GDD™ Exclusive Interview w/ Christoph Andersson

With the recent increasing democratization in electronic music production, the EDM community has seen a rapid aggrandizement of young, talented musicians making some great music all over the world. We at GDD™ have always been supportive of these young guys, and today I would like to keep it going by introducing you to someone you may or may not have heard of yet. Christoph Andersson is a ripe 18 years of age, and currently resides in New Orleans where much of his musical inspiration is originated from. He is in the midst of a 4 track release project on his own label, Hurst Recordings, with his debut track ‘Tuxedo’ receiving some great critical acclaim from the blogosphere as well as online publications such as XLR8R and RCRD LBL.

His next track, ‘Capital’, which Christoph has given us the exclusive on, is set for release next Tuesday, and I got to have a few words with him about his release project, being evacuated out of New Orleans in a helicopter, and his views toward the future. Needless to say, we’re excited to see Christoph achieve some great things in 2011. Check out the chat I had with him below, and make sure to grab his fantastic latest track as well as his Disco House debut, ‘Tuxedo’.

gottadancedirty™: Thanks so much for taking some time with us, Christoph. Usually our first question tradition is to ask the artist their favorite drink, but seeing as how you’re under 21 I’m not sure if that’s applicable. Do you still ever enjoy a cold one or two?

Christoph Andersson: Absolutely! I live in New Orleans! Hmm what’s my favorite drink…right now it’s a small microbrewery in New Orleans called Abita, and they have this beer called SOS that is amazing.
GDD: Excellent I’ll definitely have to check that out sometime. So you’re in the midst of a 4 track release project on your own label, Hurst Recordings; releasing the Tuxedo package on digital retailers at the end of November, the next release being Capital on December 21st, and the next two in the following 6 weeks after that. Why did you choose to go about your debut release in this manner?
CA: Well my manager and I were thinking about the best and most effective way to release my upcoming songs, and we felt like the idea of an album or one big EP is a little bit dead and not the most exciting or relevant way of releasing music anymore. So we had this idea of “What if we release 4 singles.” Every single will have two different versions, you know, there’s a lighter version and a more dancey version, and we’ll put a remix or two on there. It seemed like a great way to release the tracks. I really like the idea of having two versions of the track because I think that shows my diversity a little bit better than just a few songs on an EP with one being the single. Maybe that would be interesting for a couple weeks, but then it can fade away and out of public interest. So I think this way is a little more exciting and a bit fresher. It keeps people on their toes.
GDD: And giving two versions of every track will let DJs have their pick of which one they want to play out, so I bet they’ll appreciate that as well.
CA: Exactly, the idea is that every release has one track for every occasion, you know, a BBQ, a party, just chillin’ at home. It’s a great idea I think.
GDD: I agree. After listening to your tracks, I would say that your music definitely pushes the boundaries of one specific genre of electronic music. How exactly would you describe your sound?
CA: Well I’d say that it’s obviously a mixture of things. There’s the blatant disco house influence, but I think if you listen deeper there’s a lot of pop influence. Most of my songs are structured like pop songs rather than club tracks. A lot of 80s bands like Japan and Tears for Fears are big influences on me as well. I think a lot of things come together and I really don’t know how I would describe it because Disco House doesn’t do the tracks justice in my eyes, so we’ve been calling it Neo-Disco. I guess that’s how I see it.
GDD: Neo Disco? Have you created your own genre? (laughs)
CA: (laughs) No I don’t want to say I’ve created my own genre it’s just hard for me to define my music as a genre that’s already out there. Hopefully I’m doing something different enough that can be considered something other than Disco House, as much as I love the genre.

GDD: How has New Orleans affected your musicianship? Would you say that one could feel a little New Orleans soul in your productions?

CA: You know that’s actually really funny cause I was just talking to someone about this earlier today. I think that there’s absolutely a subconscious New Orleans influence. I’ve lived here since I was 2, so I’ve always been around New Orleans funk and jazz music and I used to record a lot of funk bands. I think a lot of New Orleans elements like certain basslines and counter rhythms are definitely in my music whether I realize it or not. On another level, living in New Orleans has kept me out of the loop of the big electronic scene, which I actually think has been really beneficial to my music because I’m not trying to replicate the Blog House guy that lives 3 doors down, you know? I’m not going to the huge events that you see in NY or LA, so we have to create our own vibe down here and it really is a different from other cities. Electronic music is still new in New Orleans and it’s just starting to bud so there’s a really exciting feel down here to create music in. I feel like the audience might be a little more open-minded down here, just because they aren’t stuck up about what’s considered “cool” electronic music and what isn’t.
GDD: You guys had the Voodoo festival down there pretty recently right? Was that focused toward electronic music?
CA: Voodoo Fest is kind of like New Orleans’ small-scale version of Lollapalooza or Coachella. Before Katrina it had a big electronic stage, but after the storm they just didn’t have the money for it anymore so they had to cut it. At that time, electronic music was kind of dying down here so it must have seemed like a waste of money on their part. But they just brought back the electronic stage this year and got a lot of people like Boys Noize, Crookers, Afrojack, you know, a pretty wide variety of DJs, and I got asked to play. It was such a fun weekend. I also played some after parties, which were great too.
GDD: So you just mentioned Katrina, were you in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit?
CA: Yeah I was. I got airlifted in a helicopter. I was stuck downtown a block away from the Superdome for a week after the storm. Most hurricanes come and go so quickly, so my family usually evacuates to my Dad’s office building downtown. Unfortunately that usual routine didn’t end as quickly as usual, so we had to stay there with no electricity, no running water, and had to be airlifted. It was pretty crazy.
GDD: What has it been like to see the city rebuilding around you?
CA: I hate to say that the rebuilding process in completely done because there’s a lot of stuff that will never come back and a lot of peoples’ homes are still a wreck. But I would say that New Orleans is back to a NEW normal. I think this new normal might actually be better in the long run because there’s now more open-mindedness here and there’s really a feeling of “We have rebuild the city.” People are starting to feel like they can put New Orleans on the map with new music music, art, everything that it’s not usually associated with. A lot of artists have been moving here. A lot of musicians have been breaking out of here as well. I really feel there’s more of a creative energy here now, which is great to see.
GDD: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences? Do you try to emulate any specific artists’ styles or sounds?
CA: I would actually say that my main 3 influences are not electronic at all. I think that’s another big thing about my music. I’m trying to make music that wouldn’t really be considered electronic music but through electronic music techniques. So I’d say by biggest influences are probably Japan, Phillip Glass, this Japanese composer named Ryuichi Sakamoto, who you might know from Yellow Magic Orchestra. He’s had a huge career of producing all kinds of music and film scores. I think the musicality of all of those people have influenced me much more than artists like Daft Punk or Louis La Roche or other artists that people would think that I listen to a lot. I think that electronic artists’ techniques definitely influenced me a lot, but not their music as much. But as far as electronic producers that I’m into right now I’d say Brenmar…I really love what he’s doing right now I listen to him and try to get a little inspiration every once in a while.
GDD: Brenmar is definitely on the rise I’d say. So you’re releasing Capital next week. Who do you have remixing this release and if you could commission any 2 artists in the world to remix your track, who would they be and why?
CA: Ohhh man alright so for Capital, there’s my two versions and a remix by The Planty Herbs, from Holland, and then there’s a remix from Jim-E Stack, a producer from San Francisco who’s now living in New Orleans. I really like his music he’s been doing a lot of really cool remixes and original tracks lately so I asked him to do a remix for me. He banged out a really cool remix that was exactly what we were looking for, and I paid him in pizza, which was pretty funny.
And who would I get to remix me? Hmmm…you know I’d say if I could pick anyone, and some people might be really bored with this answer, but I think Crookers are doing some really cool remixes recently and pushing their sound a lot. Everyone is so over the Day N’ Night sound, but they’ve done remixes with new and crazy sounds. You never know what to expect from them. If I could pick one more it’d have to be Soulwax, ‘cause they just have really great production, oh my god. (laughs)
GDD: (laughs) Yaa they’re not too bad of a choice. So how do you interpret the seemingly closing gap between pop music and dance music? Is it a good thing that dance music is entering more into the mainstream?
CA: I really like the fact that there’s electronic influence in pop music, and I think there’s more pop influence in electronic music now. It goes both ways. It requires electronic producers to really keep pushing the boundaries of their music or else it’s just going to die out again like it kind of did it the late 90s. It really requires new sounds and new techniques, you know. Single line sidechained basslines are not cutting it anymore. You know, we’ve all heard that shit and it’s just not exciting. That’s exactly what you’re hearing on the radio now with Ke$ha and Rihanna. So it’s good to see that the electronic world is still ahead of the pop world. I think if producers just keep pushing their own sound and try to create new stuff then it will always be like this. Every time I start a new idea I always second guess myself. “Is this pushing myself enough? Am I doing what’s easy? Or is this actually a cool idea?” And I think that producers should ask themselves, “Am I pushing myself enough? Am I changing enough?” If you’re not evolving over time then you will die out.
GDD: There is just so much replication in electronic music these days that you definitely need to stay ahead and be unique.
CA: Exactly, and the people that do make it are constantly changing and constantly growing. I’m trying to do that as much as I can but we’ll see…
GDD: Looking far ahead into the future, what is your ultimate goal as a musician? Do you have any benchmarks that you need to hit along the way?
CA: I do have a lot of things like “Man, I wish I could headline such-and-such one day” or “I want to play with so-and-so,” but I feel like if I have those goals or if I do fall short, I will constantly be disappointed. So I’ve been trying to keep a very open mind and say,”You know what? I really have no idea where I’m going to be in a year.” A year ago I would’ve never thought I’d have my own label, releasing tracks that people like, and meeting all of the people that I’ve met. It’s a lot more exciting for me to keep an open mind and think, “In a year from now, I could be producing some weird reggae band.” Not that I would ever do that now cause I’m not feeling reggae music, but you know maybe in a year I could love it. And that’s what kind of keeps me on my toes with music. But of course there are accomplishments like playing certain big festivals with artists that I’d love to meet and hang out with. Again, that goes back to being a kid growing up in New Orleans. I’ve never really been around a big electronic music scene so it’s really cool to see more and more happening.
GDD: So you’re just rolling with the punches right now then?
CA: (laughs) Yeah, just rolling with the punches a little bit and staying excited about making music. My main goal is just to be able to make a living and make music that I’m proud of, not to sound too cheesy.
GDD: Well that’s great man and very admirable of you. Well that raps everything up Christoph, so thanks so much for taking the time and we really look forward to your upcoming productions on your label, Hurst Recordings.
Tunage:
Make sure to support this budding producer and grab ‘Capital’ in full quality on Beatport, iTunes, Juno, and all other major digital retailers December 21st!
jonahberry

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Comments

One Response to GDD™ Exclusive Interview w/ Christoph Andersson

  1. DavidH says:

    Good interview.

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