Boston, United States
Daniel Valencia, who DJ’s as DANIEL V, is a busy and original-sounding His podcast connects directly to his touring the world of dance music, both in the United States and world-wide. Three times a month he goes to some faraway dance club, spreading his sound to a growing base of dedicated fans.
DANIEL V’s sound is immediately likeable and all his own. Cute beats, fun voices, droll noises, and a fierce proclamation of “house music forever” tells quite a story at full podcast length with never a dull or run-of-the-mill moment,. “I don’t want to be like everybody else,” he says. “Why do that ? I’ll take my chances being different.”
Different his sound definitely is, and developed over more than 15 years, since he first decided that house music and DJ-ing were what he wanted to do. DANIEL V was born in Medellin, Colombia, where he was a you8ng pianist and where “the radio stations played house music, we were all exposed to it; and everybody liked it.” This was very different from music radio in the U.S. , as V found when his family moved to the Boston area after his 13th birthday. “Here, not one of my friends knew what house music was,” he remembers. “And there I was, already listening to it; to Donald Glaude, Junior Vasquez, Murk Boys, Masters At Work, Joe Smooth, Derrick Carter, I loved it all.
“But then,” he says, “when we reached high school age, those same people who knew nothing about dance music or the jazz I was playing on piano started taking me to clubs, especially The Palace. Now The Palace was a huge dance club, in Saugus, a suburb of Boston, and on DJ nights it was packed. So there I was, going to the Palace every Friday and Sunday, and the DJ was the then hugely famous Freddy C, and I was into it. I knew what I wanted to do.”
Valencia recalls just how free those early days of DJ-ing were for him. “I knew nothing about mixing,.” He recalls, “and I had awful equipment – belt driven turntables, even. I had no one telling me anything about how to do it, so I learned it on my own. I created mix tapes, and I took them to Freddy C, and he pointed out my mistakes, and that was how I learned to beat-match and mix.”
By the time that Valencia reached college age – 2003 – he was an accomplished Boston-area DJ and house music lover, buying his 12-inch vinyl – “yes, I was still doing vinyl,” he says – at Boston Beat and Satellite records, including disks especially ordered for him by Boston Beat’s owner. He was DJ-ing now at The Palace, and at Club Matrix, although “still learning,” as he says it, was given a chance to open for major DJ Bad Boy Bill at Avalon, then Boston’s biggest and best known dance club. “I already knew Bill from his BANGIN THE BOX cd,” says Valencia, “and I was so into tribal. It was all about tribal then, and to open in tribal style for Bill was a dream come true.”
Bad Boy Bill remained a major influence on Valencia from then on; indeed even in 2009 Valencia and Bill played together at Boston’s famed Underbar club. Still, the stint at Avalon led Valencia to a world of other influences, including Chicago house music after a gig at Providence’s legendary Therapy club. By 2005, and onward, Valencia had secured residencies” – i.e., regular appearance slots – at many Boston-area clubs including Aria, Umbria, and Tabu, as well as a quarterly residency at Boston’s highly regarded RISE club.
Valencia found himself in demand now not only in Boston. By 2006 he was DJ-ing in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and overseas. He began working with A-list track producer Mario Ochoa. His world-wide popularity continues and only gets stronger, as his “Prag” podcasts continue. In addition, says he, “I’m now working on a full length CD soon to be released on a major dance music label.” The release of his new CD, accompanied by regular podcasts and a full cycle of touring the world of dance clubs portends a bright future for DANIEL V and his highly original, entertainingly witty, intensely expressed house music sound.
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