“Time is the most precious thing there is,” said David McClelland speaking into his professional radio microphone. “At the end of the day, your time is just as precious as mine.”
What prompted the 24-year-old Amos and Riot Night Trance producer to say that wasn’t because of a Hallmark movie, but in realizing that no matter how we perceive ourselves, you can’t take for granted how someone else feels.
We begin at the end. Yesterday, via Instagram, David posted a picture of himself with fellow rising star Trance producer, Danny Eaton. The text of the photo revealed for the first time publicly that he has Autism, and how the two brilliant producers are planning to collaborate on a track together – a first we believe in the history of Trance music.
David agreed to speak with Trance Farm following the photo. What you’re about to read is not a sympathy article, rather one of intense determination. He is just like you and me, a person with valuable talents and nemising flaws.
David was diagnosed with Autism at age 3 when his parents discovered problems with his speech. “I was limited in communication at that time,” said the Liverpool resident. “I remember going to see a speech therapist until I was 16 and felt locked away when I was attending my regular public schools.”
Although anxiety is not considered a core feature of Autism, approximately 40% of Autistic youth – and up to half of the adults – meet the clinical criteria of an anxiety disorder. Luckily, David had tremendous support from his school’s faculty and staff. They separated him from the otherwise room full of 200 students during his exams and homework ensuring he performed his best. “I didn’t feel as pressured,” David revealed. “I was able to cope with it a bit better.”
It was at this moment during our conversation that he froze. “I forgot what I was going to say,” said a laughing David with his framed Amos & Riot Night compact discs proudly displayed on his back wall. Short-term memory loss is another feature of the disorder but David bounced back quickly and said, “The teachers were great. Their assistants would sit with me at the front of the class and help the other kids and me with physical and mental disabilities.”
There were some points, however, when the situations weren’t as exceptional. “I read Danny’s article, and that was difficult to read,” revealed David. “I didn’t go through what he went through, but I went through some shit as well.” It wasn’t until after High School that a massive weight lifted from his shoulders. “When I left High School and entered college, I slowly started to come out of my shell and find out more of who I was as a person and who I thought I needed to become.”
David, like all of us, has a lot to learn about himself but is steadfast when saying that he doesn’t want the stigma of an Autism label to define him. “I work a normal job like everyone else,” said David. “I have problems just like you, but I’m lucky in that some tasks that are harder for others to achieve come quite easy to me.”
Autistic people have the remarkable ability to decipher puzzle-piecing procedures. For David, music production falls right in line with that and his discography with his ex Amos & Riot night partner, Paul Holden, speaks for itself. With the musical partnership now dissolved, which was rather daunting for David, he is now on his own. He admits there was a time where the will to create music proved difficult. However, with the release of the “Borders / Out At Sea” EP on Regenerate Records, David is proving that he’s not only capable of releasing tracks on his own, but they’re still of the highest quality production-wise.
Granted, David still treats music production and DJing as a hobby, albeit a therapeutic one. “When you have an idea and want to express it, but you can’t find the words, it’s very much like the old cliche, ‘When words fail, music speaks’ but in the months leading to my trip I just couldn’t think of anything to get out.”
That trip was David’s first visit to the United States earlier this year, and he did it alone, thus overcoming more anxiety issues. “The time I had there was incredible, especially my gig in Los Angeles! That trip was the biggest challenge I’ve put myself through yet,” David enthusiastically said. “Since I’ve arrived back in the UK, I have slowly been putting my head down on a lot of new music.”
Coming out of his shell is something that David works on every day, and the Liverpool meeting he had with Danny was a representation of the cosmos aligning if you will. “The things Danny and I have in common are extraordinary,” said a smiling David. “I’m more eager than ever to not only produce some music but to continually grow as a person.”