Danny Felix’s rodeo has spanned nearly two decades — but it’s only been in recent years that he gotten long-overdue exposure in the music industry, guiding some of Natanael Cano’s earlier hits, collaborating with Karol G, and ultimately landing on the Billboard charts.
“I’ve been producing music since I was 17,” the 29-year-old Phoenix-based artist tells Billboard. “At that age, I did more than 100 songs, easily, for local artists.”
His passion for music, however, traces back to when he was 10 years old, thanks to his musically driven family. His father, brother, and uncles had a local band in the early 2000s, inspiring the now-singer/songwriter/producer to follow the same path.
“It’s crazy because they never did it professionally but their talent was in the blood,” he says, adding that he too never envisioned himself as a big music star. “I would just do this as a hobby,” he admits.
But learning how to play various instruments, produce his own music, and pen his own lyrics came naturally to Felix, who got his first big opportunity in 2013 on Luis Coronel’s “Dime Que Te Paso” and soon after kicked off his career alongside Cano.
“I produced Natanael’s first-ever recorded songs when he was only 14,” he recalls. “We always kept in touch and that’s how I later produced his remix with Bad Bunny on ‘Soy El Diablo.’ I’m so proud of the sound that I created with him.”
A newfound regional Urban sound, which he says, was born purely from experimenting at his home studio.
“I was doing things that no one did at the time, like English songs in sierreño and adding beats to cumbia songs,” he notes, crediting artists such as Eminem, Dr. Dre, Reik, and Romeo Santos, for inspiring his style.
Dubbed as one of the pioneers of the trap corridos movement, Felix’s edgy traditional-meets-modern fusions can be heard on his Vuelve album, and more so his innovative “Mariachi Tumbado” featuring Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, which entered both Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay chart and Latin Airplay this year.
Now, he’s being discovered by new fans after teaming up with Karol G on her first-ever corrido, “200 Copas” (off her KG0516 album), and joining her on stage in key performances. He explains that Colombian hitmaker Ovy On the Drums reached out to him via direct message, and that in two days he had all the lead guitars and bass ready.
“I feel unstoppable,” he proudly states. “I don’t have to do tumbados all the time. I can always return to traditional regional music and from there, create new things.”
Learn more about this week’s Latin Artist on the Rise below:
Full name: Daniel “Danny” Felix
Recommended Song: “Mariachi Tumbado” featuring Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan
Major Accomplishment: “I’ve always said it’s been able to take regional and traditional guitars to Puerto Rico with Bad Bunny and Colombia with Karol G.”
What’s Next: “My new EP drops next month. After that, I’m going to release a duet project with OG artists such as Miguel y Miguel and Los Cuates de Sinaloa, who are pioneers of 12-string guitars in Regional. Then I plan to go back to corrido tumbados.”