A Traxsource Q & A with Danny J. Lewis

 

From writing, producing and engineering his expertise has qualified his position as a well-respected member of the UK’s Dance Music making community. The biggest and most successful Spiritual South hit ‘Green Gold’ to recent remixes of Gecko Turner and Local 12 along with his huge hit ‘Ballistica!’ J.Lewis sampled ”Secret Love” by Danni’elle Gaha on his huge club hit ”Spend The Night” (1998), which was also a UK chart hit single. Danny has forged a credible but accessible club sound that is now in great demand. Shaking up a vibrant cocktail of world influenced rhythms with bleeding edge sonic technologies his unique flavour is to be found in the crates of many respected industry players alike. Danny Lewis has been at both the forefront and behind the scenes of many cutting edge productions and remixes, recording for labels such as Defected, Ministry Of Sound, Afroart Records,  XL Recordings, Bitasweet, Coopr8, Lovemonk, XL Recordings and many others. His is currently signed to 4th Floor/Defected Records and runs his own record label, Enzyme Black Recordings. His is also a Part Time lecturer in Sound Design and Production Skills at an award winning college Point Blank. Danny J. Lewis latest projects include a co-write of Ben Westbeech’s 2011 summer hit single “Something for the Weekend” as well as a new release on Soulfuric Trax titled “The Box”. The worlds largest underground music download store www.traxsource.com go outside ‘The Box’ with Danny J. Lewis for a ten minute quiz.

Traxsource: Hi Danny, where are you and how do you feel?

Danny J. Lewis: I’m at the Point Blank Online development studio in Hoxton, London and i’m feeling good thanks, very excited about the new release on Soulfuric Trax. With releases already on Strictly Rhythm, Defected, 4th Floor and others I had a big ‘Soulfuric’ tick box to fill in order to complete my ‘legendary labels i’ve released music on’ CV section 😉 I’ve got a ton of respect for the label – always have had and it’s an honour to be part of the discography now.

Traxsource: Tell us bout how you got started producing music, it sure seems you have a long discography?

Danny J. Lewis: Yeah, it’s been a while. I started learning in 1991, teaching myself the basics and making a right mess of it using an Atari and a Roland W30. It took me a long time to get to a good level, it was far harder to learn the craft in those days! I’m still learning too, apparently it takes 10,000 hours to truly master a skill!

Traxsource: You have many aliases, Can you list some lesser known projects you’re proud of?

Danny J. Lewis: As Hubert Hudson vs Jinadu ‘Ajanis Boast’ on Arthrob Records in the late 90s – big favourite of mine – in fact Orin (Afronaught/Bugz in the Attic) once told me that it was an influence for him with the Alison David ‘Dreams’ track. Very proud of the track ‘Green Gold’ I produced as part of Spiritual South too – hearing Kenny and Louie dropping two copies of it and looping/re-editing it live at a Soul Heaven party was mind blowing! ”

Traxsource: I think a lot of people do not realize you Co-Wrote and Produced the Ben Westbeach single “Something for the Weekend” which was very big on Traxsource, how did that make you feel?

Really pleased, it was incredibly well received wherever I heard it performed. It was great to see Ben sing it live several times and with his complete band at the album launch party. Ben’s a very talented guy and I think his next album project will be something special – he’s really coming to the fore as a producer himself with his own vibe. The Breach stuff is heavyweight.. proper UK styled futuristic club music.

Traxsource: You are well known as a key figure at Point Blank Recording Studios in London, how did that come about… and what do you do ?

Danny J.Lewis: I was teaching music production at the college for them for over 8 years and got into the whole video tutorial thing as a means of spreading knowledge on a global scale. The online side of the Point Blank business started growing so I was drafted in to head up the development of the courses and that’s what I do now. I spend my days creating music projects to use as examples, creating sounds and effects and making videos to demonstrate how I’ve done it all. This helps students to learn the ropes quickly – far more so than it would have been back in the day! If I could have taken courses like these when I started out I would be a millionaire by now!! Teaching yourself takes ages! years!

Traxsource: After watching some of your online videos – it’s clear you are a studio animal… Were you always this way?

Danny J Lewis: Yeah, I’ve always been relentless in my quest for knowledge and personal development. Many failed relationships will be the result of that! I’m a lot calmer in my old age though – I’m lucky that my day job includes research and development of new techniques that I can share with others, this satisfies the studio monster within!

Traxsource: The big question, Mac or PC lol?

Danny J. Lewis: Sorry but it’s gotta be Mac. Ironically though I use a windows 7 phone and i’m interested to check out Windows 8 on a tablet, just not sure I could trust a desktop/laptop.

Traxsource: Tell us what are your favorite software programs to use in the studio?

Danny J. Lewis: I’m sequencer schizophrenic to be honest, mainly because of my point blank work… I love Cubase, Ableton AND Logic… just depends on my mood – each one has its strengths and weaknesses also.

Traxsource: Tell us about your new release on Soulfuric Trax – “The Box”?

Danny J. Lewis: I spent many long nights at the Ministry of Sound in the 90s and the main room “The Box” became pretty much a home for me. That original system used to warm up at about 6am, becoming a wild monster and it was then that tunes like Jaydee Plastic Dreams and Xpress 2 Music Xpress were played; I just wanted to capture the essence of that time but bring it bang up to date with some modern textures. For me it’s the best of the old and the new and sounds truly devastating out 😉

Traxsource: Tell us something we don’t know about yourself…

Danny J. Lewis: It’s a little known but true fact that I can jump out of my dreams (handy in nightmares) and sometimes back in again (the lottery winning ones) when asleep 😉

Check out digital releases by Danny J. Lewis on: http://www.traxsource.com/index.php?act=search&ss=Danny+J.+Lewis+&sc=artists