DannielRadall’s recently released Pardo is a work of art. Crossing casual chillwave vibes with the soulful melodies of classic R&B, his life in Guadalajara, México has inspired a unique and subtle fusion of cultures and sounds. Flat out, I love this album and it’s an honor to talk to any indie god, especially one from the mother land. Unfortunately, it seems like México still has a bit of that Porfirio love of the European thing going on and hasn’t paid too much attention to its home grown indie treasures. Next stop on this gabacho’s journeys: Guadalajara. If you don’t enjoy Radall’s Pardo, I’ll buy you a ticket to México and make you eat habanero chiles without bread, milk or even a tortilla.
Gozamos: Danniel, thanks for the interview. I’m glad to be speaking to you. I was presented to your work through your label mate, Jef Barbara who hopes to tour México with you soon. Any gigs coming up in el DF or else were?
Daniel Radall: Hey, I’ve spoken with a few promoters from Mexico City and people from Eastern Europe as well but no official word yet.
Where are you from exactly? And how would you say your upbringing has affected your professional life?
I am from Guadalajara, México. I was born in a small town near to the city called El Salto, people are pretty close-minded there. They have such ‘poor’ lifestyle probably based on the lack of culture and because of religion. Sometimes it can even be tough for someone with a wider mentality. Obviously this causes some sort of repression for myself at some point, decreasing my possibilities to completely flow, to be related with new people and limiting conversation topics to the average manly talk that was always well known in my family.
About a year ago or so I moved out to the city, that means I had to completely rearrange my lifestyle. To do everything by my own and stuff, I started thinking differently and I also met people thinking the same way. I understood many things and all of that translates into what I do.
Why Guadalajara? How has working in Guadalajara freed or hindered your work?
Guadalajara, because it was the closest place to me and happens to be a cosmopolitan city with a rich repertoire in nightlife and a full hand of trends from all kinds.
I wouldn’t say it has freed or hindered my work because I haven’t worked on music here so far. If my music is being listened to at parties it is given to the guys who are constantly searching for new music and sharing it. I must say I still find it strange when people from the city friend/listen to me or blog about me.
There is a reign in México of bounded ears, only foreign artists are worthy of attention from Mexicans. That’s why I feel lucky to be related to artists like Blackbird Blackbird, Com Truise, Keep Shelly in Athens etc. which sometimes makes mistaken as a foreign act too.
Tell us a little about your growing up in México and those years. What was one of your biggest challenges?
Haha, probably going through middle school, that’s where kids are the meanest. Also there was a time in high school when I had to shift turns from afternoon to morning, it took me a good while to re-adapt, then I became such a mess.
Tell us a little about this album, Pardo, it’s production and your intention… The album has a wide range of sonic variance.
I recorded a few songs off this EP just right after AMDISCS Label released my debut EP La Femme but it was until November when i decided what I wanted to do with the full thing.
Pardo is a fading color on a German Sheperds’ chest, it goes from dark to light like over night. It means to me musically at a transition point from where I was to where I am going. Personally it means shaking off all sorts of disappointment and bad vibes surrounding me, and trying to do things differently.
I like to explore different genres but I always try to keep my trade mark in all my songs. I wanted to do R&B/Hip-hop influenced jams just the way I did in La Femme. I’d love to do a folk and a hip-hop record sometime as well. I think a true musician should be able to play any kind of music.
You’re somewhat of a ruthless producer. Tell us a little about your process. How does an average track come to fruition for you?
I usually start a song from a sound I find different and catchy, almost always a chord from syntheziser that slowly I keep building until it becomes a sonic wall. I try to keep a simple structure and then add a few arrangements. I like starting from the chorus melody but sometimes it turns difficult to go back to the top.
What makes the difference between tracks for me is the rhythm on it and the rambling of images coming to my head while I listen, if the track doesn’t make any resemblance for me at all or it doesn’t make my feet move I stop working on it.
Who are some artists that excite you at the moment?
Lately I’ve been pretty into Jupiter, Chromeo, A-ha, Justice, SebastiAn and Breakbot to name a few.
Tell us about how you got into the business and what keeps you going…
I owe a big part of this to my sister who turned me into the whole Chillwave thing, that encouraged me to record my own tunes in my bedroom and share them as they sounded.
Last summer I met via myspace a few musicians who were doing the same music as me and then everything got started, we helped each other.
And what keeps me going? I guess it is just a vanity affair