A KENTON-ON-SEA youth has turned his schoolboy hobby of producing EDM (electronic dance music) into a chart topping iTunes reality, when his latest compilation, Everybody Jump, recently achieved great success.
Damian Howard, or DJ Chivvie, as he is known to family and friends, is on the fast-track, with his latest dance hit having caught the attention of Dutch record company Wolf Rage Recordings, which has signed him as their latest talent.
With over 11 000 hits on Facebook in the first three days, one can only expect big things from this youngster.
Producing and mastering music has been this Port Alfred High School matriculant’s passion since he was 14 years old, when he started showing an interest in electronic music. His dad bought him a turntable and, since then, Howard has grown his passion into an art the whole family is proud of.
Earlier this year, Howard spent some time in Johannesburg where he underwent an intensive training programme and received a DJ qualification that will give him an edge in the industry, when he pursues a degree with an audio college studying sound engineering.
For production purposes Howard uses FL studio, Ableton Live and Presonus, and describes his style as integrating electro-house, progressive house, deep house and “big room”. “I have always loved music, but after getting tired of listening to other people’s music and imagining what I could do with it, I decided to create my own,” Howard said.
As far as early influences are concerned, Howard looks up to artists like DJ Blend – a Mexican-American producer, whom he describes as a genius behind a turntable – and the likes of South African favourite DJ Fresh.
After spending some time on an exchange programme in Germany, Howard squeezed in some time to explore the nightlife and discovered a taste for the growing European market in EDM.
With big dreams set on collaborations one day, with local and international headliners such as David Guetta and DJ Fresh, Howard spends his free time creating new rhythm and hard rock sounds with different artists from around South Africa, which take hours and hours to blend, using vocals and beats from a range of genres.
Although mom and dad are both extremely proud, Howard admits that not everybody understands the EDM movement. “They are very supportive, but it’s not exactly their taste. My dad gets it a bit more – he is the cool one,” Howard said.
For now, Howard continues to juggle school, family and music while cultivating a name for himself in the industry.
His music can be bought on iTunes and Beatport under “Chivvie Everybody Jump”.