Interview: Danny Howard Talks His Show With Paul Oakenfold, Crossing Pacha Off His Bucket List And More


Dance music producer-DJ and newly appointed Sirius XM radio host, Danny Howard is crossing the pond from the UK to NYC this week. He’ll be landing at Pacha NYC, Friday (January 9) where Howard will take to the decks with fellow British DJ luminary, Paul Oakenfold, and subsequently cross an item off his bucket list. We sat Howard down to find out what makes his live set just the energy boost you’ve been craving this winter and why Oakenfold better keep a close eye on his rider Friday night at the club.

VIBE: On your Facebook page you described performing at Pacha NYC as being a “massive dream come true”, what other dreams are on your bucket list?
Danny Howard: I’m in a position where over the last two years I’ve surpassed myself in terms of what I can dream up as a lifetime goal or objective. I’m a realist and always take into consideration what is actually achievable which is why I still can’t get my head around all these amazing places I’m getting to play. It’s incredible and now, it has made me believe that what ever you want to do, if you work hard…you can do it! My next dream would be to play a major festival in America such as EDC, Ultra or TomorrowWorld.

What makes your shows/sound different to other “EDM” artists?
We’re in a dance music world where so much music is sounding the like for like right now. A lot of EDM artist are playing the same tunes, same vocals, same style, which just gets boring, right? Musically, I was first into straight-up house music (think Morillo, Sanchez, Morales plus other legends of that ilk) and then moved onto the Progressive/Electro sound (think Steve Angello, Laidback Luke, Deadmau5) but then I like everything in between including tech house, techno as well as alternative stuff. What I’m trying to say is I love all music across the dance music spectrum and I like to cover it all. I’m more known for playing the big room side of house in my sets, which I enjoy, simply because of the energy it brings but I also have a tendency to delve in different directions to keep it interesting.

How does someone with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science end up as a DJ/Radio host?
I wish I could answer that same question to myself. I have always loved music and had an interest in becoming a DJ but I never in a million years imagined I would get an opportunity like this! It’s absolutely crazy but I’m loving every minute and working hard to progress and continue.

How did your new radio show with Sirius XM come about?
Paul Oakenfold (who is part of my management team) first put me on their radar that led them to check out my show on BBC Radio 1. It was a few months in talks but finally I got to air and now I love delivering one hour of the biggest Dance and EDM (representing the UK) every Saturday night at 8pm (EST).

How does your new radio show compare to working on BBC Radio 1 Dance Anthems?
For a start my BBC show is always live (except for this week during my visit to New York) so I have instant interaction with listeners, plus it’s a 3 hour show so I get more freedom to experiment with different sounds and genres.
However, the great thing about the Sirius show is that every single track is a winner due to the fact I only have an hour to showcase my favorite tunes that week. I also do a ‘Deep Mix’ section in the SiriusXM show which always gets a great reaction…Deep & Tech house is becoming increasingly more popular on a worldwide scale.

What inspires your beats?
Tough question! Inspiration can come from anything. Any sound, any style, any producer… It all comes down to mood and having that connection to spark an idea at the right moment. As a producer and DJ, I believe you have to be open-minded and actively explore other areas of music. That’s what will keep our dance music alive for years to come.

You tweeted about David Beckham stealing your seat at a Manchester United soccer match recently, how did that happen?
He didn’t physically come and ask me to move but on Twitter I made it out to be quite literal. I was invited into a box at Old Trafford owned by music mogul Simon Fuller (which was nice) and I was really excited but I received an e-mail the week before saying that he’d now invited David Beckham. Honestly, if there’s someone you don’t mind giving up your seat for, it’s the world’s most famous soccer legend. I’d like to add that Manchester United did go on to lose that match…I could have saved him a wasted journey.

What are you looking forward to most about spinning with Oakenfold?
Apart from stealing his rider… It’s always a good night when Paul’s in town. I’ve known him a few years now and he’s also part of my management team (did I mention that already?!) so it’s always good to get advice and guidance of one of the world’s most legendary DJs.

Any crazy fan stories?
No but I had my first bra thrown at me on stage on Boxing Day which was weirdly satisfying! Not in a perverted way but in a way that made me feel a little bit ‘Rock Star’ for one tiny second. During the same set 10 minutes later, a glass also flew past my right ear…I’m guessing she had no knickers on.