Questioning Daniel Vaz

Daniel Vaz is the first DJ I came to acquaint through Jæger and I remember our first encounter quite clearly. His signature drink, a glass of white wine in a tumbler nestled on his lap with a warm personality greeting you behind his handsomely gruff voice. If you’ve ever met the DJ it is unlikely that you’d forget him and if you were fortunate enough to meet him while at the decks, the name Daniel Vaz will be ingrained in your memory ever since. He represents a new generation of DJ in Oslo, one that’s shed the idiosyncrasies of a small city for the universal language of House music in an international landscape. In the past year it has seen his star significantly rise, including his first headlining set of his career for the Villa and a load of memorable appearances at Jæger. He achieved all this while embarking on a new developed academic career, leaving a comfortable job in his own company to pursue his dream of becoming an industrial designer, and it’s hardly put a damper on his DJ career in the process. It’s something that’s likely to continue into the New Year with Daniel being given the significant task of opening Oslo’s clubbing season for 2016, with another headlining slot at the Villa tonight. We caught up with him before that to talk about the New Year, the music, his academic career, and the year that’s been in this Q&A.

How was 2015 for you?

2015 was great. I got to meet and know a lot of great people, and make new friends. I’ve been able to play music for a bunch of people in many different and cool places.

Any highlights, musical or otherwise

I was able to go to Murmansk in Russia to play a club there. That was a particularly cool experience.

Which track summed up the year for you?

Hehe, that’s always a hard question to answer. But I’d have to say feeling-wise, I would be Kornél Kováks – Pantalón perhaps. It’s such a fun track and it does sum up 2015 in a sweet way.

You also headlined for the first time last year – for Villa, if I’m not mistaken. I’m sorry I missed it. How did it go and what did you take away from the experience?

Yes, it was my first Saturday headliner, which was a pretty big deal for me. The Villa was always a big milestone venue for me to play, and to be a part of. So after playing for The Villa for a while now, to be trusted with doing a headliner gig, really means a lot to me.

It was also the year you decided to leave a comfortable job in a company you partly own to venture into an academic career towards industrial design. Can you tell me more about it? (It sounds pretty amazing.)

Yeah! It’s exciting. I’ve been working in the movie business for about ten years, and between that and playing music, I spent my spare time on thinking about and appreciating good design. So I’m going to pursue that.

You seem to have a natural affinity for the arts judging from your skill behind the decks. Why did you opt for a visual course rather than and venture further into music?

Thank you! I do want to study music as well, and am still going to venture further into the world of music while on my new mission.

How did you get into music in the first place?

Hah. It started when I was a kid. I saw some DJ on TV and thought that it looked fun and cool, and I loved the sound he made with his record players. So when I was at a flea market a short time after, I found a record player and was amazed when I actually had the thirty kroner it cost. So I bought it and ran home. After my parents seeing how much I tried, I got some DJ slipmats for my eighth birthday and two records with some hip hop beats and some vocal scratch stuff to practice with. I was lucky to have such supporting parents.

And the rest is history, I suppose, making it’s way up to today where you are calling in Oslo’s clubbing new year at the Villa. What track will be the first you lay down?

I have no idea. That’s the fun part, if you ask me :)

And now for the obligatory end-of-year hand off question. Any new-year’s resolutions?

Naw, I just try not to look back and continue to look forward with a healthy mind.