Deep In the jungles of France, a young humanoid was raised by honey badgers. At 18 he shipped himself to sydney australia and lived in a basement at the opera house marinating in classical music. Working at a local rock club at night, Animale quickly began to absorb countless riffs of 70’s cover bands.
Let’s get real, I’m Animale, I’m a producer/DJ. I’ve been living and breathing dance music for the last 8 years. Animale is me attempting to show people that there is more to edm than underground / mainstream. It’s me educating the world through dj sets and music production. My goal isn’t to rake up a bank roll but to create moments for people that last forever. When a dj set is prepared properly, you can make a couple confess their love, a group of guys hug it out, or become a memory in someone’s phone forever. Lots of djs have this huge barrier between the fan and themselves. They’ve put the dj on this pedestal that doesn’t need to be there. I’m just trying to stop this worship the dj shit and get back to what’s important, the love of dance music, and having a good ass time with your friends.
To some music is just a hobby but to me it has become a core part of my life. I was always a huge music head but, when I lost my dad to a heart attack at 17, it became much more than that. I began to use DJing and production as therapy to really get me through. I would play two-three hour sets most of the time by myself to get my mind off stuff. During that time I also purchased Ableton Live and dug right into trying to put together original stuff for my sets. Through the years I grew as an artist, going through evolutions in fidget house, uplifting trance, and here I am now a love child of all of that.
Home Town: Chicago, IL
Currently Living: Chicago, IL
Origin Of Name: Animale actually stems from a party I used to throw where I would redecorate the club in jungle theme and paint bodies and faces. The idea behind it was an environment to release your inner party animal. I loved the name so much I decided to adopt it.
Weapon of Choice: Ableton Live, a dimly lit room, open mind.
Source of Power: Radiohead, deadmau5, Circa Survive, Anything written from 1775-1820, Coldplay, Beatles.
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
That moment usually comes at the end, once your set is finished. After listening through my mix I took a moment and was like, damnnnnson.
Are there any dots to connect with where/how you grew up to your musical output?
Growing up my mom did the typical Asian parent thing and signed me up for piano at seven. She also made me take drumming lessons on the side in high school. I was always really big into music my whole life. My computer was always jam packed with pirated music.
What do your parents think of what you are doing?
My mom is a big supporter of anything I do. The rest of my family however, doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with my career choice. Stereotypical “dishonoring the family” by not being a doctor, type situation.
How does what you do for a living affect you on a day-to-day basis?
My life pretty much revolves around DJing and production. I wake up grab some coffee hit the studio. In my free time I search for music and make edits. Come the weekend I’m off to work playing sets around Chicago. Family and friends are real supportive so although I often choose to spend my time in the studio, they understand.
What is your ultimate career dream?
The dream has always been to hit the #1 spot in the world. My motto for life has always been to aim so high that even if you fall short, you still end up on top.
Are you impulsive with your work or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
It’s a little bit of everything. Sometimes I have an idea I’d like to try and other times it’s jamming writing melodies right out of your head.
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process?
I’m a strong believer that you absorb everything around you into your work. Whether it’s your surroundings or what you’re listening to, all of it makes its way into your music. However, I never had a moment like “dude I gotta get into the studio right now” after hearing Bieber or anything.
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
My computer. It’s the backbone of my studio.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
It’s crucial to experiment in order to try and push boundaries.
If we pressed Shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
Nothing really too embarrassing on my playlist.
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of bacon cooking.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Everyone needs to stop complaining about how producers are copying each other’s sounds. Example: I read a blog the other day talking about the top 100 sounding similar. My explanation is that when you hear a track that is dope, you’re going to want to make something similar to it. Why? Because now in sets you don’t have to play the others guys track. You can play the one you made with changes that you like. I doubt the majority of producers are thinking about sales when they make a track. Most of us are the combo of DJ slash producer, which means as a good DJ we have to be able to know what crowds want and what we want them to want. It’s a balance of giving them something we both can connect with. The art of educating the crowd and being a great artist.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
That it’s only the beginning and it’s only going to get bigger. EDM is constantly evolving with new genres and styles developing all over the world. There are no language barriers and that’s what makes it so global. I can send a track to a friend in Brazil and they will get what its about. That’s the beauty of EDM.
When you look at electronic music and the surrounding culture, what worries you about the future?
I worry that the fans aren’t paying as close attention to the music as they should. EDM is in the mainstream now; we shouldn’t be accepting the crap lyrics of “live for the moment” and “party all night” in every song.
What are your weaknesses?
I suck at laundry.
Do you have a secret passion?
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
When two angels fall from the heavens, the sound they make as they are falling and land.
Is success physical or internal?
Success to me is most likely going to be a bit of both. A combination of achievements and happiness that determines success.
What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
I remember it like a bad nightmare. It was a club in Elgin, IL called “TheMission.” I was 17 and literally about to shit my pants. Probably train wrecked about half my set but I had a blast and for the first time I got to experience what it was like to connect with a crowd.
What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far?
The hardest lesson I learned was to take the time to find what you like as an artist. Develop yourself and really stick to it. In the end it will make you a better artist and when you finally get noticed you’ll feel like you belong.
Tell me about your most memorable night out.
I guess one of the most memorable moments I’ve had would have to be EDC Chicago, the opening DJ on the main stage couldn’t make it and they needed to fill it. I got a phone call from Insomniac with an opportunity to play. The moment when you walk up the stairs and see the set list and it’s Feed Me, Martin Solvieg, Gareth Emery, Kaskade, David Guetta and yourself, you really have to take a moment and soak it in. It’s one of the most intense feelings ever—especially when all you’ve been doing for the last eight years is try and get to a moment like that.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
My tips would be to develop your skills as a DJ and producer before entering. Prior to the Discovery Project win, I had been producing for eight years. Also find your sound and know what you like. Also for your mix, dig for records and be creative. Fine-tune the basics, harmonic mixing, diverse song selection, creativity, edit songs, etc., etc. All things the big guys do.