Updated: Jan 21, 2022
Written and Published by X
Have you ever been introduced to someone and could automatically tell that they have a lot ahead of them? That’s exactly what popped into my head after meeting Danny (Arkkon) two years ago. I could just tell that there was so much drive and enthusiasm. Not only did I see how passionate he was as an artist, but I also observed that there was never a time that making music felt like something he needed to cross off his “to do list”. It was never a task or an obligation, instead it seemed to me that this was something he enjoyed 100% of the time, on his own terms. Music is just something that comes naturally to him. Danny uses Ableton and Logic Pro X to produce experimental bass, pop, hip hop and lo-fi. “I'd say the best way to describe my genre of music is production of synthesis that speaks to the way I feel in order to curate relatability within the sonics. High audio fidelity has been a big part of the music I make, and it allows for harder hitting, and more satisfying industrial real and synthetic sounds to generate entire songs with.” He explained.
Arkkon technically began producing music at the age of 5, starting with a decade of guitar playing both acoustic and electric. “I began to learn to play drums afterwards and would produce my own rhythms to go along with the music I wrote via guitar. I began producing electronic music at the age of 15 which has been the main focus for the last 10 years. It's been a 20-year journey for me in the world of music production.” He clarified. I know we all appreciate this kind of story. Starting at such a young age shows amazing ingenuity when you’re older. It demonstrates an amount of skill that not many people can attain unless they were to start in the same position.
What does your creative process look like?
“I always begin my records with simplistic yet rather groovy drums and percussions. I take snare drums and turn them into metallic bangs, bass drums and let them live as cinematic/tribal booms, and old school hi hats to really let the life live within the spaces between the rhythm. From there, I'll dive right into the climaxes of my records. It makes the writing process a lot easier when building the record around what may seem to be the most 'vital' or 'crucial' part of a mix. Once all is said and done, the record gets mixed and mastered, which I do myself.”
What an elaborate process. No wonder I enjoy listening so much, there’s a great amount of detail and hard work being shown. Now, I know a lot of artists that don’t do their own mixing and mastering. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that…but… if you start practicing mixing and mastering your own music, your music will sound a lot better. It’ll convey the right feeling and overall theme to your music. I know it’s just an “enhancement”, but it can really change your entire song if you’re not careful. Another thing you may want to consider is cost. Why spend so much money on an enhancement if it’s going to be a complete surprise to you? (Just my opinion, take it or leave it.) It seems to me that that’s one of the many reasons that Arkkons music just flows so smoothly. It’s his own independent work, and it’s something that takes a lot of time and skill.
What makes you unique from other artists?
“You don't really see a lot of artists these day's that write music (especially in the electronic world) that can prove they can make beats that sound nothing like the last they made."
"Every record has a mood, every story has a theme, and every sound has a purpose."
"I write the music I do because I am confident in knowing I've crossed a bridge years ago that set my sounds apart from the crowd due to the intense nature of the synthesis that goes into these productions.”
I always love hearing a range of different kinds of genres and moods from the same producer. I think it goes to show just how proficient the artist is. In my opinion, he’s right. Every record should have a mood. Every story should have a theme. And every sound should have a purpose. That’s just how meticulous an artist should be when putting out a song! Music is art, and art usually has meaning. Even if it doesn’t, isn’t it still meaningful in a way? Picture this; you’re making a song in your studio, but the song you’re making has no symbolism behind it whatsoever. Those sounds were just something you threw together, and it just happened to sound good. But does that really mean that there’s no deeper meaning behind it? Sure, not technically, but it’s still your song. It’s still something you made. It’s a song that’s present and it’s something you completed with your own expertise. It’s part of you, and I think that’s meaning enough. That being said, that just makes any symbolism a song might have even more meaningful. Because all of those things are relevant, and yet there’s still something beyond the surface.
What’s your favorite track of yours?
“My favorite record I've publicly released is always the last one I put out. Every song I've made has a story behind it, and the one I put out a couple weeks ago was one that was inspired by my first trip to Los Angeles for New Year’s Eve. I was sitting on the balcony of a resort in Newport Beach watching the sunset as I was writing the track. It inspired me enough to actually put my own vocals on the record which is something I'd never done before. I look forward to seeing where it goes once it's distributed everywhere.”
How has music effected your life?
“Music has always been there for me. I actually can recall the first song I ever remember hearing, and that was 'My Little Demon' by Fleetwood Mac. I had to have been 3 or 4 years old but regardless, music and I go way back. My grandmother was the one who ‘gave me the pen to write the first chapter to a lifelong development of comprehensive and relatable vision, as it relates to evolution within creativity, within the music’ (Evolve, Arkkon 2018) When the time was right, I would recognize what it meant to use music to promote my vision. The love I have for music is eternally steadfast, and I use it for the betterment of my own character as it relates to the evolution of mankind. My sounds have vividly described the edge I have as I walk through life, and I've never looked back.” Evidently, music is etched within Arkkons mind and soul. When music is such a big source of your happiness from such a young age, it never goes away. That feeling of belonging and comfort is constant because music is something that is always present. It’s something that grows with us and makes you who you are, especially when it’s so significant in our lives.
Who would you say are your greatest influences?
“I take musical influence from all sorts of different styles. Most of my rhythms and grooves stem from old-school hip-hop artists like Notorious BIG, Dr. Dre, & Wu-Tang Clan. I'd say I get a great deal of influence for my sounds from my best friend Revazz, SOPHIE, TSURUDA, and SHADES. My musical roots however stem from bands like Slipknot, Lamb of God, ACDC, and many other great rock and metal bands. The best artist I ever saw live was SOPHIE. Before she passed away, my friends and I went to see her play in DC at Ai, and then up to NYC at Terminal 5 with Cashmere Cat. The music hit so hard it was as if I was living in a sonic dream. The realm of sounds that were heard was relentlessly beautiful. From Ponyboy to HARD to Burn Rubber, it was all such a gift to hear. She was a musical savant, and she will be dearly missed. The good news is I have a great deal of her unreleased music, which lives on forever!”
Lastly, do you feel as if you have a good support system?
I'd say I have a fantastic support system. My goal was never to become some massively famous musical artist. I always enjoyed doing the work that kept me behind the big red curtain. I thoroughly enjoyed being the person everyone came to in order to get their sounds to play out as clearly and as satisfying as possible. Most of my friends and family would come out to the few shows I had per year but when we were running the Record Label/Collective from '15-'19, we saw a great influx of support from even the most devout electronic music fans around the DMV area.
As I said, I’ve known Danny (Arkkon) for about two years, so I’ve heard a variety of different songs he’s made, and I’ve even heard a little bit of the process he goes through to make these songs. Arkkon is really pushing boundaries with his hybrid style of music. Not many can say that they’re doing the same. It takes a special kind of talent to work outside of the box show so much virtuosity. His music was fantastic to begin with, and it’s no surprise to me that he exponentially gets better with his production throughout time. I didn’t think his music could get any better, but I was proven wrong, and I can see the consistent hard work and passion within him. I’m so proud and can’t wait to see where this journey goes! If you want to hear some great experimental bass, pop, hip hop and lo-fi, click the links below. -X
(Direct Link to latest records below)