The DJ world now has a 17-year-old performer who is being compared to Justin Bieber - not for his music, but for his hair.
Danny Avila has created a buzz in music circles by spinning big live shows. His new original track is "Breaking Your Fall," and he has a remix package of the single coming out within a month.
Avila, a native of Spain, performs tonight at Marquee. Since his English is good but a work in progress, we did a Q&A by email.
Question: I know you have performed in Vegas before. I think the last time was at Wet Republic. What was that like?
Answer: I was so excited to play there and to see what all the fuss is about, because it is such a popular city and everyone around the world speaks about Las Vegas. So I just couldn't wait! And it was a great experience. I was so impressed by the vibe, the people going crazy, the great club, good music, beautiful girls.
Q: When you perform in here, is it frustrating to be underage. I mean, I think you get escorted in and out of the DJ booth, instead of being allowed to party. So where do you party here?
A: Well, Vegas is very strict, I have to say. Obviously I cannot put myself above any law but I enjoy being in the club, playing my sets and partying with the crowd. That is my kind of party. No need for excessive after-parties for me.
Q: People in my business - the media - keep referring to your hair being similar to Justin Bieber's. What do you think about your hair in relation to the media? Do you feel as if you can never change your hairstyle? Or do you want to change it to get rid of this whole Bieber thing?
A: I can do whatever I want with my hair. If I want to shave my head right now, I could easily do it. No one is telling me what to do with my hair. No management, no record label. I don't have any role model when it comes to my hairdo or style or fashion. Justin Bieber did cut his hair, like, a year and a half ago, and people still compare me to him. Well, what can you do?!
Q: The young DJ 3Lau told me that it helps to be young in electronic music, because kids have related to him trying to make it, as opposed to his older friends who are DJs. Do you find this to be true?
A: I agree with that. I think that young people who start DJing have us as role models because, first of all, the music that we play is pretty much the same style like the music they listen to. And secondly, because it's easier for them to believe that they can make it as well if they have us (the young people) as role models, instead of "older people" who have been in the business for years. Because they can think, "If they could do it, I can do it as well."
Q: When did you start to play music on a personal level? Any traditional instruments, or did you start with a DJ kit?
A: I started playing piano when I was 7 years old, and then I played the guitar for two years. I've been passionate about music since the beginning! I used to listen to so many music styles and I was always exchanging music every day with my friends at school. So one day I was like, "Why don't I start mixing all these tracks?"
Q: What was the moment when you decided to go for it and make music a full-on career? That's a big, bold decision to make.
A: It didn't happen all of a sudden. There is sooo much effort and work behind that. I used to live in the south of Spain, Marbella, where there were not any proper clubs opened to play, promoters to do events with, or even a good manager to work with. The situation there was not really good, so I decided to move to Madrid, where my possibilities were waaaay better. It was such a hard decision 'cause I had to leave all my friends, school, part of my family, etc. But honestly, it was SOOO worth it! I started working so hard every single day, trying to do my own stuff, events, trying to find a good manager, make music, etc.
Q: What's the best DJ experience of your career so far?
A: One of the best moments during my career was when Tiesto was playing at Pacha Ibiza, and I was his guest that night. So I was playing just right after him, so he took the microphone and introduced me. The whole club was screaming and going totally crazy. People stayed until 7 a.m.!! It was unbelievable.
Doug Elfman's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Email him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.