Get to know Dane Morris aka “Great Dane” in our exclusive interview with him.
First and foremost, how did your journey into music production manifest itself? Did you always know you wanted to be a musician, or is it something that just happened for you?
GD I’ve been a musician all my life. My dad is a pianist and while I was growing up, his business was children’s theater. He put on full musical productions for kids in Orange County, so I started getting into music through that. Eventually I ended up majoring in music at Chapman’s Music Conservatory in OC. While I was there, I had some friends who started dabbling in music production and eventually touring as an electronic duo named Virtual Boy. Watching them learn how to produce and quickly turn it around to start a music career was really inspiring to me.
A lot of individuals on the internet love to debate over what kind of genre a specific musician is, and new genres are being made all the time to define the ever-changing musical landscape. How do you classify your sound?
GD I hate genres. I classify my music as “bass” music because it seems to be the only thing that makes sense. I’d like to be classified as just ‘hip-hop’ but it’s sort of hard to call yourself that when most of your songs have no words.
For one to make music, it’s almost a necessity to be versed in other types of music and artists. What artists have made the largest impact on you? Did those artists influence the sound you currently have?
GD I am so deep in my musical journey at this point that I have no idea who is inspiring my current sound at any given moment. My biggest inspiration while I’m writing is my old material and I always want to be improving my sound. The main artists who inspired me to produce in the first place were James Blake, Hudson Mohawke, Odd Future, Lunice and Flying Lotus. In my free time, however, I mostly listen to rap. Mainstream rap beats are the coolest shit ever because they take over the world – I aspire to have one someday. I dream of collaborating with J. Cole, Kendrick, Lil Wayne, Swizz Beats, DJ Mustard, YG, Drake, Rihanna and mothafuckin’ Blueface.
During our conversation, you mentioned that you were eager to release a new album you’ve been working on. What can you tell us about that project?
GD I can tell you that it’s 99% done. The songs on the album have been decided for a while, but I’m really taking my time to finesse each one until it feels perfect. It’s a hybrid album, with half of the tracks featuring rappers/singers and the other half straight-up 2019 Great Dane beats.
What was it like to perform at Burning Man? What can you inform the reader who is curious about attending such an event?
GD Burning Man was life-changing. It’s funny because throughout my whole DJ career I’ve been playing “burner” parties and I thought I understood what the actual burn would be like – it’s so much bigger than that. There’s a sense of community that is truly indescribable. My favorite thing to do was go out alone every day around one or two and get lost in the sauce; there’s an endless array of open bars that people are competing to get you to visit. However, it’s not really about the drinking, (which is very fun) but more about meeting the people who operate each place and learning about them. Also, opening up for Diplo at Camp Q was pretty bad-ass.
You are in fact part of a super team of producers called TeamSupreme, which houses a handful of huge names in the music industry including Mr. Carmack, ELOS, King Henry, and many others. What was the purpose of creating said team?
GD TeamSupreme started as a group of friends who wanted to get their skills up. There’s a really dope documentary on YouTube for anyone who wants to really learn what we’re all about (QR link below). At this point TS is more of an idea that we all subscribe to – the constant pursuit of getting better.
We feel as though it is essential as human beings to travel the globe and experience life through different cultures. Do you have any traveling experiences on the road that impacted you for the better? If not, where in the world do you dream of traveling to and why?
GD Getting to travel as my job is one of the biggest reasons I decided to do this shit. Anthony Bourdain is my hero and I pretend I’m him whenever visiting new places, hosting a little CNN show in my head. The coolest places I’ve been so far are Tokyo and Seoul. It was my first time out of North America so I was really culture shocked, but in a good way. Seoul was the most fun because everyone there likes to eat really good food and drink a lot – my kind of people. I hope to travel a lot more as I get further along in my career because being alone and far away from home really helps ground and solidify who you are as a person.
Photos by Drew Castaneda