Dan Mckie on His Latest Release, Mental Health and More
Ever-expressive and someone that relishes the emotional aspect of electronic music, Dan McKie has always been an artist with a genuine and enriching story to tell. The 1980 Recordings and 33 Music label boss has regularly been an industry centrepoint for pressing issues, down to first-hand experience and his broad creative palette.
Dan is an Ibiza, London, Barcelona & Andorra Resident that DJ’s and produces house and techno music across all of the 4×4 genres. He is someone that is well-respected by his industry peers for many reasons, and is often referred to as someone who is generally just good for the industry as a whole.
On the release of his latest record (‘Dance’ on his 1980 Recordings imprint), we caught up with Dan and got the chance to get to know him a little better. It’s not often you get to pick the brains of someone with a lot to offer on many levels; here’s how it went:
Hey Dan, thanks for joining us. Let’s kick it off with a question that we often hear asked by a lot of people in your position. Do you find it difficult to balance the label side of things as well as your own music pursuits?
“Good question. For sure 1980 Recordings took away my own musical pursuits but I think I have levelled that out now with 1980 Recordings being for talent mostly and the odd release from me, 33 Music being Dan McKie focused, be it a remix or original from me. So they are now complimenting my music pursuits.”
What has been the most difficult thing about being confined to your home during this pandemic?
“I’ve said this in a few interviews now, definitely the not being able to send our daughter to school and giving me and my girlfriend a break. It’s not only tough on us but also my daughter. I love her with all my heart but it’s nice to have some us & me time. Plus I haven’t been able to make music as much because of this and making music is a big release of emotions for me.”
What have you been doing to keep your mental health in check?
“Talking to family and friends regularly. It helps massively. Even the live streaming has helped too as interacting with other people is joyous.”
Do you think music can alter someone’s mental health? If so, how?
“For me, yes. If I am DJing I release emotions. If I am in the studio making music, remixing etc, I release emotions. I am sure I am not the only one.”
Tell us a little about both the labels that you run and what the vision is for both.
“1980 Recordings – This started to push my own productions and music I had signed. It then has developed over the years to more of a label to give talent a platform. It is currently doing this very well with charting releases on Beatport & Traxsource as well as stellar support on radio & big-name DJs.
33 Music – I had a vision and luckily I found the right partner in Xelon in Australia. We are always developing this vision but it is still keeping to the fundamental roots of the vision I had in mind. I wanted a new label platform for my own productions & sound. 33 Music is very Dan McKie focused. Every release is 2 tracks, either an original from me with a remix from producers I love the sound of and/or admire or a remix from me on an original from producers/music I love the sound of and/or I admire.”
What is the most surprising everyday item that has the biggest impact on your life?
“My Daughter. She changes every day.”
Talk us through your creative process? How do you turn your ideas into finished articles?
“Sit down. Open Logic. Open a starting template I have set up. Get a beat going. Maybe use a sample to get inspiration (I don’t always end with that sample in it). Then add a bassline. And a synth line. Maybe add vocals. Then arrange. Send it off for mastering. Plus always keep hydrated while I work.”
What is your favourite musical creation so far?
“Not sure I love quite a bit of the music I am releasing right now. I feel I have my sound, my production levels are much higher and polished now. Song For Baby D, Her, Ayahuasca and more. I will always be grateful for my past releases like Arabian Robot & Seven Nations Army as they broke a lot of doors down with Fatboy Slim including Arabian Robot on the Mixmag cover CD back in the day and more.”
When did you realise you wanted to be in music full time?
“I’ve always DJed since I was 17 in 1997. I then started making music with a friend in 2002 then went solo in 2007 and just carried it on. I was originally going to be a Photographer as that is what I am qualified in but fell into music and carried it on as I realised I was quite good at all sides of it from the business side, promoting and creative side.”
If you could offer people one piece of advice to protect their mental health and enrich their quality of life, what would it be?
“Take a break and talk to people. It’s simple but effective. Don’t build up emotions, have a chat and feel better.”
Insightful answers from one of the industries unsung heroes, who’s undeniably passionate about everything he does. Check out Dan’s latest release and grab a copy below: