Catch up with Computer Magic (Danielle 'Danz' Johnson) and listen to her latest single "Dimensions" off her upcoming EP, Obscure But Visible, to be released in October on Channel 9 Records.
What got you interested in music and production?
Danz: I have always been interested in music in general, but I started making music about 4 or 5 years ago and it was kind of on accident. I had just started dabbling in music for fun and I found that I liked writing songs and melodies and put them up for free online and people just started to like them. Yeah, I would say on accident [laughs].
Do you remember the first song you wrote that you were happy with?
Yeah... I think one of my first songs was called "Spectro" and it was completely instrumental and it was just a bunch of helicopter noises and random noises; I don't even know if it's still online. I have a song called "Running" that was one of the first songs that I wrote and it happens to be a popular one, which was a surprise to me [laughs].
Which musicians have you been influenced by?
I've been influenced by a lot of musicians. I would say, Gary Numan, Kraftwerk, Broadcast, Stereolab, Radiohead. It's kind of a wide array.
What words would you use to describe your sound?
I don't know. It's always hard to describe your own music but, I guess, if I had to put it in a genre, I would say it could be like synth-pop, dream-pop, something like that [laughs]. It's all opinions, because some people would say it's electronic, but it's not too electronic where it's like super dance-y all the time, so I guess it just varies on the person's opinion.
What were your inspirations behind your single "Dimensions"?
I've been spending a lot of time upstate recently - I've been living in New York City for a long time and I'm originally from upstate - but I've been spending more time up here and I just wanted to make a song inspired by nature and a big open field. Just a bit of a departure from my normal sci-fi influences, but you can probably still hear it on that one [laughs].
Is that indicative of what we can expect to hear on your upcoming EP and could you tell us more about Obscure But Visible?
This EP, it's interesting, 'cause all the songs, to me, sound pretty different than each other, but I made them all around the same time, so I guess they all share some similarities, in that sense. Like, the song "New Generation", I used these African drum loops - it's like a djembe instrument, which is kind of a random instrument. And then, "Gone for the Weekend", I play guitar on, so that's a little more rock and roll. This song "Dimensions", the single that just came out, I used vibe instrument samples on that one - not the real vibes, that would be pretty cool [laughs]. They're all pretty different and interesting in their own way.
Is there a track off that record you're most excited to share with fans?
I don't know which one exactly... "New Generation" is pretty cool; it's kind of like an interlude - it's pretty short - but I like that one a lot. And "Gone for the Weekend" is a pretty fun song.
How would you sum up your Obscure But Visible EP in one sentence?
A vast array of the different sounds of Computer Magic [laughs].
It's interesting, because I feel like all the songs are different in a way, so they showcase the different varieties of music that I make.
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
I hope that people enjoy it and that it inspires them to do something fun for themselves. I never knew that I would be making music for a living and I have so much fun writing and making songs and I'm just happy that people enjoy them.
Is there anything you want to add?
This record I'm pressing on my own label, Channel 9 Records, on limited edition 10" and red cassettes so, if you want to pick one up, it's channel9records.com.