Danny Serrano is one of his country’s most loved DJs. A native of Madrid, he’s also just as passionate about the city, and lays claim to being at the helm of one of Madrid’s finest studios – the world renowned Seranno’s Kitchen. As you might imagine from a man who runs a studio, Serrano is also an incredibly busy man. Aside from working as a DJ, he’s also an esteemed producer (we’ll get to that part), a production engineer and is very involved in the mastering process. We caught up with Danny just as his latest LP, the brilliant, Craft, just dropped. Here’s what he had to say for himself…
WWD: Hi Danny, thanks for taking the time to chat to us today. Let’s go back a bit to the beginning: when did you first become obsessed with electronic music? And what was it about the sound and the vibe that you loved?
I was 8, maybe 9 years old when I started my passion for music. At that age I started buying my first records, I loved rap, hip hop, funk. I also remember buying my first vinyl from Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston too. Still classics, of course.
WWD: Can you talk us through some of your early productions? How long did it take for you to feel comfortable with your production process?
My first productions were with two friends, Mendo and Luis Damora. I remember at that time I had a very simple studio, just an old computer and a Reason program. How times have changed!
WWD: Where are you now with your production? And what areas do you think you can still improve?
Now I am in the process of change. I am busy working with my Serrano’s Kitchen project, which consists of a recording studios and music academy. I am focused on recording groups and artists from pop, rock, hip hop and electronic music and also work as a mixing engineer and at mastering too. So never a dull or quiet moment there.
WWD: In that respect, is there one artist you really look up to? Someone who continues to push the boundaries of sound?
I’m a huge fan of Hot Since 82. I love the music he produces … and as studio engineers I really like Tchad Blake, Chris Lord, Fab Dupont, Luis del Toro. There are loads of people I could mention here but those guys come to mind immediately.
WWD: Also, you work at Serrano’s Kitchen in Madrid. Can you tell us a bit more about the other talented producers who work there? Why do you think they deserve extra recognition?
Serrano’s Kitchen is special to me. It is my personal brand, and this is where I want to develop my new project. I am working on other styles of music and I want to continue growing as a producer and studio engineer, working for soundtracks, groups … there are several people, professional teachers of drums, guitar, bass, voice teachers. We are a big family – indeed, my partner is my wife.
WWD: Do you agree that it’s harder for an up-and-coming DJ/producer to make it these days? And who gave you your first big break?
I think the opposite actually. I think that nowadays it is easier to be a DJ. In the past it was more difficult, there were fewer clubs and festivals, everything was more complicated because there were not so many places to play, only very very small clubs. Today there are great clubs all over the world and the teams are fantastic! The person who gave me the opportunity to do my first tour at the top level was Fernando Godoy with Carlsberg World Wide Clubbing. So thanks to Fernando!
WWD: Was there one moment where you decided to embark on a career in electronic music? Maybe the releases on the likes of Circus and Truesoul etc?
Little by little I started to work on my sound and sign for the labels that I wanted to do. It all happened quite organically actually.
WWD: Outside of Spain, can you talk us through some of your favourite places to play?
There are many places, Womb Tokyo, Space Miami, Tribe Festival Brazil. And of course within Spain, there is Space Ibiza, Ushuaia, Pacha Ibiza. Some of my favourite places on the planet!
WWD: You’ve just released a new album, Craft. Can you tell us a bit about that one when you have a moment?
It is a special album for me with a very different sound than what I am doing. “Craft” signifies a new era for me as a producer.
WWD: Talk to us a bit about your label: why did you start it and what are your future plans for it? And where did the idea for the unique name come from?
The name emerged from an EP with Tapas Recordings a few years ago. It is a mixture of my name and with the kitchen … we came up with a label with this name but later this project of being a school and recording studio emerged.
WWD: What’s next for you that you’re really excited about?
Being in the studio producing bands and music bands, soundtracks, productions for Netflix, I’m focused on this, I am very happy to do these things and I feel lucky.
WWD: Can you talk us through three of your favourite Danny Serrano tracks? Ie. the ones you are most proud of?
It is a difficult choice …I could be here all day making up my mind on them!