There’s a new titan in the world of progressive house, and his name is Cristoph. The mysterious producer has proven himself a bona fide force to be reckoned with landmark releases on imprints like Last Night on Earth and Bedrock. Now, with the official backing of Eric Prydz, he’s primed for even greater success. It’s no surprise his music has caught on so fervently: simply put, Cristoph’s sound is infectious.
Cristoph hails from Newcastle upon Tyne, coming from a family deeply entrenched in the art of DJing. With both his father and older brother working in the industry, Cristoph was always destined to take the spotlight. Immersing himself in the club environment from an early age, it wasn’t long until he found himself cutting his teeth on vinyl and diligently studying the tools of the trade.
Cristoph found his first heroes in legendary figures like John Digweed and Sasha. Enamored by their spell-binding DJ sets and masterful approach to production, Cristoph developed an insatiable drive to commit himself to his craft. His steady devotion was rewarded early on with big releases on Selador and Truesoul — a testament to his budding abilities.
In 2016, Cristoph achieved his biggest breakthrough yet, joining Hot Since 82’s white-hot Knee Deep in Sound imprint and becoming the inaugural artist to launch the label’s coveted ‘8-track’ album series. The concept album thrust Cristoph into the international spotlight, with anthemic vocal tracks like “Alone” and “Closer” enrapturing dancefloors around the world.
In 2017, Cristoph’s career came full circle, signing to both John Digweed’s legendary Bedrock and Sasha’s Last Night on Earth. With standout releases on both imprints, Cristoph cemented his status as one of the most exciting acts in the progressive world in years. It wasn’t long until he caught the attention of another longtime hero, Eric Prydz. Cristoph would go on to open for the Swedish legend at EPIC 5.0, even becoming a recurring staple at Prydz’s inaugural Hï Ibiza residency.
Now, Cristoph has officially joined the Pryda family, becoming the first artist to sign to Prydz’s brand new imprint, Pryda Presents. It’s a definitive nod of approval from one of the scene’s most celebrated tastemakers, and a surefire mark of Cristoph’s blossoming career.
With the guidance of Prydz’s team and the support of blockbuster imprints like Bedrock and Last Night on Earth at his back, one can only imagine what’s next for the flourishing Newcastle artist.
What were your early clubbing experiences like?
Like I said my first clubbing experiences were at Shindig. My brother and sister used to sneak me in with them when I was under age and it was here which really started to shape and influence my love for underground dance music.
I was lucky to see some of the world’s greatest DJs and it cemented in my mind that a career within the music industry is what I wanted. From here I started to branch out to places like To The Manor Born and Southport Weekender once again being entertained by the best DJs from around the globe.
For someone who’s unfamiliar with your backstory, how did you first get into DJing? What were the key early milestones when you started your career?
Both my dad and brother were DJs so I guess I just followed in their footsteps really. I was exposed to underground house and techno at a very young age and I was hooked on it instantly.
My dad bought me some belt drive decks when I was a kid to keep me off the streets and stop me from getting in to trouble basically. Once I had learned how to mix and shown that my interest in a career within the music industry was serious I was allowed to buy some Technics. From here I got my first residency in Newcastle around when I was 16 and the DJing side of things grew from there.
You’re a pretty prolific producer and it’s something that’s been reiterated this year with some key releases. You were the first artist to deliver the 8 track series on Knee Deep In Sound, tell us a bit more about the difference between putting together something like that rather than an EP…
Thank you for the kind words. It was an absolute honour to be offered the chance to create the first 8-track. When I first got asked, an idea of how I would deliver the project instantly popped into my head. I ran this by the Knee Deep In Sound crew telling them I wanted it to go on a journey and that I would write it the way I would play a set and they really liked it. It was very enjoyable to do but quite different to just writing an EP.
I had to plan how the mix would evolve and what style tracks would go where, then go and write tracks to fill those areas. With an EP you simply write individual records and tie a few together. Or you have a theme across two or three tracks. There was a lot more thought went into 8-track and I guess that’s why in the end it became a very personal project for me.
How many of the tracks had you been sitting on for a while and how many were created for the release?
I had already sent Daley both ‘Closer’ and ‘Alone’ and he digged both tracks wanting them for the label and also expressed his interest in remixing one of them. On top of that I had already made ‘Catsy’ and played it out at a few gigs and the response it was getting was amazing.
I remember playing it in Leeds at Mint Warehouse and the place went crazy. I just didn’t know where to send it or what to do with it as it’s quite a euphoric record so I decided to sit on it until the right thing came along. The rest were all purposely written for 8-track.
Your involvement with Knee Deep has become more and more frequent, what makes you so compatible with the brand? We’re guessing you have a great relationship with Daley (Hot Since 82)?
I really don’t know what makes me compatible; I’m just very grateful that they dig my music and have given me such a great platform to release it on.
I get on very well with Daley and class him as a very good friend. The guy has been great for me. He’s given me advice when I’ve needed it and helped nurture me through on top of supporting quite a few of my tracks which has been a massive help.
You also released your Divvina EP on VIVa recently, what was it like releasing on the label for the first time? Has it been on your agenda for a while?
I’m a huge fan of Steve Lawler so for him to sign my records to his label was quite surreal. I love VIVa Warriors parties so I wanted to try be a part of them by getting a release on the label. Also it’s had some amazing releases from some of the best producers in the world so of course it was a target at some point to have my name in amongst them.
It’s on Hot Since 82’s home turf as well, do you think he’ll be showing you how to party like a true Yorkshire raver?
[laughs] I hope so yeah. Knowing Daley I think that will come pretty naturally to him. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about his set last year, some saying it was one of the best they have ever seen, so I’m really looking forward to catching him play in front of his hometown crowd.
What else have you got coming up later this year that you’d like to tell us about?
I have my first two stints across in North America which I’m really excited for. I have my 8-track tour and also the launch of my own party. Music wise I have an exclusive track on the forthcoming All Gone Pete Tong compilation and currently writing some new records for a few different labels.