We had the good fortune of connecting with Danny Olson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danny, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“The puck’s in the corner. Who’s going to get it? You or the other guy?”
My Dad said this constantly throughout my life, along with many, many other hockey-related idioms. He was an extremely accomplished hockey player, and had it not been for injury, would’ve gone pro.
His entire life, and this mantra, came from self-discipline. If you want it, go and get it. No one will give it to you; no one can make you do something great.
You have to want it for yourself.
He passed away suddenly a few months ago, so this means more to me now than ever before.
My entire outlook, morale, and confidence in my professional adult life has stemmed from this adage. I made a decision to move to LA even before graduating undergrad because I knew deep down that I was meant to do something bigger with my music. I had no idea what that specific ‘something’ was, at the time, but over a decade later, I’m still here.
I made it my life’s mission to go get that puck in the corner, despite getting knocked around, hit hard to the ground, and otherwise prevented from reaching that goal. It didn’t matter what others did, or that many had a ‘plan B’.. There was no backup plan for me.
I will achieve what I’ve set out to – for myself, and for my Dad.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My music stands apart because of my experience and past.
I was first drawn to DJing at a very young age, and began my own mobile DJ business in middle school. From there, I developed a love for electronic music and the nightlife/club scene. The energy that this type of music and culture brought was intoxicating to me.
I was also an experienced trumpet player, actor, vocalist and singer, and lived and breathed all things music while in school. Musicals, plays, show choir, jazz bands, symphonic bands, orchestra, marching band.. you name it, I did it.
In college, my love for movie scores and epic, cinematic music really took hold. I wanted to find a way to pursue this in a formal way, while also incorporating my love and affinity for DJing and electronic music.. so I created my own major in ‘Composition & Sound Design for Film and New Media’.
It. Was. Hard.
Everywhere I turned, it seemed people were telling me to ‘pick one or the other”. That trying to achieve success in both worlds was too difficult because of how different they were from each other. Even professors would turn up their noses because what I was doing wasn’t ‘avant-garde’ or ‘traditional’ enough.
Still, to this day, I feel myself just getting started.. finding my footing and establishing my brand as the cinematic electronic producer. It has even been tricky to pin down a dedicated fan base. My style doesn’t really follow the built-in genres that actually give way to success for a lot of acts. Fan bases and labels come to accept a trend when it is proven successful. From there, many just get good at that style of music and then ‘ride that wave’.
But where’s the innovation in that? Of course, I am oversimplifying for the sake of comparison to my path, which despite the obstacles has led me on a journey of self-discovery, education, and happiness. I love knowing that what I am creating, a mixture of cinematic music and electronic, is connecting with people and making a lasting imprint.
My journey, from here, is to keep creating honestly and hope that more people resonante with my sound and my message.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Santa Monica, so a lot of my favorite spots are on the west side.
Definitely Bodega Wine Bar for some flatbreads and wine, then maybe the rooftop at Shangri-La to watch the sunset overlooking the entire south bay.
Elephante has phenomenal food, so definitely there for dinner.
Brunch the following day at Rose Cafe in Venice or Great White, then drinks at Victorian and The Bungalow.. followed by Pizza from Double Zero (best vegan pizza in LA).
Abbot Kinney in Venice is also a great place to shop, walk around, and hang out.
And who could forget wineries in Malibu or along the PCH (Rosenthals for live music).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, Girlfriend Nikki, and amazing friends.
My team, Tyler, Eddie, Nate and Josh, as well as all of the incredible artists that I get to work with and create with.
My Dad, who always taught me to never give up; never take my foot off the gas, because according to him, ‘the best is yet to come’.