An interview with- Danny Howard ahead of Xstatic Summer Festival.

Saturday June 30th is the date for XSTATIC’S Summer Festival bonanza.  For 12 hours you will be treated to a wide array of house, trance, techno, hard house and much more in the lush green setting that is Catton Hall in Derbyshire, and all for only £35! Headlining is Danny Howard who, in August 2011, beat off hundreds of DJs from across the UK to win the BBC RADIO 1 – ‘Superstar DJ’ competition.  The nationwide search for the next Ibiza Superstar DJ climaxed in the week building up to Radio 1’s popular Ibiza Weekend. Danny had to perform various DJ tasks live on air. He Mixed, MC’d and Remixed his way to victory on Chris Moyles show winning the competition outright. Here we find out more…

Everyone is excited to have you at Xstatic Festival Danny – how is your local knowledge of Derbyshire, have you played there before?

That’s good to hear and I’m excited to play! I actually played once in Derby… it was a Saturday night and was packed! A top night and looking forward to coming back to Derbyshire on a bigger scale!

You’re having a pretty incredible year! How’s life at Radio 1 with your now bursting diary?

Even the word ‘incredible’ doesn’t scratch the surface in terms of describing just how big this year has been for me so far! It’s been life changing and I really am, living the dream… I’m a very lucky boy!!

We followed your progress right from the start of the competition. Can you describe how it felt when you were announced as the winner?

Now that I know how it feels but it felt like winning the lottery! When you achieve something that you thought would never happen to you in a million years, you get such a rush of shock and surprise that words are not enough to describe the amazing feeling I got when I won that competition!

How has your day-to-day life changed over the last year?

It’s definitely more hectic… but that’s just the way I like it. I’m really putting 100% into making sure I make the most of this huge opportunity. When I’m not preparing for Radio, I’m in the studio, when I’m not in the studio, I’m trawling through tunes to make sure my sets are fresh and entertaining and as well as all that, I’m having the pleasure of travelling around the world DJing so getting used to having no sleep has become a big part of my life!!

Do you get to see many of the Radio 1 DJs? How do they compare in real life to what we all hear on the air? 

Not all at the same time but I do see a lot of them regularly wandering around the Radio 1 building. They are exactly as you hear on air… no egos, down to earth and generally great personalities which I guess is the main reason that I felt so at home from the first minute.

Where are you at musically this summer, what can the crowds at Xstatic festival expect? 

I’ve always been one for playing across the board of house music which keeps it exciting and interesting not just for me as a DJ but for the crowd as well. You can really push the boundaries and drop things in unexpectedly. I love the big room sound and electro but I also dabble in other genres from Tech House to Dubstep with in my sets.

What’s the #1 track in your arsenal at the moment?

I really love Avicii Vs Lenny Kravitz – Superlove! So catchy and sounds amazing on a loud system.

You must now get sent a good collection of fresh out of the studio exclusives from some big artists, what’s been your favorite inbox present since you started the new show?

I do get sent a lot of promo tracks now and it’s great to be able to get them all first hand. My favorite has to be from a good friend of mine Kryder. He’s done an amazing remake of one of my all time favorite trance tunes…’Plummet – Damaged’ and he’s got the amazing vocals from Bo Bruce off BBC 1 program ‘The Voice’ and she sounds incredible. It’s exclusive to my show and I can’t wait to play it in the clubs and at Xstatic. 

You’re playing the closing set for Xstatic Festival, how do you approach a set differently when you’re last on?

Ahh I didn’t actually know this! Great news because usually when you play a closing set it means the crowd are nice and warmed up and you can go straight in with your ‘big hitters’ and just smash it out to ensure the event finishes on a high. The aim will be to send everyone home wanting more and that’s what I’ll do.

What are you looking forward to in your diary for the summer?

 I’m really looking forward to DJing in Ibiza every two weeks! Going to be amazing to play in the white isle on such a regular basis.

Finally, as a man who must now attend festivals regularly, can we get Danny Howard’s top UK festival survival tip?

I’d say the best thing to do is pace yourself! It’s so exciting to go to a festival and usually people hit it hard from the off and peak too early! Take it easy, enjoy it and just go with the flow… I also say this because I’m on last and don’t want everyone on the floor by the time I get there! Ha.

Find out more about Xstatic festival here: