On the rooftop of the original Soho House on Greek Street who should I bump into? Old pal and talented musician Dani Cali. We were both at the re-launch private party and what a good night it was. Mutual and lovely friend Joe Eva has been with the company as management for several years (big shout out to Joe etc for the invite). Their whole team certainly know how to throw a whopper of a bash! I woke up in the morning with my boots still on!
Dani has always been a talented singer song writer and guitarist. Meeting up in Bayswater I got to catch up with him and hear about what he’s been up to.
Dani is south London based His first ever instrument was the piano. Dani got his earliest influences from his father. His dad gave him a Casio and he was off tinkering away! Dani taught himself from books. The travel bug got him and he couldn’t exactly back pack a piano so he transferred to Guitar. This is where all the chords and melodies really started to begin. He adds that piano is always the best way to write as you can get really beautiful melodies, sequences and inversions on the keys.
Self taught on the guitar, this is where he really delved into rhythm. Lead guitar world for him was a bit like football, very competitive. Being slightly less means other musicians can merge together and create an equal sound.
Dani has always been a writer from a young age and again his Dad played a very heavy influence on this. Through his father he was taught structures and learnt how to put a song together from listening to albums by The Rolling Stones or The Beatles.
Learning how to keep a song interesting and unpredictable, learning how to be diverse and take risks and not to be scared of music tangents.
From Ella Fitzgerald, Crosby, Steele, Nash and Young, Gong and The Ozric Tentacles Dani has been positively engulfed with fantastic and diverse music. His first band ‘The Rainbow Munchkins’ were heavily influenced by The Ozric Tentacles and wild nights at the Whirly Gig back in the 90’s at The Shoreditch Town Hall. It was here he experienced DJ Monkey Pilot, Steve Proctor remixes and The Parachute Gang. These underground raves were definitely the turning point for Dani to create his own style of music.
His travels began in Switzerland, and then to America where he worked for the NAMM Show in LA (National Association of Music Merchants). This is where all the big brands go like Yamaha, Fendor and Marshall to showcase their equipment. There’s two days of business and and two days of public. They threw great parties one in particular was with the surviving musicans that had worked with Hendrix (Dani met his dad!). Another party was Fishbone (pure Funkedelic) featuring George Clinton, Bootsy Collins. Dani explains the whole party turned into a love fest and he started to get claustrophobic he slipped out and literally bumped into a very friendly Prince!!!
He is eager to explain he loves songs about journeys and traveling this is why he is heavily influenced by Jack Kerouac, beatnik and American romance. The freedom of trusting fellow man. This is the spark for a lot of his adventures.
He’s lived in Berlin and loved the vibe there and how the arts is really encouraged. He has just returned from LA and what a busy man he’s been. Aside from bumping into Neal Young he’s been working on some great material and collaborations. He has produced his own music nights with guests and dJ’s both here and further afield.
Dani’s roots are pure funk and blues. He’s a huge fan of Nick Drake and John Martin. He loves the art of audio recording and making slick and super quality sounding tracks. He says it is essential you have a sound engineer that knows exactly what they are doing from recording to live gigs. The most important thing is the sound!
‘Joshua Tree Discolure’ I tell Dani is out of this world and I recommend all of you Rizer readers check it out as well as the other links I have attached.
Well Mr Cali always a pleasure and never a chore! You keep going from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see what the future has up its sleeve for you, you are super talented!
Words Celine Hispiche
Photos. Jeff Moh