Cristoph leaves a warm first impression. Inviting, relatable, and understanding of those that would sell their souls to be in his shoes, the Newcastle-based DJ and producer is acutely aware of the opportunities he has held so far as an artist.
He works closely with his hero, progressive icon Eric Prydz, touring as his support and getting his feedback. His drive keeps him moving to a point where, when we spoke to him earlier this month, he was evading the ennui of a mandated four week vacation after a long, busy summer season.
"I like working. I'm climbing the walls,” he says, describing the shuffle of TV box sets he’s sought refuge in as he awaits getting back to his regular day to day of shows, production and planning out his career. But it seems that time is over now with one of the most highly anticipated releases in electronic music this year, his collaboration with DJ duo CamelPhat and vocalist Jem Cooke entitled “Breathe,” which came out last week.
The notoriety “Breathe” gained among house music fans ahead of its release is rare in an age where it feels like everyone dreams of being a successful producer. But once he started testing it in his performances, Cristoph saw its future success panning out in front of him. And to get CamelPhat, the Grammy-nominated duo behind the most Shazamed song of 2017, on board, has highlighted a unique moment taking place in the underground throngs of house music.
A collaborative effort by two parties that have created a new space for their music, the traction of which has also created a fanbase ready to explode.
"Camelphat are one of the hottest artists in the world right now, hopefully it will connect on a mass level," Cristoph says of the song. Early signs are good - some of his contemporaries across genre, including Alan Fitzpatrick and Denney, have given him praise in feedback. And until now, Cristoph had admittedly been receiving nearly 50 messages a day from fans asking about the track’s release. Originally first teased back in March, he ventured to Cafe Mambo Studios in Ibiza over the summer to re-record it in the form we hear today.
Cristoph has a familiar story with his love affair with music, especially in the UK’s small electronic music community: not classically trained, he decided early on he wanted to become a DJ, and started throwing rave-like parties for his friends at age 14.
“I've always been around DJ's since I can remember," he says. "I kinda used to watch my brother on his decks in his room, and he'd never let me touch them, so then my dad was like ‘If you show interest you can kind of teach yourself,’ and when I did he invested in my growth.”
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He snuck into nightclubs, falling in love with the piano melodies of Chicago house and greats like Sasha, John Digweed and MK. But eventually, he realized that DJing his favorite dark clubs was only one piece of the puzzle, and picked up Ableton.
Not many people can say they’ve met their heroes, but Cristoph has his as his mentor. With a unique mindset framed by marketing and a strong sense of his musical style, Cristoph has set the stage for himself long term.
“I set up a business model in my brain for how to create this fanbase who are going to be into my music,” he says of finding his own lane in music. “No one can really compare their music to Eric because he's just that good,” so Cristoph continues on doing what he does best - putting his best out into the world, paving the way for his own success.
“Breathe” is out now via Pryda Presents. Cristoph will join Eric Prydz as Cirez D alongside Adam Beyer this Thanksgiving weekend for a two-night affair, Fri.-Sat., Nov. 23-24, at the Hollywood Palladium.