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At the grand old age of 18, Danny Avila has become one of the hottest acts in the world of EDM. From winning the ‘Best Newcomer DJ’ at the prestigious 2011 Vicious Music Awards at just 16 through to touring Asia, North America and Europe at the side of Tiësto at the close of 2013, Avila has risen through the ranks of the dance music elite based on his searing ability to demolish the world’s most prestigious dance floors and a talent for music production that has seen him snapped up by the likes of Interscope Records, Big Beat Records, Spinnin’ Records, Musical Freedom and more.
It’s a story that smacks of hard graft, pure talent and an undeniable passion for music. DJing from the age of 12 and producing from 13 using money earned from playing friends’ birthday parties to buy rock-bottom equipment, at 14 the young Avila – whose work ethic borders on the fanatical – left his home, friends and family in the Spanish resort of Marbella to move to Madrid, focusing on doing the unthinkable and scoring as many DJ gigs as possible in the city’s clubs. “I knew it was going to be hard,” says Avila, “but there was just nowhere for me to get any real experience playing out in Marbella and I’ve never let my age stop me doing anything. My older brother spoke to local promoters for me and that’s how I started getting my very first gigs.”
It was whilst playing a warm-up set in Benidorm’s Ku Club that Danny first met Fedde Le Grand. The international superstar was beyond impressed with the teenager’s innate ability to read the crowd and his blistering arsenal of music that stretched far beyond the usual Beatport Top 100 fare, and the two struck up a conversation that quickly evolved into a firm friendship. Seizing an opportunity, Danny approached Fedde’s management company Sushi 3000 who, immediately recognising the scale of talent in front of them and on Fedde’s personal recommendation, snapped Avila up without a moment’s hesitation.
It was that break that led to the explosion that has become Danny Avila today. It’s not just the legions of adoring fans that have become firm supporters of his explosive live sets – the elite of the music industry have fallen under his spell just as swiftly. Playing in Ibiza across the summer of 2011 at jet-set hot spot Blue Marlin, Avila was duly invited to join the Café Ole team at Space Ibiza and the following year, at the personal request of Tiësto for his 2012 Opening Party, at Pacha Ibiza. Wowing both the crowd and probably his biggest idol, Danny was invited to join Tiësto for an incredible nine further dates across the summer. “Ever since Danny opened for me at the start of the 2012 season in Ibiza, I felt he was going to be something special,” Tijs Verwest said. “He’s smart, respectful, knows his music and most importantly knows how to give the crowd what they came to hear. There’s nothing I enjoy more than working with upcoming producers and DJs like Danny who are willing to work hard and who want to win. I believe 2014 is going to be a big year for Danny.” In the crowd, listening with rapt attention, was Eddie Dean, owner of Pacha NYC and now one of Danny’s biggest supporters. “I couldn’t believe how young Danny looked at first,” Eddie said. “Then I couldn’t help noticing how poised he was on such a huge platform such as Pacha Ibiza in August, with Tiësto looking over his shoulder. Right there, I knew he had ALL of what it takes.”
They say word of mouth is the biggest form of support, but when the mouth of Eddie Dean speaks to the ear of Scott Greenstein, head of Sirius XM in the US, you’re entering a whole new ball game. Without one single date in the USA, based purely on the music and the level of buzz that was emanating from Ibiza about Avila, the young Spaniard found himself the station’s youngest ever prime-time resident with his ‘Ready To Jump’ radio show broadcasting both afternoons and nights across the North American continent.
To say things mushroomed for Avila after that is probably an insulting understatement. Now so in demand with global promoters that he could play every single day for a year if he wanted to, the teenager has already graced the hallowed stages of Coachella, Ultra Music Festival (an incredible Main Stage debut), Electric Zoo, Electric Daisy Carnival, Creamfields, TomorrowWorld and too many Insomniac events to mention, plus his incredible residency at the show-stopping Hakkasan at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Further club dates across North America, South America, Europe and Asia have flooded in, with 2013 wrapping up in spectacular style with the confirmation that not only would Danny join Tiësto on dates in the USA, Mexico, Holland, Israel, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Koreo, but would also join Tijs and Calvin Harris as official support act for the UK leg of their ‘Greater Than’ tour.
Supporting his live gigs have been some incredible pieces of production that have garnered support from A-list artists including W&W, Dada Life, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Calvin Harris, Fedde, Deniz Koyu, Bingo Players, Tiësto of course, and many, many more. Building from those second-hand pieces of hardware he bought aged just 13, Danny has, to date, released debut track ‘Breaking Your Fall’ on Big Beat, ‘Voltage’ and ‘Rasta Funk’ on Spinnin’ Records, ‘Tronco’ and upcoming hit ‘Poseidon’ on Musical Freedom, remixed Skylar Grey’s ‘C’mon Let Me Ride’ on Interscope Records and Krewella’s ‘Live For The Night’ on Sony Music/Columbia Records, plus mixed compilations for two of the biggest dance music institutes going – Ministry of Sounds’ ‘Ministry of Sound presents: Danny Avila Live’ and ‘Ibiza Calling’ from the legendary night at Space Ibiza, with whom Danny has been so closely associated with in recent years.
Oh – and if all that wasn’t enough, he’s not only spear heading the next generation of superstar DJ/producers – he’s also pretty damn prolific when it comes to anything concerning a board. Verging on pro skate- and snowboarder status, Avila’s also notched up 2nd in the Spanish Wakeboard Championships, 7th in the European Wakeboard Championships and 12th in the World Wakeboard Championships – as ever proving that he’s ready to jump no matter what the medium!
There is, it seems, absolutely no stopping Danny Avila at whatever he turns his hand to. The future beckons, and it’s practically blinding.