Christian Smith creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.
Hey Christian, we hear you are currently on tour in the USA. So, how did your day start today?
Hello :) I’m In Philadelphia right now for a few days really enjoying staying here midweek while on tour. Really excited to be touring again after an 18 month break.
How is the tour? Are there things that have changed since you last went to the US in 2019?
So far, we did 4 of the 13 shows. All have been great. I usually just come for 1 or 2 weekends, but this time I’m staying for a whole month. I always enjoyed touring in the US because I have a long history here. I went to university in Washington DC, then I lived for 5 years in New York during the early part of my career. What’s changed now since 2019? The masks for one thing, but you can never be safe enough. Also, I think some people are still a little scared to go clubbing, but that should hopefully go away completely once the shit storm in over in the early part of 2022.
Have any venues sadly closed in the US since the pandemic that you have some fond memories of?
Not that I know of in the US. Some great clubs have closed in Mexico, such has Hardpop, but for the most part all the clubs and venues managed to stay alive throughout the pandemic. The nightlife industry took a massive hit, but I am confident that it will come back stronger! People want to party!!!!
You are on tour with Drunken Kong, a producer who’s a regular on your label Tronic. What do you most admire about the duo?
I really like their energy in their music! It also helps that they are nice people and easy to get along with. They also don’t have any ego, and don’t feel entitled. It’s a great pleasure to work and tour with them, and I am sure that Drunken Kong has a big future ahead.
What can you tell us about your current releases on Tronic?
While techno has gained a lot in popularity in recent years a lot of it has also become very commercial and disposable. I have taken a step back with regards to the general crossover sound because I’m not inspired by what’s going on in the Beatport Top10. Sure it’s always nice to have success and big releases, but not when it comes at a cost of losing your integrity. As a result of this many of my most recent releases have been more underground than usual. Having said that, I did have a big crossover release on Drumcode last year. But generally, I’m looking for more underground techno for Tronic at the moment. You will see new releases by Alexander Kowalski, Drunken Kong, Danny Wabbit, Diego Infanzon and of course myself. I have also been releasing a bit on electro on Tronic recently. Electro has always been a passion of mine, and I’m happy to see the positive feedback people have been giving to our recent releases. At any rate, I always try to keep an open mind, and value originality a lot.
The streams have been keeping everyone entertained throughout lockdown. What was the main reason for starting Tronic Thursdays? And do you plan to continue these in the future now the lockdown is over?
Funny you should ask this. In the first months of the pandemic, everyone and their mother was doing streams. I did not like that too much as it was total overkill. But then when people saw that their numbers went down many of them stopped streaming. So about 5 months into the pandemic I saw an opportunity so start a professional weekly stream with multiple guests. As Tronic already has a good and recognisable brand, we pulled it off and did several streaming events in conjunction with some big cross posting partners. It’s crazy but we have reached over 10M people with our streams in the past year. We will continue the streams, but less frequent. I think that as of next month we will do a monthly stream with 3-5 acts each playing 2hr sets. Something different as in most streams the Des only play for 1hr. It a great way to keep in touch with your fans globally. Especially with the fans that can’t necessarily go to your events because they live in different countries.
Of course, we can’t not mention your huge remix for the amazing Stormzy for Future Utopia. Can you tell us what challenges you faced with this new sound?
That was an amazing opportunity for me and a huge challenge at the same time because the original track was around 90BPM. Techno is around 135 BPM so I had to come up with a very creative way not to change the voice of Stormzy. I managed to make a cool electro style track and is vocal fit in perfectly. I was super happy when Stormzy approved and liked my remix. It’s not often I get to remix one of the biggest hip hop stars in the world.
What are your plans for the new year and looking into 2022?
After the huge pandemic break form touring, I will give touring a big priority. I usually do around 90-100 shows a year all around the world, so I’m looking forward to seeing many of my friends again in different places. I also managed to produce around 30 tracks in the past year and have loads of unreleased music that I am happy with. So, you will see releases coming up on Pryda, Symbolism, Bambossa, Trick, and Tronic. And there is Ibiza as well. We are currently planning a 20-week residency at Eden for 2022. So, lots of work ahead and I cannot wait!
Finally, With such a long successful career in music, you surely must have some final words of wisdom for our readers?
Be open minded and do what you are passionate about.
Christian’s Remix is available here: https://open.spotify.com/track/7becEqM1rAPSpkOW2sVV8V?si=2af30f2820ea45ca https://open.spotify.com/track/7becEqM1rAPSpkOW2sVV8V?si=2af30f2820ea45ca