Meet DVNIEL. He’s an up-and-coming musician who has already opened for the Chainsmokers and is about to release his own EP. Oh, and did we mention that he’s only a teenager?
In a music scene that’s oversaturated with the same old EDM beats, DVNIEL’s style is a breath of fresh air. The 16-year-old artist from NYC creates electronic tracks that are both soothing and energetic. His brand of music is the kind of banger you’d dance to at a festival, yet it’s also chill enough to listen to during a day at the beach.
Recently, the teen took some time off from releasing any new music so he could focus on putting together an EP. Now, he’s ready to unveil his work, an EP he proudly calls the fourth dimension, which will be independently released on October 6.
We recently caught up with DVNIEL to know more about him, his music, and his new album.
Tell us what music/recording gear you use to create your sound/recordings and what you use to mix and track it all?
“I honestly have a pretty minimal setup. I make music in Ableton, and that’s pretty much it. I don’t use any crazy plugins or anything like that, I really just try to use weird sounds, or sounds you wouldn’t expect to hear in a song rather, and I make them fit in somehow. I find it real fun to just mess around with a random sound for hours, and end up with a completely different sound than the one you started with.”
Where did your deep passion for music come from? Who were the artists you admired when you were learning your craft?
“I always had an interest in just making art in general. The idea of being able to make something that previously didn’t exist before was just really intriguing to me.
“I loved drawing and writing, but music always stood out to me. I was that kid making music on pots and pans, and starting random bands with my friends throughout my early childhood. I started producing music electronically when I was around 13 years old, and ever since I began it’s been all that I focus on.
“What drew me into production, in particular, was just the fact that you can make music on a computer in your bedroom, which was really accessible. I was really inspired by Martin Garrix, in particular, because of his age. I saw him getting such a buzz at around 17 or 18, and I was like ‘I can do that too’.”
What does the fourth dimension refer to and tell us about the process/inspiration behind recording this EP?
“I unintentionally began the writing process of the EP at the beginning of this summer with tesseract, with the sole intention to just let out whatever emotions I was going through in that moment.
“Being only 16 years old, I’m at a time of my life where there’s just so much going on, between experiencing many new things for the first time, and truly beginning to find myself as a person. I didn’t just sit down one day and think to myself ‘oh shit, I want to make an EP’. That idea came into play much later. The concept of making an EP was more based on what I was writing, and how the music ended up fitting together.
“Anyways, after I wrote tesseract, I just started writing so many songs that were telling stories of the emotions I was experiencing. The only real goal I had was to experiment and try new things that I previously wouldn’t have tried. I made so many songs with this in mind, and although not all the songs made the actual record, the ones that did I think do a pretty good job of telling the story that I wanted to get across.
“Overall, this EP is almost like a time-capsule for me, something I’m going to be able to look back to that will always bring me back to my 16-year-old self, and the headspace I was in while writing it. Each song is based on emotions that I’ve experienced, and each song ties into the next, ultimately creating a story, which is my story.
“At the end of the day, one of the main reasons I make music is because it’s just so therapeutic. Whatever I’m going through I can just put into music, and it helps me.
“I named the EP the fourth dimension because it kind of sums up how I want people to hear the project. We live in a three-dimensional world where we have the ability to move forwards, backwards, up and down, but time is linear, meaning it’s continuously moving forward.
“No one can even think of what life would seem like in four dimensions though, because we’ve only experienced life in three dimensions, so it’s almost like this unknown space that we can only ponder and study. With this record, I want people to step into their own ‘fourth dimension’ and just let time stop, and think about everything differently.”
Who are three music acts/producers that we haven’t heard of but we really MUST discover?
“There are so many underground artists I’ve been really into lately, but if I had to pick three, I’d say definitely check out Billie Eilish if you haven’t already. She’s really been blowing up lately, and she’s crazyyy talented at only 15 years old. I’ve been listening to her new album on repeat ever since it dropped, and it’s amazing.
“Another really talented artist I recommend checking out is ‘ö’ or ‘nömak’ (unsure of how to pronounce his name), but definitely check out his stuff, particularly his EP, Posthuman. His stuff is really innovative and different, yet still super beautiful and ambient.
“The last artist I’d say to check out is Sam Gellaitry. You might have already heard of him but if you haven’t definitely check him out, his stuff is really diverse and has a unique vibe to it.”