Like the Pilgrims before him, this Thanksgiving, one brave Brit will land on the American shores of the Atlantic: Danny Howard is bringing a new EDM radio show to SiriusXM. We asked Howard about the show, his influences and what it’s like to have Paul Oakenfold as one of his managers.
Billboard: As a DJ and producer with a pretty full schedule of gigs, remix duties, etc., what is it about radio that's still makes it a compelling format?
Danny Howard: It wasn’t until I started on BBC Radio 1 that I realized the power of radio. It’s quite a personal thing to a listener to be able to tune into their favorite station or show and hear new music and they feel they know the host personally as a result of listening regularly. That’s what makes it special, but from a host point of view, I don’t think there’s a better way to break new music and artists, at the same time as giving a flavor of your opinion on the latest tunes, than when you’re broadcasting to millions of listeners on the radio. There’s no platform that even comes close.
What can we expect to hear on your SiriusXM show? How will it differ from your Radio 1 show?
Because I’m representing the UK, the SiriusXM show will be a showcase of what’s going on in dance music this side of the water. I’ll be playing the best and biggest tunes that are killing it in the UK and in Europe.
What kind of challenges are you preparing for with your new American audiences (and their relatively new relationship with EDM)?
I guess the obvious one would be my accent! I think that once people get used to it and realize that it’s all about the music it’ll be fine though; EDM and Dance Music are so huge right now on a mainstream level that I welcome the challenge of being able to give America a snapshot insight into the UK scene, as well as introduce new artists and sounds that are coming in on the horizon.
Was there a pivotal record (or records) that got you into dance music as a kid? What got you hooked?
The early UK hard house scene was my first insight into the world of dance music (thanks to my older brother), but I never really connected with it as well as I did with the less aggressive, uplifting feel of “proper” house music! Early Axwell productions such as “I Found U” and Daft Punk’s “One More Time” stick in my mind as two records that really got me hooked.
Paul Oakenfold is your manager. What kind of career advice has he given you so far?
Yeah, it’s so surreal having Paul as part of my management team (the rest of the team includes Judge Jules and Barry Amphlett from Fresh Artiste Management). He’s such a legend around the world and was one of the first DJs to hold an EDM residency in Las Vegas. He was the first DJ to perform an Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 and one of the first DJs to play a stadium gig in the UK. This says a lot about his way of thinking: He’s an innovator, a creator and not afraid to try something new. This is the kind of advice he passes onto me when we’re discussing new ideas and with his huge global reputation and experience, he’s great to have as a mentor. I’m very lucky!
You're known to be a sports fan. Any American teams you'd like to show some support for?
Yes I love my football, or should I say “soccer?” I used to play a lot but don’t really get time anymore, I do still follow and support my teams Leeds United and Blackpool though. Yes, I have two teams! Ha! I’m not so familiar with American football or just sports in general over in the US so maybe it’s something I should get into whilst I’m over. Come back to me on this question next year.