Artist to Artist: Danny Daze and RHR
Prompted by the subject of misinformation, particularly in relation to big Pharma companies having power over healthcare in America, Danny Daze makes a return to his own Omnidisc imprint with the aptly named Propaganda and Manipulation.
For two of the tracks, the Miami-based producer has teamed up with Brazilian producer and Omnidisc affiliate RHR, who first became a part of the label family five years ago after sending his demos over to Danny from his home in the São Paulo favelas. Danny took him under his proverbial wing, and they released a collaborative EP together in 2016 followed by RHR's solo debut last year. Now they're joining forces once more with him lending a hand to what mark some of Danny's most explorative productions yet.
During these uncertain times, there's never been more of a need to band together and look after each other within the underground music scene. With that in mind, and with the release falling slap bang in the middle of the pandemic, Danny and the rest of the Omnidisc crew have opted to pledge half of the revenue from the release to Miami-based independent record store Technique Records, a shop that has supported them since the outset.
Ahead of the release on 6th May, Danny and RHR talk about the Brazilian music scene, current political situation and the symbiosis of drugs and music…
Danny Daze: I think it was six years ago when we connected on Facebook through Smoothy… how did you find my music?
RHR: I used to play your songs… to me it had a bit of Baile funk vibes and I remember thinking that you brought a lot of culture and style to your sets. We connected because of these sounds.
Danny Daze: With that said, what does it mean to be a DJ to you?
RHR: I get to bring people certain feelings and maybe I’m able to help break them out of their routines… people who can think outside of the box.
Danny Daze: Right… as in taking risks and not conforming to what’s popular?
RHR: How do you feel about the Brazilian scene at the moment?
Danny Daze: It’s always been my fav country to DJ in. It feels like the early days of the rave scene… like it’s 1995 again. I think because I’m hispanic and my music has a bit of funk to it, people vibe to that there… there’s a lot of promoters breaking the norm here… groups like Capslock, ODD, Mamba Negra, while you still have great clubs like Caos & Warung.
Roni: Yes, I think this is one of those reasons why people connect with your sound here. It’s a weird time in the world today. Here in Brazil, I sense the people feel more inspired to make art, to express themselves… I think they feel the need to do something, the need to find some kind of power.
Danny Daze: When it comes to the rave scene or dance culture in general, has Bolsonaro and the government affected that at all?
RHR: The problem with Brazil, is many of us here have always been oppressed. The current government with Bolsonaro is extremely right wing… he’s a facist. It’s affected our scene because he gives power to policy and that policy in-directly destroys our scene. There’s also a lot of misinformation being spread and things like anti-protests in favor or Bolsonaro… misinformation about the virus for example.
Danny Daze: Yeah, I’ve always felt that there’s been a level of underlying misinformation being spread in America as well. That’s now become part of our everyday lives. Part of why I started making this "Propaganda & Manipulation” track a couple months ago was through an experience I had. It’s more so related to the effects that big Pharma have on healthcare in America… they’re the one’s who influence policy and it’s not a system that’s designed to work for the sick. I’ve have a medical condition that I went to see a doctor for sometime ago and was immediately told to take pills. This was a specialist at one of the larger medical institutions in our state and country. When I suggested alternative therapies, he seemed to shrug it off and insisted on drugs.
Doctors are in the pockets of big Pharma… it’s a system that’s designed to keep the status quo and not designed in the interest of our health. Today, it’s because of alternative therapy that I’ve been able to improve my condition and the quality of my life… the status quo did nothing for me. I had a friend who was also fighting terminal Cancer and has now been in remission after adopting a combination of diet and alternative medicine practices. Things like the Wim Hof and Gerson methods.
RHR: Man, I had stopped making music for a bit but when reached out to collab, that inspired me to get back to doing music.
Danny Daze: Yeah, it’s important for us artists to find reasons to inspire ourselves. You have to put a lot of dedication in a world that’s ran by propaganda, bullshit and Instagram, etc… I hear a lot of new DJs and people making music getting celebrated and when you listen to them, they just don’t live up to the hype.
RHR: Yeah, I just want to create my DJ career by being myself… doing my own thing. I want to give people different ways to think about music… my songs have a lot of movement, a lot of funk. I try to tell a story. I have these kinds of thoughts and feelings and I just try to put that into music.
Danny Daze: What has inspired you before or also now?
RHR: When I was a kid, my mom brought me a cd from MC Primo. This was early influence. I grew up in the favelas, so every car or bar was playing Baile Funk. To me, Baile Funk is electronic music. Some people have the crazy thought that it’s not electronic music. My mom’s family is from Bahia and my family used to do a lot of Forró parties – this was my first contact with music. Then in 2010, I started to go to parties and raves and some DJs would play stuff like lounge. When I moved from Sao Paolo to Londrina, I lived in a place where all my friends were b-boys. I wasn’t a b-boy though… I was playing futbol. So my influence is a combination of all this. My songs have a Baile Funk vibe but two years ago I took DMT and since then I’ve been taking my sound in that direction.
Danny Daze: You’re speaking my language! The track Symbyosis on this EP… all those sounds are DMT based.
RHR: As I’ve been making this sound, I have been reading articles about symbiosis that explain the duality of everything so when I had a DMT trip I got curious about this subject. I think right now I feel free to speak about this, where in the past I maybe was careful to not link my sound to drugs.
Danny Daze: Right. For me, Ayahuasca, for example, is medicine for the soul. Where you’re able to reference life from a higher perspective and still look deep within your subconscious.
RHR: There are some people who are linking this with their sound. I think sometimes some people feel taboo to link their sound to drugs or feeling free. My sound is created to make our brain go up or down… or make our brain think or not.
Danny Daze: Yeah, so what’s next? Now that you and I don’t have work? What do we do now?
RHR: Here we’re receiving some gov help but it’s not a lot of money… it’s autonomous. You can’t pay rent with this. But the independent scene doesn’t stop. People are still making music, so I’ve been working on mixing and mastering music for others. Other people here are doing compilations to sell music and others are fundraising. Labels are aren’t just releasing the artists music, they’re also fund raising so that some money can go back to the artists. The collectives are trying to come up with creative ways to survive. If this situation lasts too long, then other ways to make money will need to surface. This is happening in Brazil right now.
Danny Daze: It’s important right now to come together and lend any small contribution to establishments and artists in your community. Anything you can make helps. We as Omnidisc, have decided to help Technique Records in Miami. They’ve always been there for us and the independent artist community in Miami, so giving half the revenue of this Propaganda and Manipulation EP is our way to support and provide some relief. But even if you’re a promoter and have a competitor, you have to drop that right now and try to help each other out to survive this.