Joris Daniel is an LA-based video game composer, producer, and drummer from the Netherlands. He grew up with an affinity for funk and soul beats, particularly in music by bands like Tower of Power, Snarky Puppy, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. As a composer, he gravitates towards film scores that feature sweeping orchestrations paired with synthesizers found in the works of composers like Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith, Trent Reznor, and Clint Mansell. Taking us into his most recent creation of the sonic and visual pairing for “Give It All,” Joris Daniel explores the realm of entrancing electronica dreamscapes all while offering listeners a virtual reality tour through the music video component.
With the mass of this intricately sculpted track falling into the complex layers disbursed, Joris Daniel approaches the mind-altering musicality in a way that has the listeners riding the highs and lows of this sonic progression. Directly coinciding with the cinematic essence of the eye-catching visuals, the journey that we embark on sees the dimensions that are explored in the realm of weighty synths and electric drum patterns produced.
Creating a masterpiece that heightens senses, Joris Daniel took his captivation for virtual reality, which he first discovered through working on his first VR project with FutureFestVR, and he brought it to life in a three-dimensional space. Listeners can take a 360-degree tour of the galaxy-esque futurama that is crafted in “Give It All.” With a color scheme of neon blue, purple and pink, the environment's imagery has a revolutionary appeal as the specifics are what keeps us fully intrigued.
Given his ability to lure his audience into an innovative storyline, the sonic voyage of “Give It All,” has Joris Daniel peaking in lands yet explored.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Joris Daniel. The entire thesis of this sonic and visual pairing for “Give It All,” blends together so well! What inspired you to take the virtual reality experience into your own musical craft?
Thank you for having me! I've been intrigued by Virtual Reality devices ever since they were first being revealed, and tech demos became available! I was actually a composer on a team that was part of the Oculus Start program back in the early days of VR, so I've had quite some time to become familiar with the medium and its possibilities! I write music for video games for a living, and in these games, the music is always interactive and evolving in real-time when someone plays the game. Therefore, when I started writing music for my own project, the link with VR and the immersive interactive quality I could bring to the project felt very natural to me as a game composer.
We’re so intrigued at what potentially went into the process of this music video! Could you please share a glimpse of the process and people you worked with to bring a vision like this to the public?
It was a lot of work! I had the song concept ready when I started the video, so I could divide it into parts that would become the different scenes in the music video. During 2020. I used the time we spent in quarantine to teach myself Blender (an open-source 3D animation software) to be able to make this 3D animation possible. But, like any other new skill that you learn, it came with a ton of trial and error and overcoming roadblocks. Since VR is such a new medium, these 3D programs are not always equipped with ready-made VR rendering options, so I had to think of a lot of DIY solutions to make it work. In the end, it was all worth it! My good friend Matt Collaco of Collasoul Media helped out a ton; we brainstormed so much to overcome these limitations, and we had a great time tweaking these scenes.
When I rendered everything and edited the video, I made the final spatial audio mix. An example of spatial audio is when you watch the video on a VR headset, and certain audio elements will be linked to objects in the scene. For instance, during the first scene; the vocals will always sound like they're coming from the mouth of the character on the screen. Even if you turn around and he's behind you, the vocals will sound from behind as well, just like in real life. It is virtual surround sound made possible by head tracking, which is very fascinating to me. After the spatial mix was done, I exported the video for all the different media. Again, since VR is so new, there is no real set standard yet, so YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Oculus all needed a different file! I guess that's what you get when working in a relatively unexplored medium, haha! TLDR; It was a lot of learning and working long hours to get everything to work correctly, but I'm grateful for these new skills I got to pick up and be able to collaborate.
What’s the meaning of this song and behind the scenes used to portray its essence in the visuals?
My friend Blutori, who is an amazing soul and funk artist, wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals, and they instantly clicked with me. For me, the song embodies the constant forward motion and grind we're always in as musicians, producers, and composers; going from gig to gig, always looking to what's next to come, never stopping, while giving 200% to everything that we work on because we're passionate about our craft. Everybody is on their own figurative highway. The video abstractly portrays that idea, as we're traveling through different sceneries. Each scene is vastly different and interesting in its own way, but we're going forward fast and we're only in it for a short period; before we know it, we get swung into the next dimension, the next world, the next big thing, if you will.
What is your mission statement as an artist? What do you want your audience to take away from what you stand for?
My mission is to make interesting musical experiences, whether it's working on music for an album, a videogame, a film, or producing music for others. To do so, I think collaboration is key. I have always been very passionate about interdisciplinary projects and collaborating with talented people. I tend to thrive on working with people that are equally passionate about their craft as I am, whether it's an artist with a different musical taste or someone with a completely different background as a filmmaker or a game designer. Everybody brings something new to the table which then brings the project to another level. This, in turn, inspires me to work even harder and get more creative. While I had a vision for what I wanted to do for "Give It All", I feel like working with my collaborators made it come to life so much more!
What's next for you?
I have a couple more songs that I'm making VR experiences for, and will release as an album later this year! It ranges in styles, but it's a lot of synthesizer-driven music, combined with orchestral, film score elements. Other than that, right now, I'm busy composing music for a lot of fun Apple Arcade games, recording and creating synthesizers for a couple of console video games that'll release this year, and working on a film score. I'm enjoying every minute of it!
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