Dan Mihai Bălan (born 6 February 1979) is a Moldovan singer, songwriter, and producer. Dan Bălan performs eurodance and commercial pop music. Bălan is best known for his part in the eurodance music trio O-Zone, which led to international fame with the hit single "Dragostea din tei".
Dan was born to Mihai Bălan and Ludmila Bălan, a TV presenter.
The group was started by Dan Mihai Bălan in 1998 with Petru Jelihovschi. They released their first album, "Dar unde esti?" ("But, Where are you?") in 1999. However, for Petru music was just a hobby and the group split up. Bălan was determined not to end the project though. He held auditions where he met Arsenie Todiraş (or Arsenium). Though skeptical of Arsenie's talents, Bălan accepted Arsenie into the group after he performed Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender". A couple of weeks later Radu Sirbu took part in the auditions and the official O-Zone band was. In 2001, they moved to Romania. In 2002 they signed with Cat Music, a major Romanian label. Their single "Despre tine" reached first place on the "Romanian Top 100 single Chart".
Mainly singing eurodance music in Romanian, and especially famous due to the hit-single "Dragostea din tei" (Love among the Linden Trees), a summer hit off the album DiscO-Zone. Dragostea Din Tei reached #1 position in many single charts in Europe around 2003 and 2004, and placed third in the UK's Single Chart. Another single called "Despre Tine" ("about you") from the same album had similar success across Europe.
Despite its multi-platinum status in Europe, O-Zone never topped the charts in the United States. Because of the Numa Numa Dance, "Dragostea Din Tei" had a burst of popularity in the United States. While the song received moderate to major airplay, and was sampled in Rihanna and TI's hit "Live Your Life", most Americans never knew who the group was or the original song's name. In January 2005, the trio split to pursue solo careers.
Development in Los Angeles (2005-2006):
In 2004, Bălan decided to venture closer to his rock roots. He chose the best musicians in his region and moved with them to Los Angeles in 2005. Although Dan wrote the compositions prior to the formation of his band, it took two years to get a signature sound. He asked producer Jack Joseph Puig (John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, No Doubt, The Black Crows, Rolling Stones) to produce the record. An album was recorded from April 2006 to June 2006 at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles.
Crazy Loop (2006-2009):
In 2006, Bălan introduced an alter ego-character, Crazy Loop, with an 'Eurodance flavoured song "Crazy Loop (Mm-ma-ma)"'. The video was directed by Marc Klasfeld, was released throughout Europe in the fall of 2007 and was voted the song of the year by fans, not including Romania. In December 2007, Dan also released the 'Crazy Loop' album entitled The Power of Shower. The song "Crazy Loop (Mm-ma-ma)" reached number one on the Romanian charts more than a month. In 2008 he released the video for the second song.
Freedom Part. 1 (2010-2012):
In 2010, he released "Chica Bomb", his first single under the name Dan Balan, featuring American Katie DiCicco. It became an instant hit in many European countries. It reached #37 in Germany, #44 in the UK and #1 in Russia and Greece. (In Greece, this song was released with the Greek singer Eleni Foureira, performing the song during the 2010 MAD VMAs). Like Crazy Loop, the single was featured on Step Evolution's "ReRave" game for the iOS, Android and Arcade platforms.
Again in 2010, he released Justify Sex which is a eurodance/electro house song presented on July 31, in Moscow, at the "Europe Plus Live 2010" festival. The official video for Justify Sex was released on 13 October 2010. It featured New York-based Katie DiCicco as the vocalist.
Bălan would go on to release his first album under his real name called Freedom Part. 1 which featured the Chica Bomb, Justify Sex and several other songs that reached top ten status in Russia.