Dan Nyguen aka DEMONSLAYER is a natural when it comes to mixing. Whether it’s the catchy intros or whimsical names to his music that draw you in, you are sure to be hooked on a sound that seems both unique and interesting, yet familiar. That’s because Dan’s track progressions make sense. The effortless flow of DEMONSLAYER’s Maiden Tech EP shows off a thoughtful mix of grime, club beats, hints of swing, 80’s new wave, and hip hop. Did I mention he also does his own album artwork?
In this week’s STYLSS Spotlight, Dan dishes on Beatlemania, nature’s laws and his upcoming collaboration with Vietname rapper Suboi.
Additional words and interview by Kaylee Wolf.
What does STYLSS mean to you?
Digital family, connected through ethernet. We support each other in sound, art & life. Sometimes I talk to Cory about girl drama, LOL.
How’d you get into music?
I started DJing as a turntablist when I was 16. Then I progressed to party DJ & then producing. I was always into music as a kid, especially 80’s new wave & MJ. I’ve played in many bands as well, from new wave, prog rock, free jazz, jazz, funk & soul etc.
Describe your sound and what you’re going for.
My sound constantly changes depending on my environment (I travel a lot). I like to challenge myself with producing different styles. But regardless of aesthetic, I try to express emotion, & enjoyment for the listener & myself. Music is meditation with a challenge.
What’s your favorite song you’ve ever made?
I’d say “Spork in the Road” from 2004 because of the feels, & relative ease during production.
What kind of equipment/program do you use to produce? Play out live?
Producing is a combo of drum machines, synths, spring reverb, turntables, field recordings, tape & other random hardware. I then mix and tidy things up in Logic.
How often do you release new music? When is your next official release?
I don’t release music often, although I produce tracks & work on compositions everyday. Next release is w Vietnam’s most prominent rapper, Suboi. I’m producing a couple of tracks on her new album. She’s pretty big here so I’m excited to introduce this sound to the mainstream of VN.
What are you favorite artists/songs/albums/genres?
The Beatles. Their whole discography. The current new wave of experimental grime instrumentals, & the recent burst of stripped down, UK underground club music.
If you had the opportunity to collaborate with one artist, who would it be & Why?
The Beatles probably. They are innovators in every sense of the word & they are super versatile – they can write cheesy pop hits or abstract, experimental noisy annoying tracks.
Who are some of your musical influences? What are your influences outside of music?
Musically I really appreciate EASTGHOST’s writing, the mixing / spacing of Mumdance and Logos. A lot of old funk and soul music too (1966-1981).
What was the last live show you attended? and/or Favorite Artist/DJs you’ve seen live?
Last live show was the fourth annual Experitet Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam. I was invited to play so I chilled & watched everyone else. I always enjoy watching D-Styles.
If you could only listen to one artist for the remainder of your life who would it be & why?
Prob the Beatles. Their catalog is super exstensive & i’d prob never get bored of it.
What else do you do besides music ? Hobbies? Day Job?
I’m an art director in a creative agency, so basically I spew forth ideas on the daily for clients. I’m also a visual artist (been drawing since a child) & I’m a professional artist as well. DJ, organize events, edit film, design stuff etc.
If you had $1000 cash given to you right now, what would you do with it?
I’d take my friends out to eat & then save the rest. Maybe cop a pair of sneakers.
Do you have any life advice or wisdom to share?
If you are following your dreams & it seems hard af, don’t give up. The universe rewards action, so as long as you put in work, something will return. It’s a law of nature: every action creates an equal & opposite reaction.
C O N N E C T • W I T H • D E M O N S L A Y E R :
The STYLSS Spotlight is curated to showcase & spotlight STYLSS affiliated artists & our friends from around the world.