Dan features on Hed Kandi's latest compilation Back To Disco. Click here to Listen / Buy
For any Hed Kandi fans out there who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing your work yet, who is Dan Clare, where are you from and how long have you been doing this for?
I have only been making music under the name Dan Clare for the past year. I had been producing for roughly 5 years before this, but I decided to considerably switch up my style, and with this came the name change! I bagged my first release, 'Dirty Touch' alongside an artist called Varski, in May '10 on Noiseporn Records. Since then, the support for my music has increased tenfold. Chances are you've heard one of my remixes on the Radio or in the Club!
Your remix of Candi Staton’s ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and Stacy Lattisaw’s ‘Jump To The Beat’ features on the latest Hed Kandi compilation ‘Back To Disco’. What role has disco played on your music career and who are the artists that have influenced you the most?
Disco and House music really do go hand in hand. I like artists such as the SOS band, from the funk side of Disco too, the more Classic disco artists such as Donna Summer and The Trammps. I guess the most obvious influence Disco has had on my music is that I love people to dance when they hear it. This recent return of Disco in its various forms is refreshing!
Your remix certainly has us jumping to the beat! What was the inspiration behind your modern take on these disco classics?
I love stripping a remix down to its bare original for a minute or so and let it breathe before I throw in my take on it. The choppy style I employ on the drops is something that has worked well for me recently in my productions. It seems to be doing ok, so I thought I’d see what the Hed Kandi fans made of it!
People are probably more aware of the work you’ve done with tracks from Duffy, Adele and Cee-lo Green, but what genres of music do you like working with the most?
If I’m to choose the song I remix I like it to have a lot of Soul. I then take it, chop it up beyond recognition and delicately place it back together. Kind of like a puzzle I suppose!
Did you start in the industry by DJ’ing and then turn to production or was it the other way around?
I was at University, turned the tender age of 18 and got my first gig at a club soon after. I had done basic production before that, but it seems that the more serious my DJing got, the more serious my productions got. I studied a Sound Engineering degree so much of my time there was also spent shaping my skills as an engineer and producer.
What’s the best party you’ve ever played at and why?
I love the student crowd. Some of my favourite gigs have been to huge student crowds who are there for a good time without the attitude. My best party was probably one of my first experiences DJing to a big room. I played several tracks in the main room at Gatecrasher Nottingham when I was relatively new to DJing and it spurred me on to work harder and inspired me to delve more into the production side of things.
If there was an opportunity for you to work with any artist (dead or alive) in the music industry, who would it be and why?
In terms of vocalists it would have to be the great Stevie Wonder. The man has so much soul! In terms of House music, Amanda Wilson (The Freemasons) seems to have the ability to churn out hits; I would love to work on a track with her. A lot of my other artists on my wish list are from Hip hop backgrounds, from producers such as the Neptunes, artists like the Roots, to the UKs very own Kano.
Following the success of your collaboration with Varski on the Swedish House Mafia track ‘One’ – Are there any further plans to collaborate with more artists or do you prefer bringing your own thing?
Yeah I have been doing tracks with Varski for a long time now. We have a good connection musically and tend to throw ideas back and forth until there right. We’re still working on material now and will be bringing out various tracks in the future. I will be bringing out two songs in the near future with a producer called 'R3WIRE'. We have a quirky track called 'Mink, Schmink' doing the rounds now and a track with a massive sound to it that were looking for a home for. Think Swedish House Mafia... on steroids!
Remixing vs. original compositions. Which is your favourite?
I love to remix others tracks, but I hate having my originals remixed by others. It’s a strange situation; hopefully I’ll get over it soon! I think that I'm more creative when I Remix, however nothing can beat an original that you can call entirely your own work.
Name your top 3 pieces of equipment / software plug-ins in your studio. On that matter, do you prefer in the box, out the box or a combination for your production?
It has to be a combination in my opinion. Even if it’s just a case of Mastering using outboard equipment. Saying that, Hardware can be expensive when you compare it to an 'In the box' home studio. Currently a lot of my production is 'In the box', within Logic. Some soft-synths I’m favouring recently are Korg M1, Sylenth1 and Massive. I'll then make sure it’s mixed and mastered using outboard compressors and the like, helps to find that balance of digital and analogue.
Who do you think is really producing great music at the moment and who is your tip for stardom in 2011?
I would look out for my fellow up and coming remixers, guys like Liam Keegan and Ben Corker (Funk3d). There’s a guy from the states too called Mord Fustang, very talented.
Have you got any exciting plans for 2011?
Lots! Many releases and exciting plans in the next few months!
What was the last track played on your iPod?
The new master of my track with R3WIRE - 'Mink, Schmink!' Go have a sneaky listen on your favourite Video search engine!
Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?
Hopefully somewhere with some shiny sales plaques on my walls.
If you weren’t in the music industry and had to choose one of the following career paths, which would you follow and why? Professional Footballer, a Wine Expert or a Taxi Driver?
Professional Footballer... Childhood dream!
Apple or Blackberry?
Apple hands down.