We speak to Daniela La Luz about her influences, creative process and more!
Daniela is known for her distinctive and ever developing sound which has caught the interest of DJs and listeners worldwide. Recently we had the chance to ask her a few questions about how it comes to life. Check out the interview below!
Who are some of your favourite artists and why?
That’s a hard question because I’ve listened to a lot of different kinds of music since my early childhood. I won't be able to mention everyone, but other than a whole variety of electronic music (I like every genre of it) here are a few artists that I find remarkable:
Björk, because she keeps on pushing it to the next level and I listened to her albums so much in my youth. Nirvana, who are timeless. The first three No Doubt albums, Portishead, DJ Shadow, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Erika Badhu, Cypress Hill, Wu Tang Clan, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Janis Joplin, Abba, Boney M., Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Breakout, the early Maryla Rodowicz, the early albums of Budka Suflera, Kraftwerk, Cypress Hill, Fiona Apple and of course the first music ever that I fell in love with when I was three years old; the Polish ensemble Mazowsze!
Along with this, I love Polish and American jazz and other diverse native, folklore groups from all over the world, I adore world music.
I also enjoy classic music like Frederyk Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Operas; but also wave, punk, metal, R&B, Psychedelic, Cosmic etc.
I discovered most of this by listening to the radio or from compilations that I borrowed in the library, where I found a lot of great artists from various genres (Funk, Soul, Hip-Hop, Rap, Jazz, Techno, Blues, Reggae, Ragga, House, Dub, Experimental, Drum n bass, Electro, Trip-Hop, Ambient, Hardcore, Trance, Schlager and Oldies).
How did you get involved in DJing?
I wouldn’t really call myself a DJ, as I don’t do it on a regular basis and it´s not my first passion. At the moment I´m a live act in the electronic house and techno world and I´ve spent years in bands as singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist.
I had a short DJ career from 1999-2001, where I mostly played at parties organized by friends or at school - I played a mixture of ambient, house and techno. After that, I got a couple of gigs in some clubs in Munich, where I was booked for my drum n bass sets. At one gig I was asked to play in South Africa, but I’d just started my first band and stepped out of DJing again. I needed to spend time investigating different styles of music.
I wasn’t even able to beat-match, since I didn’t know any DJ´s... But somehow nobody noticed it! Apparently I had a knack for making it sound smooth...
At the end of the nineties, I started buying records and I still buy vinyl; maybe one day I will return to the decks.
Like I said, I´m a producer and I love playing live and sharing my own music with the world, since that’s my absolute passion, I always try to push to express myself using all of my skills when I can.
When and how did you first start writing your own music?
I moved out from home when I was 16. Right away, I bought my first guitar and wrote my first songs, it was like therapy for myself.
I started producing electronic music in 2007/2008.
What’s your studio setup like? What soft/hardware do you use?
At the moment I´m working with Ableton along with some hardwardware (Micro KORG, Korg Volca Drums, Korg Volca Bass, Xoxox, Roland VT3 voice transformer, a microphone, a tape deck and some midi controllers).
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process?
I find inspiration in everything. In my own everyday life, in the lives of others, in pleasure and pain, in a movie, a noise, a book, while traveling and especially in nature. By going through the world with open eyes.
Last but not least, I think limitation pushes creativity. It’s good to not have too much stuff at home, so I use what’s there and do some improvising if I cannot reach the sound I had in my head. When you work that way, magic things happen from time to time.
How do you typically begin to put your tracks together?
I work at home. When an idea strikes, it´s very important to me to be able to catch it right away before I forget it. Sometimes I’ll even finish it the same day, as long as my flow is alive.
Often the idea for a track comes from a vocal that I build the rest around. Other times I just sit down, because I’m in the mood to make some music and then anything can happen. From house, to techno, to acid, disco, trip-hop or downtempo. Sometimes I start with the kick drum, or a melody, or even bird sounds that I recorded. I never really follow a concrete pattern.
How do you see your sound developing over the next few years?
I think I’ll definitely EQ more. Although I love the roughness of some of my chicago house productions, I’d love to make my sound a bit phatter for some of my newer productions.
Since 2008 I’ve been drawn very close to the house and techno scene, where a lot of people work alone. I want to push my other music projects as well, which have been lying in the drawer for a couple of years, waiting for day X. l also want to collaborate with other musicians, like when I played in bands. For some reason I miss that.
Soon, I’m launching my second label, which will only release my own work. This will have a big impact on my freedom because I’ll be able to release whatever I want from my productions over the last 7 years.
Could you tell us about one of your proudest achievements as an artist?
One huge achievement was in 2010 when I won a Qwarz 6 Electronic Music Award for my track ‘Elle Routine’. At the gala evening in Paris I was alongside Laurie Anderson, Gudrun Gut, Alejandro Jodorowsky, the family of Pierre Schaeffer, Apparat and many other great artists. At the time I received the award I must confess that I didn’t know all of these names, as I was new to the electronic music scene. But now of course I do and it was an honor.
Moodymann loves my track ‘Did You Ever’ (from the album pre-sampler "Counting Days") and he chose it as the closing track for his mix CD on DJ kicks, released by K7. That really means alot to me and I’m super happy that he´s playing it out to the world.
Another very important personal achievement is calling myself an artist when I look into the mirror. Although I was obsessed for many years with making music, I never saw myself as an artist. Although I’m my own harshest critic and I’m almost never 100% satisfied with my work, I respect myself and that gives a lot of freedom to my soul.
Your label Parallel Berlin is vinyl only. What made you decide this?
The music market is huge at the moment and we want to spread quality instead of quantity. Everybody that likes our music and really believes in the sustainable side of it should buy the record and support the whole working process behind it, as well as all the people that were involved in the release.
Why do think it’s so important to keep the vinyl format alive?
Simply because it’s sustainable. More than a tape, more than a cd and especially more than a wav file or mp3. If the electricity ever stops working, I can still play that vinyl with a gramophone.
What can we expect from you and from Parallel Berlin over the rest of 2016?
My first release ‘Foreverness’ was successful and the second release is at the pressing plant at the moment. The second release will be by our artist B.E.F. and will be a more techno orientated record. It will available soon in pre-sales, so make sure that you get a copy. The third release is also getting compiled at the moment.
We’re also still running our bi-monthly ‘Parallel Universe’ and ‘Planet Parallel’ events in Berlin. The next one is on the 9th of september with our Parallel gang and the headliners D´Marc Cantu and Andrea from Llian Tape.
For myself, as I mentioned already earlier, I’m very excited to be launching my second label for my own work. I’m currently putting together the first and second record and I’m hoping that they’ll be out before the end of the year.
Along with that, another EP of mine will be released on CHIWAX soon, with a slight old school and acid approach, I’m looking forward to that!
I should also mention that although my second album ‘Counting Days’ was released this year, I’m already working on the next one and that’s very exciting for me as well, because I’m leaving the classic house approach behind.
You can stay up to date with Daniela's releases, gigs and more on her Facebook page