Cristoph is a name that has been creating waves in the booming progressive house music genre in the last few years. Born in Newcastle, Cristoph made quite the impression in his early years in the scene working with Hot Since 82 and his label Knee Deep In Sound. Since then Cristoph has fine tuned his music and made it a perfect blend of lush, melodic and dark grooves that will easily capture the audience's hearts in a club. Since 2014, he has worked with industry legends like Sasha, John Digweed and more recently the master of progressive house, Eric Prydz. His releases on Sasha and Digweed's labels propelled him to the frontline of the ever competitive world of electronic dance music. In 2017, Cristoph became the first artist to be signed to Eric Prydz's new label imprint, 'Pryda Presents'. His debut track on the label, Feel, was one of the most phenomenal tracks of 2017. After an immensely successful 2017, Cristoph will be kicking off 2018 with an appearance at India's premier dance music festival, Vh1 Supersonic in Pune in 2 weeks.
Ahead of his return to India, we caught up with Cristoph and discussed about his music, his partnership wth Eric Prydz, his musical journey so far and much more. Read the full interview below.
Welcome to India, Cristoph. It’s been almost 3 years since your India Tour got cancelled, how does it feel to be finally making it here in India?
I was meant to be over 2/3 years ago as you say but unfortunately, I had to cancel due to a family emergency. I’m so excited to play though and hopefully there will be many more tours to come.
The last 3 years have been phenomenal for you as a producer with some absolutely stellar tunes under your belt. How do you reflect on the last couple of years? How would you say you’ve grown/developed as an artist?
I think I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable with the music I’m making and playing. I struggle at times with self-confidence so I can be very uptight when DJing or have little confidence in a track I have made. This is slowly subsiding the more I settle in to the industry and the more my music gets supported. I tend not to look back at what I have done in the past, but towards the goals I have set myself for the future. In brief though I really can’t complain at how things went and are going, I just know there’s still a lot of hard work to be done in order for me to reach those goals I have set.
In 2017 itself, you supported Eric Prydz during his shows in Ibiza and the majestic EPIC 5.0 show. You were also the first artist to be signed to his new imprint Pryda Presents? Must have been a nerve-wrecking yet exhilarating experience. Tell us about your partnership with Eric Prydz. What was it like? How did it start?
The whole affiliation with Eric is so surreal for me. He’s my hero within the music world and I have always looked up to him as an artist ever since I was a young boy. Now we are good friends, which is crazy. It all started back in LA in December 2016 where I played before him at Sound Nightclub. I played my track ‘Catsy’ and he mentioned to his tour manager Rene that he wanted to play it. Rene told Eric that it was my track and he came across and spoke to me telling me how he loved it. I stayed to see him DJ and chatted to his team and before you know it I was booked to play EPIC and a bunch of other gigs. It really did happen that quick. Playing on his shows and releasing on his label is of course nerve wracking but I have always believed that nerves show you care and they tend to drive me on and keep me focussed. It truly has been an honour to be a part of it all.
Tell us more about your younger years. Coming from a family deeply rooted in the music industry; did that influence your music in any way?
Most definitely. Both my Dad and my Brother were DJ’s so I got my passion for it from them. My Dad played Motown and Northern Soul and I still enjoy listening to that music when I’m chilling in the house or travelling around on tour. I would go watch him and be in awe of how he controlled the dance floor and the way people would react to the music he was playing. My Brother introduced me to the house and techno scene and I was hooked instantly. He wouldn’t let me touch his decks so my Dad bought me some belt drives and told me to learn on them and if I did, and took it seriously, he would buy me some Technics. So that’s exactly what I did. As I grew older my brother and sister would sneak me in to nightclubs to see DJ’s as I was far too young to get in, this strengthened my passion for the music. I’ve been DJing for as long as I can remember, it’s all I have ever dreamt of doing and seriously couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.
Your tracks over the last couple of years have had a darker, emotional story to tell. Feel is one of our favourites and the lyrics are simply mesmerising. What is your thought process when in the studio?
Jem’s voice is amazing, isn’t it? I love working with her. In all honesty, I write music based on what I’m feeling personally. I lost my Dad in 2015 and this has caused me to write music which is a bit darker. I have felt lost at times as he was the one person who I confided in about my career and dreams and he had those dreams for me. Recently I have looked at things from a different perspective and have been writing some more uplifting tracks, still with a lot of emotion. Since the turn of the year I have been working on all sorts of music, all to help my sets go on the journey I try to take the audience on. I like playing across the house and techno spectrum so want to make all sorts of different music. Some of the tougher tracks I have made this year I’m really enjoying so that’s a good thing. I have even been making a bit of hip hop, just for a bit of fun when I’m bored in the studio.
You have released music on labels like Knee Deep In Sound, Last Night On Earth, Bedrock, Noir over the years and more recently on Pryda Presents. What are your thoughts on the current Progressive House and Techno scene? What are some of the key changes you have seen in both?
I feel the techno scene is growing really quickly and becoming very strong.
There’s some amazing artists out there creating some excellent music so it’s great to see. Progressive House, I feel is a little more niche at the moment. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do hope it grows more as again there are some unbelievable artists out there who I really believe deserve a chance to shine more within the industry. I just hope everything stays positive and artists keep producing great music and people keep supporting it all worldwide.
You are playing at one of India’s biggest Electronic Dance Music Festival, Vh1 Supersonic next month. How are you planning to prepare for your set? Have you got any feedback or tips from Eric Prydz as he performed here last year?
I can’t wait to play. I have been checking out videos and photos from previous years and the crowds seem enormous. I’m working on quite a lot of new music at the moment so no doubt will be road testing a few at the festival. I never really plan a set so will get there early and take in the vibe and go from there. Maybe a week or so prior to the gig I may text Eric and see if he has any tips to pass on.
Supercars or Superbikes?
Romantic Comedies or Horror Movies?
3 Things Cristoph always carries on a tour?
Laptop, Kindle, vitamins
Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka?
The last played track on your phone?
Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Billka Edit)
We had a great time chatting with Cristoph and are absolutely stoked for his set at Vh1 Supersonic on the 9th of February 2018. We highly reccomend that you do not miss his set and get your tickets for Vh1 Supersonic festival right HERE.