DANNY HUGHES (DCPA) IS DOING BIG THINGS WITH HIS MUSIC
Hi Danny! How are you living your best life right now?
Thanks for having me on! Right now, I’m enjoying a relaxing time for the holidays back home. It’s been 1 year since I moved to Austin Texas from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. After 10 years of living and working in a big corporate environment, I broke free and moved into an RV just outside of Austin in 2020. I wanted to be closer to the outdoors and find new inspiration for my music as DCPA. My DJ gigs keep me visiting the downtown Austin area frequently, so I meet a lot of new and interesting people and get to better know the town. I think it takes time to balance out your life in a new city, but the first year or so are great because every day feels different. A great component of living your best life is to always make time for new experiences. Talk to us about your new music! ‘Keep Your Eyes Closed’ is my latest release, it’s a deep but simple song to inspire listeners to push through conflicts in life. I try to keep a high energy and inspirational sound to my music these days, which is consistent with how I want to live my life now. The track is electro house, with pop elements. Marcia (MISHA) Sondeijker returns from previous releases, bringing a powerful topline! When do you know when a song is done, DONE? Finishing a release can be a big challenge. In some ways it gets harder to finish tracks the longer you spend on them, you start to overthink things. You want to be able to listen to a song front to back and enjoy every second of it, with nothing left to be desired, no sudden ideas or changes coming to mind as you listen. Then you need outside listeners to hear it. I have a group of people I trust for technical feedback, but will also play demos at my live shows to see how crowds react. If people are dancing to the song alongside other big tracks and the crowd energy is high for the duration of the song, I know it’s very close to complete. Then I can go in and clean up the small things. Where did the title come from? I’d had the recorded vocals from Marcia (MISHA) Sondeijker for almost a year before I really started to build a production around it. ‘Keep Your Eyes Closed’ seemed to be the best fitting name, as it is the definitive hookline of the track. I felt that the title would stand out in a track list, intriguing more listeners. In addition, when you ‘Keep Your Eyes Closed’, you heighten your sense of sound. I try to be metaphorical when defining elements of my music. How did you become inspired to make this song? I’ve been going at the music business professionally for 6 years, and that has its share of ups and downs. The more time I spend in the Austin area playing shows and staying fully immersed in music, the more I am given a choice to either believe in myself or doubt myself. As a musician you often must block out external influences or negative thoughts and push forward with your vision. I hope the song can bring positive energy to many and lift them through hard times. The vocal was in my “to do” folder and I made the track once the timing felt right. How did you approach this song vs. song's past? This song was somewhat trickier than past ones due to having fewer vocal phrases. It really has just one verse/chorus pairing which is cut up and repeated throughout. The vocals are more of a chant and don’t tell a specific story, rather they inspire the listener how to think and feel about many difficult situations. I approached this one differently by coming up with the instrumental structure before cutting up on the vocal arrangement. I spent the most amount of time developing a song structure that was intricate, but not confusing. There’s a lot of simultaneous emotions going on that must be resolved within the melody. Given the vocal structure, I felt it was important to channel these different energies through the instrumental. I get mentally attached when writing musical patterns, usually ending up with too much going on and then meticulously picking apart the unnecessary stuff along the way. Where do new fans go to follow you? Fans can follow me on Instagram @dcpamusic to receive the most up to date content! Link included below. Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Apple Music are the most common places people listen, but there are a host of others below! Where can fans stream and support you?
What are you most excited about the new single? The track has performed so well these past couple months, I’m really excited to see it reaching a broader audience via things like major playlists on Spotify as well as iTunes charts in Poland. On a more personal level, I’m excited to see direct messages coming into my Instagram from new and existing fans about how much they’ve enjoyed it! I released a music video on YouTube recently which I think adds perspective to the song -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcAg7BZHGqA Can you leave us with some inspiration for our audience and how they can live their best lives?! We should always be looking for ways to take control of our lives, even if it takes broad strokes to do so. If something benefits you greatly but just feels wrong, maybe it’s worth walking away or taking time off from that thing! Just a couple of years ago, I was a happy employee of a great company, living in an amazing city with very little holding me back. But still, I knew that was not my best life. Everything in life is a trade. Sometimes you trade your time in exchange for money; then trade your money for happiness. But you should avoid trading your happiness for anything else. It’s been a weird couple of years, and it’s easier than ever to get caught up in this mentality that we are adapting to a “new normal way of life”. What’s happening really is that people are blindly accepting that we throw away our humanity out of convenience. A lot of people are leaning more heavily than ever on failed ideological systems and taking to social media to try and solve their problems. Usually this just ends in people googling answers until they’ve found at least one other disgruntled person to agree with them. I believe groupthink should be avoided entirely, we have to focus on what makes us individually human, stick to certain principles that benefit ourselves and others, and act day to day on them in the real world. You must learn to identify toxic cultures and behaviors so you can break free from them.