A few short years after breaking through, on the back of a series of huge house tracks, Dutchman Chris Stussy is now a growing part of the global underground scene. Always leading the way and heading into the new musical territory, he has built on early successes with a steady stream of essential new releases with each one bringing something fresh to the dance floor via influential labels like Djebali, PIV where he's label manager and Phil Weeks’s Robsoul.
All of this understanding also colors his work in the DJ booth of key clubs and festivals around the world. From Awakenings to the mainstage of Welcome to the Future, via Watergate in Berlin, Rex Club in Paris and Mysteryland, plus various other gigs around the UK, Ibiza, and Hungary. As such, Stussy is continually finding fascinating new corners to explore within the House scene and continues to showcase this in the studio as well as in the most important DJ booths around the world.
What was the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing?
It was this year around the beginning of May. It was in Sydney, Australia at the S.A.S.H. party but I remember the moment really well. At that time “Fury’s Laughter” wasn’t out, still unreleased on PIV Records. A boy and a girl turned their back to me in the crowd and showed me their back, and they had painted (FURY’S) on the girl and (LAUGHTER) on the guy. The track had had so much hype I think they really wanted me to play it, so I did play it and it went off!! Also, people asked me sometimes if I would play some R&B track for them… like seriously? haha
Can you describe your studio setup for us?
It’s not really that special, to be honest, I work with Fruity Loops, all VST’s inside the box. So basically I’m an all in the box producer. Recently I moved into a studio space in the center of Amsterdam. A really good soundproof room where I’ll be 24/7. I’m answering these questions now while I’m having a little studio break :)
Could you tell us the story about your first gig?
My first gig was a DJ contest I participated in The Hague. I never touched CDJ’s when I played there and at home, I couldn’t practice because I simply didn’t have the equipment to do so. I searched on YouTube some mixing videos at the time and it helped me a lot. I wanted to find out the basics of how it all worked and this worked out really well because I came 3rd. There was someone who came up to me later that night to say he liked what he saw. A very rewarding feeling when you’ve never used the equipment before.
Name three artists that currently inspire you.
DJOKO, Traumer, and KOKO.
Recall the worst experience of ‘killing the vibe’ in the club.
A DJ that has no knowledge of a good warm-up set, who plays peak time tracks at the first 2 hours when there’s nobody there, or people just coming in, it just doesn’t work for me. It’s the hardest slot of the night, a proper warm-up DJ knows what tempo and tunes he has to play to give the next DJ full control so he can do whatever he wants. Luckily it hasn’t happened to me, but I’ve seen it happen quite a few times for sure.
What do you do before and after your set?
I like to be there 1 hour before my set so I can taste the vibe and listen to what the DJ before me plays in his set. This way I can adapt if I have to, and see what the crowd is responding to. After my set it depends on what my schedule looks like during the weekend, but normally I don’t party too much afterward, but of course when the night is really good with the crew you got invited by, it’s nice to stay for a few drinks, then go back to the hotel and have a beauty sleep for the next day.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I only had 2 jobs when I was 15. Doing dishes at a restaurant for 4-5 months and working at a supermarket for like 2-3 months. From that point, I got a residency as a DJ at a club in Noordwijk (a beach club) so I played there 2-3 times a week. This is where I did my hours and made money for the equipment I wanted to have at home. So I didn’t really get to feel a worse job, to be honest, the time period was too short for it…
What are your favorite labels at the moment?
RUtilance Recordings has been one of my favorites for more than 5 years now. Soon in September, I’ve got an EP there as well which I’m super excited about. I like the “Small Hours” releases. I also love the label of Brother called “Courtesy of Balance” great old school vibe, only vinyl releases that are really worth the buy every time.
Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine—what song would you play?
Patience. ‘Good things come for those who wait and are patient’.