Danja Interview with YouKnowIGotSoul.com
Well once again, the main man "Kyle Ng" from youknowigotsoul.com managed to hook up with Danja for an interview where we finally get some light shed on his work with Timbaland.
Now for those of us curious to hear the Timbaland parts, here it is in text form:
YouKnowIGotSoul: I was introduced to you through a song titled “Betta Half” by Ginuwine. How did that opportunity come about? I know you were working on Timbaland at the time, but how did that particular opportunity come about?
Danja: I actually did that record before I started working with Timbaland. It was just through meeting a bunch of different people. I was pretty young at that time. I actually went to Ginuwine’s house, met him and played him a bunch of tracks. He loved the track and out of that meeting “Betta Half” happened.
YouKnowIGotSoul: The production on that song is very different from what we know from you now. What was the approach with that song?
Danja: Well I always did a lot of different styles of music, but just for Ginuwine it was just a batch of R&B tracks that I gave to him. I was in a real heavy R&B mode at that particular time as well as Hip Hop, but you have to cater the music to the type of artist you are working with.
YouKnowIGotSoul: I know you as well as Keri Hilson and Marcella started out originally working under Timbaland. Talk to me about the grind and journey that you guys went through to develop into who you guys are today.
Danja: It was just getting the opportunity as individuals to enhance our craft outside of the camp we came from. I began to work with Diddy a lot and worked with Bad Boy at Daddy’s House in New York. I would work there. We would have our own rooms to work, so I guess I was just left in my own space to grow and develop myself. I always wanted to develop my own sound and my own style. Listening to a lot of different music, putting a lot this together and working with a lot of different artists, it didn’t lead me any other reason but to come up with something eclectic and something to call my own. Just over time working with a lot of artists and having that opportunity for us to be by ourselves and work separately allowed us to grow.
YouKnowIGotSoul: When you and Timbaland first came out, you guys had this crazy sound that was very unique and ended up blowing everywhere. Talk to me about that creative process and how you guys came up with that particular sound.
Danja: It was just two individuals with two different music minds, being open minded and coming together. That just created something different. I have a different music opinion than what Timbaland has even though we agree a lot on the same things, but we just have a different approach with how we do things. We compromised at that time just for the collaborative effort. I wasn’t trying to do something he did and he wasn’t trying to do something that I did. We just brought something different to the table and the hits that we made were a product of that.
YouKnowIGotSoul: It seemed like every song you guys put out together ended up being a hit from Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado to even Madonna. Do you think that type of success can be replicated or was it because of the timing?
Danja: You never know. I think it has been replicated in the sense that we had the Dubstep movement. I can’t really speak so much for the Dance movement because I think we opened the door for the dance world. Even the Dubstep movement, we opened that door for this broad, international sound. The David Guettas had an opportunity to also have hit records on the side because we already paved the way for that sound. It just really depends, you never know. I think what we did at the time was a product of fun in the studio and not really setting any boundaries or being inside a box. I think it can be replicated. No one knows the recipe. There’s no set thing you can follow to come up with that again. I think when the stars align, it’ll all happen again. Music evolves and I think more than anything, people just have to keep their ears open for things that’s new and different and not really expect the same thing that’s happened over and over. It’ll happen, but it may be in a different form.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Talk about that decision for you to eventually branch out and start your own thing. To a lot of people, it seems like a huge risk because you had a lot of hits working with Timbaland. Talk about that decision and do your own thing.
Danja: It just came from careers going in two different directions. Timbaland was doing his thing touring with Justin and I was still here in the studio working on projects. It wasn’t necessarily a decision, it was just kind of the way things had prevailed. From that point on, things picked up on my end and I started working more and more on different things.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Do you see yourself working with Timbaland in the future?
Danja: You never know. We haven’t planned on anything. We spoke a few times on a couple of different things. I think for the right project, we’ll make up and work. As of now, there is nothing planned.
YouKnowIGotSoul: My personal favorite song that you did is Keri Hilson’s “Where Did He Go?”. Talk about that song.
Danja: That’s a collaboration. That was myself and Timbaland. It was him with the drums and I just played a guitar line. He just heard a sample of what I did and reprogrammed it with the ASR. He did with the ASR. That’s an old throwback track, but it was a collaborative effort. It’s two brains on that record with the drum sound and the melodics from me.
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