( Ultra Music, Funky Element Records, TurnitUp Muzik New York, NY )
Genres don’t matter when each of your tracks belongs in a category all its own. DJ and producer DANK channels over two decades of New York City blood, sweat and tears into any unforgettable anthem with his name on it.
Be it house, techno, electro or dubstep, instant appeal is the common denominator of every DANK release over the years. His path to success in the electronic music world has been paved not only by sexy hooks and melodies but also a tireless work ethic. As an official Ultra Records artist he’s remixed songs by the likes of Daft Punk, Rihanna and Avicii in addition to providing a platform for such artists as Lazy Rich and Calvertron via his own imprint, Funky Element Records.
DANK, whose real name is Brian Atwood, came of age in the NYC nightlife scene during its heyday in the ‘90s. Born and raised in Long Island just outside the five boroughs, he fell in love with electronic music at the age of 15. Bouncing between Brooklyn warehouse raves and legendary clubs like Limelight and Twilo, he experienced a wide cross section of dance culture before the turn of the millennium.
In 2000 DANK purchased his first pair of Technics turntables and learned how to play records. Before long he found himself performing at such NYC destinations as Lunatarium, Randall’s Island, Webster Hall and Hammerstein Ballroom, as well as out-of-town hotspots like Asylum Nightclub in Springfield, Massachusetts and the Whistle parties in Philadelphia.
That year DANK also launched Funky Element Productions and began throwing parties throughout New York City. He and his team were responsible for massives like Sneaky, Afraid of the Dark and A New Beginning, but the biggest Funky Element gathering was billed as Fahrenheit and drew a crowd of roughly 4,000 to Hammerstein Ballroom in 2006.
Although DANK had learned how to produce music in Cubase as early as 2002 using analogue equipment like the Roland TB-303 and TR-909, he shifted his focus to the studio more so in 2007 than ever before. In 2010 he founded his own artist label, Funky Element Records. He inaugurated it with the release of a track titled “FuNK eL,” and Lazy Rich himself contributed a club mix of the single that charted on Beatport.
In 2012 DANK cut his first EP: An electro four-tracker titled Tunnel Vision for which he enlisted FTampa, Rednek, Chrizz Luvly and Alex Mind to deliver remixes. Soon after, he tried his hand at producing dubstep and saw immediate success; his 2013 single “Blow Me” reached #1 on Beatport’s Dubstep Top 100 Tracks chart.
The same year, DANK’s put out a song called “Crystals” that marked the biggest turning point in his career. He originally submitted it to Ultra Records A&R David Waxman but released it on his own label after receiving no reply. It reached #7 on the Beatport Top 100 Songs & DJ Tracks chart, and that day Waxman responded to his email with an invitation to come to the Ultra offices for a meeting. He ended up signing a 360 deal with Ultra and remains on the label’s official roster to this day.
DANK has risen through the ranks of electronic music as a prolific remixer since signing to Ultra Records. Britney Speers, Yoko Ono and Shakira are but a few of the artists whose music he’s reimagined over the years. Several of his remixes have reached #1 on various Beatport charts as well as the Billboard Dance Club Play chart. He has also now performed in most states throughout the U.S. as well as nightclubs in Vancouver and Paris.
As simple as it may sound, what has afforded DANK so many opportunities is that he makes music from the heart and soul. Instead of chasing trends he produces in whatever style suits his fancy – and his sincerity translates through to the finished product every time. Having worked as both an entertainer and an entrepreneur – and in live music as well as the recording industry – his unique perspective also keeps him on the forefront as a music professional.
If his trajectory thus far serves is any indicator, the future holds even bigger and better things for DANK. He’s sitting on a wealth of new music, so it’s safe to say the best is yet to come for this rising talent.