancy cars and a vibrating club scene. I would love to set up a synthwave event here but I guess we need to get to the other side of the pandemic first.

Dubai (picture by Daytona Dreaming)

If you can mention one artist/producer to make a track together, who would that be?
Wow...that is a hard question. I already mentioned a few acts that had a big impact on me so they would be obvious candidates but also very unlikely. I would love to work with a vocalist or a couple of vocalists from within the genre, as I got an ever increasing number of tracks that I think would sound great with vocals.

When you start on a track, how do you usually start?
It depends. I do not have a set way of making a track, and try on purpose not to follow too much of a formula so as to not repeat myself. But what usually happens is that when I have a musical idea or chord sequence, I tend to quite quickly work out what part that should belong to in track, and from there I map out the entire track structure in my DAW. I got sort of 4 basic song templates that I apply depending on the musical ideas I got and each has a couple of ‘operational rules’ associated with them. For example, If I got a really great sounding intro, I will use that again in the break down. If I use the same chord structure throughout the track, I will try to introduce some variation such as a solo part or mid-8 with another chord structure after the breakdown. If I follow a more a traditional A/B pop-structure, I will probably add some form of interlude rather than a breakdown. Most importantly, I am always looking for contrasts between my sections and I always attempt to do things a bit differently from the last time.

What is your favourite movie of the ´80s and why?
Well, I have always been a huge Star Wars fan, so the first trilogy would probably be at the top. I would love to make an album that sounds, like those movies looked. Don’t know if that makes sense. Of course Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s fire and a lot of the ‘brat pack’ movies have quite a nostalgic value to me as well.

And finally, any last words to the synthwave community?
Now and again you hear people say that synthwave is dead. I think that’s a load of tosh. I think the scene is a lot more exciting today than it was a couple of years ago, and there are so many sub-genres emerging, and a lot vocal-led music as well that is really great. I think the enthusiasm and the energy of the fans is deeply inspiring, and it places a responsibility on us artists to keep pushing the genre forward so it can stay relevant and vibrant. I think the biggest challenge is to find a balance between being inspired by the past and then creating something new and original.

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