#028 – Danny Stephens

For our 28th guest mix, we welcome Darlington based DJ and producer DANNY STEPHENS to our happy family. Having spent the past couple of years procuring a style of house music that takes naughty basslines to a whole new level of naughtiness, we caught up with Danny about his origins, his debut release, and more. Enjoy!

File it under: Wobbly 4×4 business

Hello Danny. First of all, let’s say it’s a pleasure to have you featured on here. How are you doing?

I’m good thanks, and it’s a pleasure to be asked by you guys to do an exclusive mix.

What sort of musical atmosphere did you grow up in, were your family responsible for getting you into music or was it more your friends? Talk us through how you got into music…

Well my family certainly didn’t have anything to do with me getting into music! I grew up listening to my Mam’s Simply Red CDs haha. When I was about 13 I used to do a paper round, and one day when I went to collect my papers and noticed a DJ magazine on the shelf with a free Scratch Perverts CD on it. I picked up the magazine read a bit of it and later purchased it. I was fascinated by what I read in the magazine and heard on the CD, and so the next year at Christmas I got my first set of turntables and 17 years later here I am…..

Now, we know from your earlier days that you were very much into the jump up drum and bass a couple of years ago. What was it about jump up that got you into it?

Yeah when I met you guys in Newcastle a couple of years ago I was into the whole jump up scene, I was introduced to it by some friends I met a few years previously and we had gone to a few DnB raves together and I loved it. It was definitely the heavy basslines that got me hooked.

Then, of course, you’ve went from jump up to playing and producing quite bouncy, jacking house. Can you talk us through how you became interested in making and mixing house instead of jump up?

The thing you probably won’t know about me is that I’ve always loved house music, back in about 2009 I discovered and started to play fidget house, probably about the time I became a fully fledged bass head! Once that scene had died down I turned to dubstep, then jump up but I felt that the jump up scene in the North East isn’t anywhere near as strong as it is down south. I then stumbled upon and fell in love with bass house, I just hope that its not going to become popular and then die down as quickly as the fidget house scene did.

Having been a DJ for many years you’re now making strides as a producer. What made you decide to get into production in the first place?

Producing seems to be the best way to get noticed these days, so I thought I would give it a go and see what happens.

How did you develop your production skills? Have you basically taught yourself, or do you watch YouTube production videos, or something else entirely?

Well a combination of experimenting and YouTube tutorials really. When I start a tune, I always start with the kick drum, then the percussion and just build on that

Having been producing for a while now, you’re debut release on Everything Bass Records is forthcoming on the 21st of February. How does it feel to have your first release out there?

After 4 years of producing it feels great to finally have a release, its like all my hard work and countless hours behind a computer are starting pay off!

The two tunes epitomise this bouncy, dancefloor style showcased in your mix. Can you talk us through how you made each tune, what the process was, and where you got the ideas from?

Well let me tell you there was quite a few late nights involved in making these tunes! With ‘We Got 2 Get Together’ I started off with the intro, then onto the drums and percussion and that little intro bass that can be heard on there, the breakdown and my favourite part the drop, where I experimented a lot with different basses until I found one I was happy with. Then I brought it down a little bit before the second break down with just the sub bass and the drums and percussion. The second break down had a bit of the intro sound in there before it kicks back off with that driving bassline, the name for the track obviously comes from the vocal sample I used in the track.

‘It Keeps You Moving’, which is featured in my mix, started off with the beat and the percussion and then the melody, along with a few FX. Then I came up with a subtle little bass just for the breakdown, with the drop consisting of three different bass tones pieced together to create the one. I got my inspiration for this tune from some of the hybrid theory stuff I’ve been listening to…

Are you at a point – now you’ve had your first tune signed – where you feel happy with your production? Or are you still striving to improve and get better?

I’m happy enough with my production to pass them on to labels for consideration, but I feel there is plenty of room for improvement, so yeah I am always striving to improve and get better.

Very quickly, just let us know what your set-up is at the moment. What do you use to produce?

Ableton Live 9, an Akai MPK Mini, a Yamaha Amp and some B&W speakers.


Tea or coffee?

Tea all day long.

Would you rather have a pet unicorn that you can’t ride, or a pet horse that you can ride?

A pet unicorn would be way cooler than a horse.

Give us one tune that’s been an inspiration to you in the past…

Medicine – Hybrid Theory & Nu Era which is featured in the mix, as it was my inspiration for ‘It Keeps You Moving’.

Given unlimited money, what single piece of kit would you buy for the studio?

Definitely a top spec PC or a Mac: one of a modern day producer’s most important tools.

If you lived in a world of Pokļæ½mon, which one would you want to catch first?


And finally…

Of course, you’re here to provide us with our 28th guest mix. How have you gone about putting this mix together for us?

I’ve definitely gone all in on this mix, picking out some heavy basslines, a couple of my favourites from previous mixes, and I’ve even managed to slip in two of my own productions, one of which is that fresh. I have only just finished it in time for this mix!

You’re from Darlington. Do you think that the distance you live from Newcastle and Sunderland has made it harder and more difficult for you to play sets here?

Well the distance has really made it harder for me to get sets in Newcastle and Sunderland as i don’t get out to meet the promoters of nights as much as I would like. So if there is any of you out there that like what you hear feel free to get in touch.

As a final thought, we know you’re a father! So here’s the question: what does your daughter think of your music? Is she going to grow up to be a music lover like her dad?

Well when she was a baby I used to put my mixes on and it helped get her to sleep! But not so much these days, but I think if I sampled the song from Frozen she would like it!

We would too! Wicked, that’s a wrap mate. Thanks very much for speaking to us. If you would like to thank anyone, now is the time…

I would like to thank my friends and family who have supported me over the years and also for putting up with unhealthy obsession for dance music! The guys at Everything Bass Records for giving me my first release, all the promoters and fellow DJs I have had the pleasure of meeting and playing for so far, and last but not least you guys for letting me provide you with a guest mix! :)

P.S – DJ Q & Flava D
Girls – Holy Goof
Bastard Child (Aaron Jackson Remix) – Fractal System
Merkin – Hypho
It Keeps You Movin – Danny Stephens
Talk To Me – Notion
Say Something (Shaun Dean Re-rub) – Karen Harding
Drop The Bass – Wayne H & Aaron Jackson
War Cry – Andy Garrett & Paul Lawrence
Have You – Nu Era
Sick & Tired – Resonate
Crazy Hype – Crown Duels & Resonate
Tigerstyle – Blacktip
Wildthang – Blacktip
Medicene – Hybrid Theory & Nu Era
I Gave You Everything – Aaron Jay
Call You Back For More – Billy Kenny
Trust Again (Billy Kenny Remix) – DJ Q ft. Louise Williams
On My Mind – Frederique
Klaart – Crown Duels
Serious Business – Aaron Jackson & Frederique
Music (Pump Pump It Up Homeboy) – Danny Stephens
Showa – Hybrid Theory
Need 2 Tell U – Steve Brooke
Work – Billy Kenny
City Lights (DevelopMENT Remix) – Distro
Turbo Shizzle – Billy Kenny
Jump ‘n’ Ting – Crown Duels & Nu Era
Ordinary People – DJ Q
Wish You Were Mine (Steve Brooke Remix) – Phillip George
Free Your Mind – Chris Gresswell, Gaz T, Mikee S & Paul Lawrence
Boomstick – Brent Kilner
Next To Me – Yan & Paul Lawerence
Up All Night – Low Steppa

#028 – Danny Stephens – Bass House by Onehouronedj on Mixcloud



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