Exclusive Interview with Christian Smith
House music promoter Retox Sessions brings Christian Smith to Bangkok's #1 underground club Glow. He is an established DJ & Producer and the founder of “Tronic” - one of the Top 5 selling Techno music record labels in the world according to Beatport. He has played major festivals such as Creamfields (UK), Dancevalley (Netherlands), Monegros (Spain) and I Love Techno (Belgium) and is best known for his track “House This House” which was released in 2012 on Richie Hawtin’s Plus 8 and became the biggest selling release on the record label that year. He will be supported by Sunju Hargun. Expect a night of quality House, Tech-House and Techno. Entry fee is 450 Baht and includes 1 drink.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Christian Smith, shortly before his performance at Glow Nightlcub on 29th August.
Where are you answering these questions?
Hello. Right now I’m in my apartment in Mallorca, Spain. The last month has been extremely heavy with touring, so I’m happy to be sleeping in my own bed for once.
You are an established DJ & Producer and the founder of “Tronic” - one of the Top 5 selling Techno music record labels in the world according to Beatport How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place and how did you get into DJing & music production?
I started DJing as a hobby when I was 14 years old. For the first several years I was a battle dj focusing on scratching, mixing and turntablism in general. Then I played at a few student parties while in High School. I never really thought I could make this my full time occupation. A few years later I was at the university in Washington DC studying International Business. I also started producing and made a couple records that became popular with DJs like Carl Cox and Deep Dish. This is when I set up Tronic, a label that releases music that both House and Techno DJs can play. However this was not enough yet to decide doing music ‘full time’, so I ventured into investment banking. I hated my job and decided that the only way out of it was to go back to university. So I moved to Sweden to attend the Stockholm School of Economics. While attending school to get my my masters degree I released a few more records that most of the big DJs played and supported. Then I suddenly got requests to DJ in distant places like Australia and Brazil. This is when I decided to give music a chance and to do it ‘full time’. This was 17 years ago, I have not looked back once.
You play and produce House, Tech-House and Techno. How would you describe your own music in a few words?
Soulful, powerful, and groovy.
You are best known for your track “House This House” which was released in 2012 on Richie Hawtin’s Plus 8 and became the biggest selling release on the record label that year. What other tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
I would suggest them to check out my track “Total Departure” which came out on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label in 2008. I also recently remixed this tune and it came out on Tronic. It has a massive break and people always go totally crazy when I play it. Its very powerful so I tend to only play this at bigger events or when it's super packed. I would also suggest to check out my recent album called “Stranger Than Paradise” on Tronic. This album showcases current taste in music.
What is on your agenda for the near future and what are you currently working and focusing on?
Besides touring every weekend I’m currently planning an extensive 4 week tour in South America. The touring never stops, but I love what I do so I am not complaining. I am also working on expanding my weekly Tronic Radio show. The show is currently being syndicated on over 100 stations in 20+ countries. You will also see many Tronic branded events. At present we are doing around 15 Tronic branded events worldwide. I’m hoping to expand this to around 50 in 2016.
You have played major festivals such as Creamfields (UK), Dancevalley (Netherlands), Monegros (Spain) and I Love Techno (Belgium). What were the best and the worst gigs you ever played and what were the funniest things ever occurred during any of your performances?
Some of the best gigs for me recently have been in Argentina. The energy level of the crowds there is immense. I also really enjoy playing for Richie Hawtin’s Enter event in Ibiza every summer. The worst gigs? Any gig that's not busy. When there are no people at the event it doens’t matter how good of a DJ you are, it’s just not fun. Thankfully this very rare these days :)
You were born in Sweden, but live in São Paulo - the most populous city in Brazil. What can you tell us about clubbing and nightlife there? Do you have any nightlife related suggestions for first-time visitors?
I actually moved back to Europe a few years ago because living in Brazil was unpractical for touring. I ended up flying to Europe twice a month every month, which was too much. The scene in South America is very good now. Brazil has a massive scene but mostly just Pop and EDM events. However Argentina is arguably the best scene in the world right now. Educated crowds with lots of energy and passion. If you go to South America, I would suggest to go to Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. All are beautiful countries and have different things to offer.
On 29th August you will perform live in Bangkok at Glow Nightclub. Have you visited Thailand before? What can the Bangkok crowd expect of your upcoming performance?
I have been to Bangkok a few times before and love the city. The last few times was while stopping over to other Asian gigs, so I’m really looking forward to finally play there and spend a few days afterwards. I heard the scene is growing there. I am also friends with your local star Sunju Hargun. It’s good to see new Asian talent thats focusing on underground House and Techno. He has a bright future ahead of him and has my full support. See you all end of this month!!! :)