28-year-old Dutch trance DJ/producer David Gravell is perhaps one of the dance music industry’s most underrated DJs, but he’s got more up his sleeve than you can imagine.
It wasn’t too long ago that David released “Bulldozer”, a track that gained him a lot of support and plays, which contributed to his level of popularity in the dance music scene. Between then and now, he has released more than a handful of singles and official remixes, played at some major festivals around the world, and cinched a couple International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) nominations including “Best Breakthrough DJ”.
That having said, there are still lots to discover about this young music maestro. For instance, the name in which he performs under, David Gravell, isn’t his real name. His real name is Danny de Graaf. Learn something new every day!
Get to know David better via our exclusive interview below:
Hi David. Thanks for making time to do this for us. Where are you right now and what are you currently up to?
No problem at all! I really like interviews and to have a little chat about my music. At the moment, I’m in Amsterdam. I’m working on my new apartment and I’m trying to finish it in a few weeks so that I can move in 100%.
We’ve heard a couple of your tracks and your remixes have gotten good traction, but are you working on any material for an album anytime soon?
Actually, I’m working on my first album which..I don’t know when it’s coming out but I do have some tracks that I would love to see on the album. I’m working with vocalists for new vocal tracks. So yeah, basically I’ve finished a lot of new music for the rest of the year and a little bit for next year also. I think I have a name for the album but I’m not sure if I can say though. First, I’ll need to talk to all the guys who are involved with the album, then maybe I can say. I will ask the guys and I will let you know!
Haha, that’s great! So your new album is going to be out on Armada, right?
Yeah, it’s going to be out on Armada so probably next year for sure. Hopefully I can reveal something really soon about the album.
Does being an exclusively signed artiste mean that you’re pressured to live up to certain expectations, be it your own’s, your management’s, or your fans’?
I think that the main thing about being exclusive is that, in the end..they’re gonna work on your future for the next few years. And it’s a privilege to sign exclusively because you know, we’re gonna work on my future together – with the guys from Armada, my management, and everyone else who is involved. It’s about how you should do it. It’s all about yourself, and how you see your future, and how you wanna achieve those goals. If you work hard, everyone on the team will work hard together with you. I could’ve never dreamed of this when I first signed with Armada. I’m really happy at the moment.
You’ve played at some of the largest scale festivals in the world. Can you describe how it feels to be up in the console before a crowd of that size?
To be honest, in the beginning, I had to adjust myself because it wasn’t normal for me to stand in front of so many people. During my first few shows, I was really nervous and I was thinking about almost everything. For every show that I did, I prepared almost everything for the whole show. The only thing that I was worried about every time was something going wrong with the sound or the lights or the visuals. So I prepared everything and if something didn’t work, it wouldn’t be because I didn’t prepare well enough. Because of the way I did it, I became more stable (in doing shows). When I have everything prepared and if things don’t go as planned, then at least I’d take comfort in knowing that it isn’t because of something I didn’t do. I’ve since learned to be on stage in front of so many people. It was stressful, but now it’s all gone. I think once you do bigger an bigger shows, you get a little bit familiar with paying for so many people. It’s a good thing because in the end, you wanna give people a great show.
And on that note, you’re about to set sail in this November for It’s The Ship 2016. How are you planning your set for your first ever Asian festival cruise?
I love playing on that side of the world (Asia) and I love going back there every time. For every show, I try to do something a little bit different. For “It’s The Ship”, I have a lot of new music and of course, I’m going to play all my stuff that my fans know, but I’m also gonna do something new with stuff that they haven’t heard before. It’s going to be interesting, I think!
Your achievements include being voted for several IDMAs in the past. But as a DJ/producer, what does success truly mean to you?
Success, for me, means the work that I’m doing now – the travelling, seeing my fans, making everyone happy all around the world, making everyone feel free with my music. I think my biggest achievement is..being able to do what I love to do. I try to bring that to my fans’ lives with my music. It’s not money, it’s more like..being able to do this.
The #TranceFamily is arguably one of the strongest dance music communities in history of dance music. What is the #TranceFamily to you? What does it embody?
#TranceFamily is a name, but it says a lot of things! For me, I think #TranceFamily is..sharing the same love and the same things, like music. It brings people together. Like one big family. What I love about the whole thing is..these days, I can see more and more of them during shows. They all come out together to support the shows. I see my fans in the crowd but I also see one big family all holding up #TranceFamily flags and waving them in the air. It’s so nice to see. And it’s really cool.
In your own words, leave a shoutout and tell your fans why they need to go for It’s The Ship 2016.
Because I hear that it’s one helluva awesome thing to go to! I think it’s gonna be magical. I’ll be playing a show but I’ll also be bringing my friends..the other trance artistes are also coming. We’re gonna have a lot of fun! I can’t wait.
Thank you so much for the chat, David! We’ll be sure to hunt you down on “It’s The Ship” this November.
Haha that’s awesome! See you soon.
The 4D3N “It’s The Ship” festival cruise departs on the prestigious Royal Caribbean International cruiseliner, Mariner of the Seas, from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore on 4th November. It will then cross international waters on the straits of Malacca to the Pearl of the Orient, Penang, before returning to Singapore shores on 7th November.
Go here to book a cabin from as low as USD588 per person.