Daniel Owen (aka DJ Dan) might best be described as a local renaissance man. Besides hosting and recording his own internet radio show (Tune the World Out) that highlights local and national pop/rock, he also writes and records his own music and books shows/benefits at local venues. On top of all that, you might also know him best for being a superfan of local group The Beautiful Bodies. He now sells his own line of jewelry and he may well be Kansas City’s closest answer to music and fashion moguls like Jay-Z and P Diddy. Recently, I sat down with Dan to discuss his show and all of his other music related projects:
DEMENCHA: Was “Tune the World Out” your first foray into being involved with music?
Dan: When I got out of high school I wanted to do booking. And I started doing shows. My first show was with Sunday Blackout…[at] Jerry’s Bait Shop.
DEMENCHA: When did you start the radio show? And give us some background on the show.
Dan: In 2007…I air the interview shows once a week. My shows are on every Monday and Friday. Sometimes I leave them up so everybody can hear them.
DEMENCHA: Where’s the best place to listen to the shows?
DEMENCHA: What are your goals for the show? What is the process for being featured or interviewed on your show?
Dan: A lot of bands and artists have to go through a label to get their music on the air…So, [instead] they can go through me if they don’t have an agent or a label. Some unsigned artists just email me. They also send me [press kits] in the mail or merchandise. I also do giveaways on my show; t-shirts, CDs, stickers.
DEMENCHA: Do you ever contact bands that you like and want to put on the show?
Dan: I contact the management, managers and assistants. Some of the artists that are local just send me their new releases. Mostly I go to shows and give them my card [and tell them], “I’d love to play your music on my show.”
DEMENCHA: Who are some of your favorite artists that you’ve interviewed or played on Tune the World Out?
Dan: I’m a big fan of the Beautiful Bodies, big fan of Get Busy Living [from Olathe]. They just came out with a new CD [Don’t Back Down]. They’re a pop-rock group with a little punk added in. I also like Blame Shift. They’re from Long Island, New York. I sent them one of my bracelets and my jewelry was featured in one of their videos. [Dan’s jewelry can be purchased through the City Never Sleeps Designs facebook page or website.] Another artist I really like is Jett Pink from Los Angeles.
DEMENCHA: Anyone who knows you or has listened to the show is probably aware you’re a huge Beautiful Bodies fan and that you’ve met Alicia Solo [the singer] many times.
Dan: She’s an amazing singer songwriter. I’ve been following her since 2003, high school years at Park Hill. They just went on tour with Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger. They just went to Los Angeles to record a new album. I had them on the show last year before their Valentine’s Day event they did at the Beaumont Club.
DEMENCHA: I saw you had Brody Buster on your show.
Dan: He’s a nice guy. He played the harmonica on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno when he was younger. I interviewed him and his tambourine guy. I became friends with him.
DEMENCHA: So I’ve read that you also do some booking, is that pretty regular?
Dan: I don’t have any shows coming up. The last show I booked was for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. You can still go to their website and you can donate still. On July 5th at the Record Bar [we had] Cody Ross, Get Busy Living, Roots and Stems…I’ve worked with the Czar Bar, Record Bar, Riot Room, The Roxy [in Joco]. [Dan's booking company is called Rock With Me Productions/Dude, Where is My Guitar]
DEMENCHA: You’ve also done some other benefits and tributes right?
Dan: I do benefits. I’ve done a Jeff Buckley event and a Joplin benefit that was last year. I did a Joplin/Haiti benefit at the Riot Room last year as well.
DEMENCHA: You also play and record your own music, should we look for a Daniel Owen album in the near future?
Dan: Maybe in 2013 you’ll see something like that.