Today we’re pleased to welcome Mancunian DJ and producer Danny Whitehead, the man behind Black Hawks of Panama. Earlier this month Danny delivered the 200th release on Hot Creations, marking his debut on the revered label. With an old-skool feel, ‘Nobody But You’ features a collaboration with singer-songwriter Bisi and a remix from long-running affiliate of the Hot Creations crew, Sidney Charles. The release adds to a growing catalogue of releases on the likes of Future Disco, Midnight Riot, Nite Grooves and more. We invited Danny for a chat to find out more about ‘Nobody But You’, enjoy!
Hello Danny, a pleasure to have you with us today. How are things going with you and what have you been up to recently?
Hi! I’m really busy at the moment finishing the follow up to Nobody But You and doing lots of promo for the track as well as getting ready to DJ at the weekend. It’s been a hectic summer starting with the Latitude Festival and ending with Camp Bestival and Pikes for Future Disco. So I am enjoying it being a tiny bit quieter.
How’s the music scene been doing recently where you’re based?
I’m based in Greater Manchester, so I’m extremely lucky in terms of options musically and socially. I go to fun nights like Supernature Disco & YDNY, Sprechen, Liverpool Disco Festival and I also visit The Warehouse Project fairly regularly. Manchester has a rich musical history and I think I’m really fortunate to have been exposed to the surrounding culture as it’s had quite a big impact on my musical taste and sound. We’re pleased to be chatting with you following the release of your Hot Creations debut, ‘Nobody But You’ featuring Bisi, congrats on this one! What’s the story behind Nobody But You?
Nobody But You started during a music session where a track I was working on just wasn’t coming together so I ditched it and brought up a rough sketch I had done a few days earlier. The main idea to start with was the lovely baseline you can hear which I made whilst playing around on my Moog. Everything else came together quite quickly then I left the track for about a month and came back to it and added a variation to the baseline which enabled the track to build more. It’s really valuable to come back to a track after a break in that way. We also re-sang quite a bit of the vocals with Victoria/Bisi and added some extra grit all round which is why you can hear the dirtier analog qualities in Nobody But You.
As mentioned, the release marks your debut on Hot Creations. How did it come to find its home on the label and how’s it feel to see your work now part of the label’s history?
My manager sent Nobody But You to Hot Creations earlier in the year and Jamie let us know he was considering the track and road tested it for a while. Fast forward to IMS Ibiza late April 22 and just as I was getting ready to play for back to mine at Pikes, I got a call from my manager to say the track had been signed. I was over the moon as Hot Creations is an epic label, safe to say we celebrated that night!! I have followed Hot Creations since the first release which featured Say What by Jamie Jones (which you can hear on my galactic radio transmission mix for HC on soundcloud). Nobody But You is the 200th release for hot creations so it’s a real honor to represent the label especially considering what it’s become in terms of being a world leader of the scene.
The release also features a remix from long term label affiliate, Sidney Charles, and we saw that Pete Tong gave it a spin on release day! It must be a great feeling to hear that, what was that like?
Always been a fan of Sidney, he’s at the cutting edge of his sound in the scene. Sidney and I share the same manager so it made sense to ask him to do the remix when we were discussing with the label who might do it. Also as you say, Sidney has a long history with Hot creations. We tuned in for Tongy on Radio 1 on Friday, so it was a real moment to hear our track played, we celebrated with some bubbles! I’ve been into the house scene pretty much from the beginning so for Pete Tong to play the track on his show was a real life moment for me.
A word on Bisi too, she puts in a stunning performance on this record. How did you two first cross paths and what’s it like working together?
Bisi, short for Adebisi, is her first name and second name is Victoria, last name Ekanoye. So Victoria is a well respected actress featuring in loads of TV and films. Victoria’s friend and former PR is Lisa Forshaw who introduced us and said we should work together. We decided to get together and I rented a commercial studio in central Manchester where we recorded Victoria’s vocals for Black Hawks of Panamá’s first release, ‘Feel for you’ which did quite well for the first track! We always have a good laugh, that’s the key, having fun whilst you go through the process of making music. You’ve got to make sure your artist is happy and comfortable or you’re not going to get the best from the situation. That said, sometimes you need to do a number of takes so you get the right sound and you can stack the vocals so you need to get on!
Great to chat with you today Danny. To round off, is there anything else upcoming that you’d like to share with us and where’s the best place for our readers to keep up to date with you?
Thanks for the interview! Just finishing off some follow-up tracks for some other great labels so I’ve got my head down. I’ll be in Chester December 17th, for Pulp Disco also YDNY Sat 15th April at the Carlton Club in Manchester.. also festivals and Ibiza dates after that! Get all my info and follow me @blackhawksofpanama there’s a link in my bio connected to SoundCloud, Spotify and everything. Thanks, bye xx Black Hawks of Panama feat. Bisi ‘Nobody But You’ with Sidney Charles remix is OUT NOW on Hot Creations