101 with Christian Smith

Christian Smith is a Swedish based DJ & producer who's also one of the world’s leading exponents of techno music. He's been active in the electronic music dance scene for more than a decade and through that time, he proved as a bold and innovative artist who's leading rather than following. With his output in recent years, it's hard to imagine a list of prolific producers without his name towards the top. He's constantly dominating the charts and DJ's playlist with regular releases on labels such as Drumcode, Plus8/Minus, Cocoon and his own Tronic imprint. According to Beatport, Christian's label, which shined the light of life in 2009, is one of the top 3 selling techno labels in the world. Another success story is his Tronic Radio, a weekly show which is now syndicated to over 100 stations around the globe.

Christian’s touring schedule is busier than ever, including regular Tronic parties in London, Miami, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York, Madrid. With yearly guest spots at Richie Hawtin’s “Enter” events and many Festivals around the world, it is certain that Christian will maintain his relevance and position as one of the main ambassadors of techno.

Prior to his upcoming gigs at Barutana in Serbia which will be on 21st July and a day later in Primo Beats, Croatia, we've invited Christian on our regular 101 article. Enjoy the read.

What’s your favorite piece of gear – something you couldn’t live without?

There are so many amazing pieces of equipment. I tend to often go to the Minimoog for bass. I just love the round and phat sound on the Moog. Besides that, I also really like the Oberheim SEM Pro. It such a warm sounding piece of equipment and you get really great sounds out of this box - beautiful warm analogue sounds that are close to impossible to get out of the computer.

What I like about hardware is that you get good sounds much faster than software. You play with it for a few minutes and voila. Sure you can do pretty much everything with software these days as well, it just takes much longer.

Which do you prefer – playing at enormous festivals or intimate clubs?

I generally prefer club gigs because they are more intimate and you connect better with the crowd. But I also have to admit that it’s a great rush to play at a big festival and have 10,000 people screaming to your music. A mix of both really is the perfect combo.  

Which is the most mesmerising club that you’ve ever played at?

There is this cave that they use in Santa Domingo, the Dominican Republic which is an incredible site. In Europe, caves like this would be sightseeing attractions, but in the Dominican Republic, they use it for techno parties! :) I also had gigs at clubs like Womb in Tokyo or Crobar in Buenos Aires that just blew me away.

What is your best and worst experience at a gig and why?

The best experience is when playing music to crowds where they have never heard my music before, and seeing them going totally crazy. Worst experience is definitely with empty gigs. No matter how good you play, having an empty show is not fun for anyone, the clubbers, the club owners, and the DJ’s. Thankfully I rarely have empty shows these days.

Do you have any interests besides music?

I have a family with 2 young kids, so I’m really busy when I’m home. On top of that, I really enjoy doing normal things like going to the beach, seeing friends, and eating good food. I live such a hectic life flying all over the world, so I try to balance everything with my family. Right now, for example, I’m sitting on a plane to Sweden to go on a 6 day family holiday. It's not a long holiday but I always try to take some time out every 5-6 months. This keeps me grounded and energised for my touring as well.

Do you enjoy sunset or sunrise sets?

I like playing both of these sets depending on the kind of event. If you think about it, who doesn’t like to play sunset or sunrise sets? :)

What do you like and what do you hate about the music industry?

I like the fact that I have the opportunity to make a living doing what I love. I get to produce the music that I’m passionate about and play this music every weekend for thousands of people all around the world. That's the reason I really feel privileged. There are not many things I dislike. Oh yeah, I actually hate one thing. I hate it when people come to the DJ booth to smoke.

When it's forbidden to smoke in the whole club why do they think its allowed inside the booth. It's annoying as I don’t smoke and I don’t like to smell like an ashtray when I get home. I also don’t like that social media has become too important and that it takes so much time out of my schedule in which I could make music or other more productive things. But that’s become a necessary evil. If you are not active in social media, promoters will think that you are not popular and won’t book you.

If you could pick any artist to do a b2b set, who would it be?

Carl Cox because of his raw energy. He always inspired me a lot and he has proper skills. Something very few DJ’s has these days.

What’s your biggest fear?

To have anything bad happen to my children.

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a gig?

So many funny and weird things have happened during my gigs over the years it's hard to narrow it down. The stories are endless!

Could you pick one timeless track?

Joey Beltram – “Energy Flash”

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Check out my weekly radio show, Tronic Radio. We've had so many fantastic guests and we syndicate this to over 100 stations across the world, so it’s something I'm very passionate about. My releases this year are going to be focused only on my label Tronic, and I have a very special announcement about my next album project which has a selection of collaborations I am really proud of. That'll be out in October, but keep your eyes peeled for news for next few month when the first track will be released.

Also, we are doing ‘Tronic Nights’ all over the world now from Tokyo to London. The first one will be taking place at Pacha in Barcelona on the 13th June. You can check the event HERE.

By Saša, edited on 14 June 2018