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.
Can you tell us something more about your career? How did it all begin? When were you starting to get interest in electronic music and decided to choose it as a professional career?
I started DJ’ing at a very young age. My dad bought me some decks to keep me from hanging around on the streets. Growing up there was always some sort of music being played in my house, predominantly my dad’s Motown and northern soul vinyl. What really got me hooked was my brother’s collection of records from the likes of Chicago & Detroit. Once learning how to mix I began to put on my own parties for school friends and it was then that I began to realise it was what I wanted to do for a career.
You already have releases on important labels such as Truesoul, Knee Deep in Sound, Yoshi Toshi and Selador. Tell us something about your music? How would you describe your sound and what influenced on it the most?
I try to keep my productions quite varied but still try to tie in a certain signature sound. For instance at the moment I tend to use a lot of darker synth sounds, especially in my breakdowns. I aim to make my tracks take the listener on a journey – pretty much the same way as I DJ. This is because I like to keep people interested and I put myself in their shoes. I get bored pretty easily listening to the same sound over and over whether it be DJ sets or individual tracks. I guess its the influences from the likes of Sasha, John Digweed, Solomun and Hot Since 82 which have shaped this thought process.
When did you get into the music scene? How old were you?
Both my Dad and Brother were DJ’s so I’ve been into the music scene all my life basically. I used to mess around on their decks then my Dad bought me first pair at the age of 15 and its just went on from there really.
Did you start DJing or produce first?
Started to DJ first, I’ve only been producing properly for the past couple of years really.
Do you remember what it felt to play for the first time in front of the crowd? Did your first gig went well?
First time I DJ’d in front of a crowd was at a party I’d put on with one of my friends. It was a great feeling seeing people having fun to the music I was playing. My first ‘proper’ gig was when I was 17 in a nightclub in Newcastle. I was ridiculously nervous but it went well and the promoter was really happy. I still get nervous before every gig now.
Who is your favourite DJ and Producer?
This is a question I’m asked a lot by people I talk to. I don’t think I could pick just one as I find the whole industry massively talented. I’m really into Hot Since 82’s stuff at the moment and think he’s a great DJ too. Think Detlef is producing some great tracks, as is Guti. Maya Jane Coles is another producer and DJ who I’m massively into. I’m also a huge fan of Eric Prydz. I may not play his music out when I DJ but I think the guy is a genius!
What do you do outside of the dance music scene?
Outside of music I like to just chill and see my family and friends. I’m an uncle to 6 nephews and 2 nieces, with another nephew or niece on their way so I enjoy seeing them a lot. Other than that I like to watch football and american football. Saying all this, its not often i’m out of the studio.
How do your track ideas come about us? Is there a certain theme you are trying to touch on with your music?
I take a lot of influences from travelling, you see some great sites on the road. Also when I’m playing I’ll note an area of my set where I would like to play one of my own tracks – a certain style of record and then get to work either straight after the gig or the next day in the studio at home or on my laptop if I am touring. I love writing music and I’m really eager to learn more so I can sit messing around for hours before something comes to me if I don’t have an idea. Ideas can come at any time so I act on them instantly, even just jotting them down on a piece of paper or in the notes in your phone so you don’t forget anything.
Which of your currently released records are you most proud of and why?
Of my recent records I would probably say ‘Feel’. I enjoy working with vocalists, but it can be quite difficult to write a track around a vocal or to get a singer to see your vision. Luckily Jem is super easy to work with and totally on my wavelength so this track came together pretty quickly. The main reason being it is the first track ever to be released on Pryda Presents. Eric is my musical hero, as many people know, and I knew he was in to some of my earlier work but for him to have the faith in me to be the first release of his new project is a true honour for me.
In Terms of career progression where do you see yourself in ten years?
I hope to be making music people enjoy, helping grow my fanbase and people continuing to come watch me when I play. For me we would be nothing without the fans. On top of this I would love to have my own label and run my own parties worldwide.