EDM.com wishes a Happy Father's Day not only to all the dads out there, but also the moms who took on both roles for their kids.
To celebrate Father's Day this year, we connected with some of the biggest artists in dance music, who shared their fondest memories of their father or their children. Break out the tissues because there are some tearjerkers.
"A few years back it somehow worked out that I was playing Sunday of EDC and it was Father’s Day! I flew him out for the weekend and had him hop on stage as a special guest for 1 song. Without thinking much about it I called him “Papa NGHTMRE” over the mic and he has since adopted the nickname. As we walked around the festival after, fans came up to ask for pictures with him! It was a great memory for both of us.”
"One of my favorite memories as a parent was bringing my daughter Sansa on stage at our Laserface San Francisco show – it was the biggest show I'd ever done, with a sold out crowd of 8,500 people, and it was the first time she'd ever come to one of my shows. Her sister, Elise, who is two years younger hasn't been to a show yet, but I named the closing track of my upcoming album THE LASERS after her, so when we get back to gigging, she's overdue a trip to the DJ booth too!"
"I remember when I first played EDC Vegas and I brought my mom on stage while I was playing… for the first time she could see what my accomplishments were of all those years and everything she did for me. I've never been so happy to see her face up there with me."
"When I was in high school, my dad gave me some great advice about life. He said, 'There's always going to be someone smarter, stronger, and better looking than you – just be the best version of yourself and you can't lose.’ It's advice that applies to any stage of life, especially in the era of social media comparisons! Now, as a dad myself, I need to start compiling some good tips for my daughter. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but I love it."
"My mom has always been there for me since the beginning. She’s been both my mother and my father for 23 years, and went without more times that I can count to make sure I had the best life possible. She has always been my number one fan even at a time when I was bullied for having dreams. To me she’s a superhero and I don’t think that I would be where I am without her."
LOUIS THE CHILD
Robby: "One of my fondest memories with my father is going to the Grateful Dead 'Fare Thee Well' shows in Chicago with him and my family. My Dad is a huge Grateful Dead fan and used to go to tons of Dead shows with my mom and their friends before I was born. Having a weekend to experience the music and culture that has shaped my father is something I’ll cherish forever."
"When I was younger, my dad (who’s a huge music enthusiast) would play his favorite music in the car at all times. Obviously as a small kid I didn't know any of the songs and most of them I still don't. Nowadays, when I randomly hear one of them somewhere, it reminds me of him and instantly puts me back in the backseat of his car.”
"One of my favorite memories with my dad has to be taking him to Kaskade’s Sunsoaked 2017. I remember looking out and my dad is front and center of the pit going so hard. He had made friends with all the people around him, so for the entire set the center pocket was going crazy. One of the best times I’ve ever had."
"I remember taking a long drive up to Woodward Skate Camp in the off-season (winter) to go skating and we spent the whole drive listening to Lewis Black's stand up comedy, just literally dying of laughter the entire time."
"Some of my most special memories with my father were always roadtrips. Sounds simple but these were roadtrips that introduced me to so much music that I've never heard before. It feels as if the destination didn't matter, nor can I recall the locations we visited much. I just remember hearing music that eventually stuck with me for the rest of my life. Who would have thought that would shape me as the person I am today? Forever grateful."
"I have so many great memories of my dad, and look up to him and love him so much. He is also in a creative field, and always encouraged me to take risks with my passions growing up instead of choosing something “safe." When I was looking through photos I kept coming back to this one. This was taken during Grammys week, which was the last time I saw my dad. He lives in LA along with my aunt, who raises monarch butterflies. She had just released dozens of new butterflies and snapped this moment when we were giddy because two decided to rest on our heads. There’s nothing extraordinary about this photo, but that’s why I love it. It captures a spontaneous, happy moment."
"Happy Father’s day to my dad! When I first started touring he would drive me to the airport and I remember one day he said, 'I guess I’m just taking my son to work right now.' That memory always makes me laugh and smile. I’m thankful that he has always been so supportive of my music career and for taking chances to do my own thing. Thanks dad!"
"My favourite memory of my dad, is when in grade 8 I basically got bullied off the basketball team for having pink hair… so my dad took me to a Vancouver Grizzlies game that night and sat us court side. We didn’t have a tonne of money growing up, so this gesture to remind me to be proud of who we are has really stuck with me. Unfortunately my dad has been fighting Alzheimer’s for the past 10 years, so for him a lot of the memories are getting lost, but I’m gonna hang on to them as long as I can. Love ya dad wherever you are in there."
"A proud moment for me has been watching my daughter develop her own musical tastes. Watching her jump up on the kitchen bench and sing (or mime) to her favorite songs definitely fills me with joy. Whether it's Queen, or Maggie Rogers, or the Frozen soundtrack on infinite repeat, it's always a pleasure to watch."
MATTISSE & SADKO
"From an early age we’ve known what Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin is, thanks to our father. He still keeps a solid collection of vinyl records at home. He likes our music and takes care of us. He’s always angry if we don’t use ear protectors during the shows or if we spend too much time in the studio. We love our dad immensely!"
"My most fondest memory is my dad at the ice rink with me for my figure skating lessons, from when I was young to a teen he never missed one lesson. He would be there at 5AM and 4PM because I would skate twice a day."
"Best memory of my dad was him attending every one of my sports games growing up despite traveling for work. He never really missed a game and was always there from start to finish every single season every sport. He was one of the quietest most patient people and taught me to be dedicated."
"One of my favorite memories with my dad is when I took him on tour to Canada and the US. Besides the quality time we got to spend together, the funniest thing was seeing the club-owners loving the fact that my dad came along. The tour closed down in Las Vegas where I had to play at a pool party with girls in bikinis everywhere, my dad couldn’t believe what was happening haha!”
"This photo by far was one of my favorite memories with my dad because it was one of the first shows he ever got to see me play. The fact that it was in my hometown of Phoenix for 15,000 people made it even more special. Can't deny that it's pretty funny he trolled me by flipping my name off in our photo opp!"
Matt: "One of my favorite memories with my dad is the Bruce Springsteen concert we went to when I was six or seven. I think it was the Meadowlands stadium where the Jets and Giants play. I still have a vivid memory of my dad and I jamming out to ‘Born To Run’ while the rain was coming down."
Eli: "I’ll stick with the music theme too—I have many great memories of my dad coming to every Two Friends show that we’ve ever done in our hometown of Los Angeles, and him going all the way to the front row and raging with the crowd. He’s tall, so it’s easy to spot him. I’m sure he gets some confused looks from people who don’t know he’s my dad, but he goes all out and it’s a lot of fun to watch from the stage."
"Fathers Day was celebrated different in my house, or at least I celebrated it differently. Growing up my dad wasn't there, all I knew was us and my mom. She raised us, worked hard to give 6 of her children the best life she could, and I will always love her for that. She sacrificed a lot, worked hard and was back home in time to be with all of us. She showed me how to work hard for what you needed and be responsible for your family. Family first. She molded me into what I am today. Happy Father's Day, Mom."
"As many families experience, my mother and father divorced when I was just a toddler so I didn't see my dad as much as I wanted. But any time I spent with him was special and I'm just happy I was able to do so. There's no one in the world like your father so make sure you take advantage of the time you do spend with him. Sorry I didn't mean to make this sad (laughs)."
"Man, so many good memories about my dad – one that always sticks out is the beach. My dad always took me down to Ventnor NJ growing up. He’s super into good food and is quite the chef. He knows all these low key grill spots, like side of the street BBQ. We’d always stop right before Margate NJ and snag some brisket or brats, then immediately go fishing the rest of that day and the whole weekend. Sometimes we’d even pull up to a nearby dock and get some fresh BBQ. Very thankful for my pops, taught me the valuable lessons of how to be a dad and also a loyal friend. May go get some of that BBQ now.”
"My Dad used to wake up with me every other morning at 4:30AM to drive me to the gym so I could do strength and conditioning with my cycling team. We drove around the country each weekend going to meets and competitions. He went out of his way with every sport I played. He supported me in whatever I did and I am forever thankful for that. I think that kind of stuff only really hits you when you’re older."
"Growing up I have always been surrounded with music in the house, genres going from reggae, hip-hop, jazz, classical till bouncing with my dad on Dr. Dre in the car. My dad has always inspired me and indirectly raised me being musical. This is how I developed to be a versatile producer and my understanding for each genre."
"My father passed when I was 20 from brain cancer. By the time I started making great music he had already lost his ability to speak in complete sentences. On the way to one of his final doctors' appointments, I played him one of my beats CDs, and he looked at me with so much joy on his face and said, “This is good,” with a big smile. Those beats on that CD would later be the music that changed my life. Love you pops."
"The first ever proper concert I went to was with my dad, he managed to get us spare tickets to see Eminem and Odd Future. Even though it’s not my dad's favourite music, he did it for me and we had a really good time. I also remember him putting tissue in his ears because it was too loud. That day me and my dad became gangsters, I loved it."
"My fondest memory of my father would have to be his musical talent. He would always play the saxophone in his office, where he had signed jazz records and posters everywhere. I would go to his gigs and see him rip a solo and hear him sing. I can’t thank him enough for the gift of showing me the way!”
WENZDAY & DACK JANIELS
Wenzday: "My favorite memory of my dad is that growing up he would always take my brother and I to shows before we were old enough to go alone. My dad took us to shows like Paul McCartney, Green Day, Yellow Card, Mickey Avalon, and festivals like Projekt Revolution and Live 105’s BFD. I think our love for live music comes from being exposed to so many genres and acts from a young age!
Dack Janiels: "Thinking back, my favorite memory of my dad is him introducing me to hip-hop when I was around 10-years-old. His love for Tupac and west coast rap was a crucial factor in my love for music and I cherish that memory to this day!"
"One of my favourite memories with my dad is back when we used to live in Iran, we would road trip North to visit my grandparents. On the road trip we’d always stop on the mountain side at a natural spring waterfall to enjoy the beautiful views. It became our tradition to load up on Persian snacks and tea for the drive."
"My most fond memory is when my dad took me to a music store in the city to get a microKorg when I was 14, I wanted one so bad and it was like a dream come true – he was one of the first people to support my music."
"Right after high school graduation, I spent two weeks with my dad and a friend of mine in The Netherlands, visiting my Oma. One morning, he surprised us by driving us all the way to Paris, and we sang in the car the whole way there and back. He always remembers that car trip as the moment he understood that music was my calling, and I’m forever grateful for that amazing trip together. My dad and I are one and the same, and he’s my buddy for life. Love you, Dad."
"My family used to have big parties. After the big table was cleared and the dishwasher running, me and my dad would pick out a good scotch from the cupboard, and each pour a good amount. I'd sit at the piano, he'd sit in his favourite chair. I'd play old jazz standards, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits songs on the piano, and he'd listen from across the room under the softness of evening lamplight. Each sharing something special with the other."
Cody: "One of my fondest memories of my Dad is when he took me to a recording session when I was a kid. The session was at Sunset Sound in Hollywood and they were recording a television commercial. My dad being the composer took charge of the entire room and everyone in it. Watching him create his art made me feel like I was watching my hero. Thanks for giving me the gift of music dad, happy Father’s Day!"
Cameron: "One of my favorite moments of my Dad is when he drove my newly signed high school band around the country on our first tour! We were too young to drive and didn’t have our driver's licenses. Moments like these, I am thankful for. Selfless love and support. Happy Father's Day! I love you.”
"This is me and my Dad (and also my little brother) at Legoland about 15 years ago. I was around 10 years old. I was definitely scared of rollercoasters and would tightly hold onto (and sometimes scratch the heck out of) my Dad’s arm on every ride. We were eating at the Legoland buffet later, and we saw he had what looked like a red burning rash on his upper arm because I kept grabbing and holding on to his arm. Kind of incredible. Anyways, I was a huge fan of Legos and my favorite movie was the Lego Movie. Same with my Dad."
A HUNDRED DRUMS
"One of the most fond moments I have with my father was when he told me about beauty. We all know that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But we also need to know that beauty comes from within. My father always showed me ways of expressing my beauty with my brain, not my body."
"My favorite memory of my dad is going and watching him play live at funk/jazz festivals growing up. It was amazing seeing the crowd's reaction to him playing a crazy solo on the guitar, and as a kid I couldn't help but admire him!"
"My fondest memory with my dad is the first Phillies baseball game he ever took me to. I was really young, but I have a crystal clear memory of him walking me out of the tunnel and into the stadium, and the entire thing opening before my eyes. The field was so green. Also, my favorite thing about my dad is his laugh. It's so funny because he's extremely intelligent, hardworking, and revered among his peers, but when he laughs (and I mean really laughs), he unleashes this squeaky, chipmunk-y laugh. It's so infectious and it lights up any room he's in because it makes everyone else crack up."
NIIKO X SWAE
Niiko: "I know I speak for both of us when I say there is no way we could have done this without the love and support of our fathers. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my Dad have the time of his life while watching us perform. My dad is the most humble, hardworking, and personable man and I am honored to be his son.”
Swae: "My father is not only my biggest inspiration but also my best friend. He pushes me each day to be the best man I can possibly be and without his support we would be nowhere in our careers. Happy Father’s Day to Craig and all the other amazing fathers in the world.”
"I'll never forget driving around listening to The Beatles. 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' was playing and you told me that was how boys should always talk to me. I was still young enough then to think your dance moves were cool!"
Garrett: "One of my fondest memories with my dad is when the whole family would go camping in the mountains when I was pretty young, and he would take me on rides on his dirt bike. It was something I always looked forward to every camping trip and felt so happy every time I'd get to do that with him."
Brian: "My dad has supported my music for the longest time and is a major part of my life and one of my fondest memories with him was when he bought me my first pair of speakers."
"My dad has had such a huge influence on my life as a whole, but watching him as an artist has had a huge impact on the artist I am too… it's crazy to think about! My favorite memory is when we were at Coachella 2008 because his installation Sonic Forest was featured that year, and we got to see Prince headline. I'll never forget the legendary performance that I got to share with my dad and some of my closest friends."
"When I was around 11 years old and first started DJing, my dad would chauffeur me and my drive in show to 'gigs,' which were mostly birthday parties of my friends. Trying to fit all my equipment in a car that was way too small, spending hours and hours setting up and tearing down speakers and lights – my dad was definitely my first fan, supporter and tour manager. Dad, I love you!"
"Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Our father was a hardworking man and adventurer who encouraged us to travel the world. One of the greatest memories we have was fishing in Alaska once a year and nothing but pure wilderness."
"The most fond memory of our dads is the way they always have supported us from the early stage in our career, driving us to shows when we were too young, picking us up at the airport, making sure we arrived safe at our destination and so on. But most of all they supported us in our dream to achieve something we wanted to do and that’s something special."
"The kids and my wife like to make me a card about what I represent as a dad, the trips we do together, the movies we watch and the video games we play together. My son's bio dad was not involved in his life and my bio dad wasn't in my life, although I do have a dad and we've had plenty of great moments together."
"I have some really fond memories of my father, he was very clever but really eccentric and just didn’t look at things the way others did. I remember one time he arrived to meet me and my missus for a coffee during the winter, he walked in with a towel wrapped around his neck and a bulldog clip holding it together. We all laughed so much, but he just saw it as, 'I didn’t have a scarf and I thought this would do the job.' I very quickly took him to a shop and bought him a scarf (against his will)."
"My dad was always into music and so was I, he always took me to music stores, fooling around at all instruments. And I always wanted to play the drums but we were never able to get a drum kit because of the neighbors until we moved to a new place. So we went to the music store and he got me my first drum kit! We played a lot together (he was on keys or guitar). These moments were truly irreplaceable and it will stick with me forever!"
"Every Saturday morning when I was a kid my Dad and I used to go and see my Jido (Lebanese for "Grandfather"). Jido would tell stories about fighting in World War II, life experiences and about what my Dad was like when he was younger. My Dad and Jido taught me everything I know, and being a part of those conversations always felt like an adventure to me."
"I was 16 and this senior boy from my school had called me to see if I wanted to listen to his new Tupac CD, but it was past my curfew so naturally he snuck in through my window. My dad heard a low voice coming from my room, grabbed an unloaded shotgun and ran around the side of the house to catch Brett with his ass half way out of my window well. After a moment of very scary yelling, Brett ran away scared sh*tless and my dad told everyone at our church about it for like a year afterward. I hated you at the time, but you were right, Dad. I shouldn't have been dating anyone that worked at the same Dairy Queen as me."