A mix of Italian and German, the name Dante Klein literally means 'little endurance,' which is a rather ironic name since it doesn’t describe the rising DJ/producer at all. Not only is Dante not little in stature (he is 6’6”) or talent, he proved his endurance by graduating from school while DJing and producing hit tracks like “Turn Me On,” “Feels Like Home,” and “Ertesuppe.” With several new tracks in the pipeline, Dante Klein is one to watch for 2017.
RS: How is your ADE going?
Dante Klein: My ADE has been very great so far! It’s been a very busy week though, as it has been for all the other DJs as well. I am quite tired now but it’s been very nice.
RS: With the way DJs travel so much y’all don’t actually get to hang out together. Who have you gotten to hang out with this week that excited you?
Dante Klein: I met the guys from Kris Kross Amsterdam, they are great, especially Yuki. He is very spontaneous and it was nice to meet him. I’ll see him again tonight; I am going to play at his show.
RS: Who are your home boys or in your squad, the DJs that you talk to and hang out with?
Dante Klein: There are quite a few now. Sam Feldt and I have become very good friends over the past year. We have known each other for four years but since we are both more involved in the scene we are hanging out a lot more. He entered the DJ Mag yesterday and he is more experienced and more famous than me so it’s great to talk to someone like that.
RS: What was it like working with him in the studio and what did you learn from him?
Dante Klein: I learned a lot from him, he is very creative and business-minded. I learned a lot about the industry and how it works business wise.
RS: When you are in the studio working with him what software do you use?
Dante Klein: We did it on my computer so we used Ableton but he works in FL Studio.
RS: When you made “Let Me Hold You” with Cheat Codes did you have any idea that it would become so big?
Dante Klein: No, not at all! I was very surprised that no one had done a cover of Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On” yet so I thought it had potential, but never thought that I would get 150 million plays on Spotify, that’s insane!
RS: Were you with those three guys or did you work separately?
Dante Klein: Separately. I sent the tracks to Spinnin’ Records and they introduced Cheat Codes to the track and they loved it. They were really excited to sing on it and within two weeks they sang the vocal and sent it back over with the track. I was like wow this is insane, the day that I got it I listened to it 40 times in a row, it was so sick!
RS: Now you know why there are 500 million listens on Spotify, everyone felt the same way!
Dante Klein: I think so too.
RS: How do your parents feel about you being a DJ?
Dante Klein: They are very supportive and love what I do. They have always been like that and they support whatever I want to do, no matter what. They have never put any pressure on me to work in an office or be a lawyer or anything like that, there were very excited when I told them that I wanted to be a DJ.
RS: You just recently got your diploma, congratulations! With all the time leading up to that how did you balance your school life and your DJing?
Dante Klein: It wasn’t that difficult because it was at a music school so you combine it. The school is there to combine your music career with your school work and everything is music related.
RS: So let me get this straight, there are schools in Amsterdam that teach you how to be a DJ?
Dante Klein: Yeah, well it’s not really a DJ school, it’s more about music production and the whole music scene. You learn about contracts and how to deal with managers and label copies and what points to focus on when you sign a contract and that kind of stuff.
RS: I was stalking you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter a little bit and I saw that you have a tattoo that says “sail away from the safe harbor,” what does that mean to you?
Dante Klein: It means you need to take risks in life, if you do what is safe then you can’t expand your life and what you want to do. I actually got the tattoo together with my sister. It is a funny story; she was 15 at the time and came up to me and said that she really wanted to get a tattoo that said “sail away from the safe harbor,” which is what we stand for, so she got the tattoo when she turned 18. She always wanted to get the tattoo with me and as a surprise I went a month later and got the same tattoo and surprised her with that. It was a cool moment; we have the same tattoo in the same place.
RS: Did you parents get the tattoo also?
Dante Klein: No, I tried to convince them though.
RS: I saw that you are modeling for 100 Clothing.
Dante Klein: Not really, they sponsored some clothes for a photoshoot that I did. I have never done any modeling because I am way too tall, I’m 6’6 so that’s way too tall for the modeling industry.
RS: I can’t imagine models every being too tall because the clothes just hang better on tall people. I saw you talking about having a trainer, do you do it more for the looks or health, why are you with a trainer?
Dante Klein: For the health, we do it once a week and he is a good friend of mine actually. He is very strict but it’s more for my health, not to look better because I don’t really care much about that.
RS: With your traveling, your DJing, and production, what do you do to keep a healthy lifestyle?
Dante Klein: Right now my lifestyle is not that healthy, but I try to focus on my diet and training. Once a week I meet with my trainer and I go to the gym two other times besides that, I also try to eat as much healthy food as possible. Sometimes it doesn’t work though because I love food.
RS: Now for the serious questions, why is it that all DJs wear black?
Dante Klein: I seriously have no clue; I know everyone wears black but I try to wear as little black as possible because everyone wears black. Especially when I am DJing in a club or playing a gig, I try to not wear black and just combine my clothes with different colors. I really like denim style and a little bit of an old-school style.
RS: So basically the “sail away from the safe harbor” thing?
Dante Klein: Exactly.
RS: If you were a furry, what animal would you be and why?
Dante Klein: My favorite animal is an elephant because they are very big and I am also very big and tall but they are still very sweet, as long as you don’t take away their peanuts.
RS: From listening to your music I can already tell that you are going to be a big superstar one day. When they make the movie of your life what actor is going to play you?
Dante Klein: I think Ryan Gosling, I love him as an actor and sometimes I see myself in him with his humor and the way he carries himself.
RS: Makes sense. Where did the name Dante Klein come from?
Dante Klein: Dante Klein is pretty random; my real name is Max but I never wanted to use my real name as an artist name. I was talking with my dad and asked him what he thought would be cool because I thought everything was corny and he came up with Dante. I thought it was corny at first but if you combine Dante with a word like Klein, which means mean little. It’s very ironic because I am not little at all. So my name is “Dante Little.”
RS: What is coming from you next musically?
Dante Klein: A collab with Dastik, it’s going to be a club track but after that I am really going to go to the more pop side and make a follow up for “Turn Me On.” I can’t wait to show you guys.
RS: I can’t wait to hear it. What would you like to say to all of your fans out there listening?
Dante Klein: Thank you so much for your support, I really hope to see you somewhere in the world soon and I can’t wait to show you all my new music.
Interview conducted October 2016.