Danny de Graaf, better known by his moniker David Gravell, is a quickly rising trance superstar. The young Armada artist hails from Amsterdam, and has taken the world by storm. Through his dynamic sets and huge hits, Gravell never fails to impress. From releasing “Bulldozer” in 2013 until now with his new release “Energy”, David Gravell is not slowing down. The man was even honored with IDMA nominations for “Best Trance DJ” and “Best Breakthrough DJ” in 2015.
I had the chance to sit down with David Gravell to chat about his release “Energy” as well as what is in store for his future. Check out our interview below, and make sure to keep an eye out for Gravell’s first mix compilation, “Discover”. The Discover Mix Compilation will drop May 5th.
How did your set go today?
David: It was amazing. I wanted to do something very special since it was my first time performing at the Megastructure at Ultra. I played a lot of old classics, and I played a bunch of new stuff. It was really mind-blowing.
How is it playing to the crowd at the Megastructure?
David: Very cool. Everywhere I play is unique, but playing here at Ultra has a very special feeling. Everyone is collecting money all year to attend this place. Miami is a very special place, and the crowd today made my first time performing at the Megastructure amazing.
Tell me about the creative process behind “Energy”. What went into making the track?
David: I finished the track about half a year ago, and I was making about three new tracks with this new sound I was working on. This was the first one that rolled out of the studio while I was working on all of the new stuff for 2017. I wanted to bring it back to that old trance sound, but still incorporate a new sound. When I finished the track, I sent it to Armin and he loved it and said he’s going to play it from now on. He even made special visuals to go along with it. “Energy” is doing great, and everyone knows it when I play it.
What is it like working with Armin Van Buuren?
David: It’s very special. I remember getting in touch with Armin in 2013 — we got in contact because I was making and releasing music on his label. Over the years, we got closer and closer, and now he supports everything I do. He is a huge inspiration to me and my music. It’s great to have someone like Armin around since he has been making trance music for so long.
Have you ever experimented with other styles of music?
David: Oh yeah. All the music I make is inspired by music that not many people have heard of. I’ve been collecting music since I was about 14 years old. I have a shit load of music on my iPod, and I still use it for inspiration. Even the stuff I listened to when I was 16. I’ve been making all kinds of different music — I mean, you have to experience every kind of music to be able to create your own sound. Listening to all types of music really helped me understand music better as a whole.
Who are your favorite artists to listen to whether it is electronic music or anything else?
David: I’ve been listening to The Beatles for quite some time — they really know how to write songs. Every song they created back in the day was a number one hit, instantly. The Beatles helped me understand the songwriting process. Of course, Armin is a huge inspiration to me. I remember listening to his Mirage. That’s where my love for trance music started. And then there’s Flume. His creation of sounds and arrangements are amazing to me.
Are you working on any new EP’s or albums this year?
David: Yeah, I have a new mix compilation coming out. I finished it two weeks ago, it’s my first mix compilation I’ll be doing with Armada. It includes a lot of stuff I’ve been working on over the past few months. I’m also going to include a lot of new music from other DJs in my mix. It will be out next month, and I’m really looking forward to releasing it. And I am working on my first artist album, but that will be something for next year.
Is there anything else that you have in store for the rest of 2017?
David: I’ve been touring since December, and every month I’ve only been home for a few days. I pretty much just wash my clothes and then go to the airport again. Anyways, I have so much new music planned for 2017. I have a lot of shows planned for this year as well. I have a lot of shows in the US coming up in the next few months with Andrew Rayel. I’ll be his support on his “Moments” tour.
Danny, thank you so much for sitting down with me. It was an absolute pleasure to chat with you. I look forward to hearing tons of new music from you. Hopefully we’ll catch you in Chicago soon.
Check out “Energy” below: