Token Swede Chris One is an example of a stand-out artist who broke through at quite a young age. In his initial years in the scene, he had the honour to play regularly at some of the biggest festivals and his tracks reached a global audience, however, with his decrease of availability in the studio, Chris One referred to himself as ‘climbing down the ladder, instead of up,’ within the past few years. Spending the latter half of 2015 dedicated to getting back on track, this Swedish prodigy has now signed to The Magic Show, a label offering tons of creative freedom in terms of his productions; we decided to catch up with Chris One to speak about how he broke through so quickly, being Swedish and his new journey in Hardstyle.
– Hi Martin, thanks for the interview! First of all, how are things going today?
I’m going great, thanks!
– How has 2015 been for you career-wise? Any highlights you can share with us?
2015 has actually been a very slow year. I’ve decided to switch labels which took some of my focus away from making music for a little while, however in this half of the year I’ve been pretty busy working full-time on music. I’ve got solo tracks and also a remix for a big artist which you will know about very soon!
There have been some great times this year too; for example, Defqon.1 was lots of fun and career-wise it was definitely one of the highlights! It’s always great to perform there.
– We haven’t heard much music from you these last couple of years – what’s been going on?!
It’s been a combination of university, my level of inspiration and partially how the Hardstyle scene has become. First of all, when I released my biggest chunks of tracks I was in high school, which was a really easy time; I skipped a lot of classes and just ignored school generally, however as my work became harder I had to focus and couldn’t spend as much time on making music as I used to.
On top of that, at certain points I lost a bit of interest in Hardstyle; mainly at the points in time where artists would follow a similar ‘trend’ for a few months and everyone would be making similar sounding tracks. I admit that I’d lose a bit of interest, however it wouldn’t be long until I got it back again.
– Can you tell me a little bit about your initial years in the scene?
I’ve been producing since I was about 11 or 12 and by the point of 2004-2005 I became interested in Hard Dance music. By the time I was 15 I began taking my productions a little more seriously, I knew that if I remained focussed I’d have a shot at doing something with music so whilst all of my friends were going out I stayed home and concentrated on making music. After releasing my first track digitally and when I was about 16 I began DJing; by this time some of my productions were reaching people through the internet and I eventually picked up support from some of the big guys, resulting in a few bookings.
When I was 17, I played at Defqon.1 for the first time which was amazing! I was so nervous, but my performance gained a good response. Prior to Defqon I knew that I liked the music, however after I performed there I knew deep down that I wanted to make music and perform as much as possible.
Music-wise, back in those days, raw hardstyle wasn’t really a ‘thing’ – hardstyle was initially a lot darker up until around 2008. I always liked the harder and darker stuff; I wasn’t trying to go against what was popular at the time, I just made music that I loved to make.
– You came into the scene quite a while ago and broke through really quickly; do you think this was somewhat dangerous?
Yeah, a little bit. I went from having very few bookings, besides small, underground events in Sweden to suddenly playing at these amazing festivals in The Netherlands and Italy. When it came time to focus more on my studies I couldn’t release as many tracks and that followed with having less bookings. This made me climb down the ladder rather than up. It’s really just a matter of releasing more music.
– You’ve just signed to The Magic Show records, congrats! What does this mean for you and your career?
First and foremost I’d say that I’m working with a team who are very driven and determined to make sure that I’m motivated on music and get back to the level I was at before. It’s really good to have this great team behind me; I have a good feeling about it and I’m motivated to show people that I wasn’t just a one-hit wonder!
– How does your music fit into the label?
That’s the good thing about The Magic show – it’s not a specific ‘unit.’ The label is very broad and as an artist I have a lot of creative freedom. The Magic Show is more focussed on being a platform for the artist to grow more so than a label to showcase a certain ‘sound’ or ‘type’ of music.
– In your new tracks, what type of ‘sound’ are you going for?
My plans were to create a signature sound that resonates throughout all of my productions, however when I look back on the music I’ve made recently I have to admit that it’s really diverse. The most important thing for me is to bring a great level of energy in my productions, a big atmosphere and an anthemic feeling. However, saying this, one of my new tracks is more minimalistic and along the lines of ‘extreme raw.’ I enjoy all kinds of Hardstyle, including the classics and older stuff but I also really like the extreme sounding Hardstyle that borders into Hardcore.
My latest track, “The Cycle,” which has just been previewed, is definitely one that runs more along the lines of the big atmospheric sound that I just mentioned. Dark sounds and a great, anthemic feeling!
**Check Out Chris One’s brand new track “The Cycle” to be released on The Magic Show!**
– What are your opinions on the current state of hardstyle?
I’d say that it’s great that we’ve experienced a bit of a divide because that allows for further diversification. I remember during my first gigs, the fans weren’t really accustomed to the sound yet and the great thing about today’s scene is that people know what they want and certain artists can cater for certain tastes.
The spectrum is really wide; there’s melodic and trance influenced hardstyle, there are raw and more extreme sounds and there’s also the music in the middle! As a producer, we have a lot more freedom to do what we want and for fans there’s something for everyone!
– You come from Sweden – what’s the hardstyle scene like over there?
The people in Sweden are becoming more passionate about Hardstyle which has been the case for quite a while now; however it’s now reaching out to younger people which means that the parties will only get bigger. Some of the electronic festivals which used to primarily be only house music and trance have begun bringing in Hardstyle and Hardcore artists.
For example, Summerburst was a festival that never included Hard Dance music in their line-up, however this year they brought artists such as Radical Redemption, Miss K8, Warface and more. However, in Sweden it’s difficult to organise larger parties solely dedicated to hard music. The police will be very strict and difficult to work with in a way where they don’t regard other kinds of music.
– What’s one Swedish phrase our readers must know?
God jul. It’s good for all seasons of the year 😉
– Besides music, what do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy video games and watching movies.
– What’s your favourite movie?
I’m so bad at choosing favourites! But if I had to choose one then I’d say “The Godfather.”
– Where’s the weirdest place you’ve woken up after a huge night out?
To be honest, I haven’t really woken up anywhere particularly strange; I’m pretty good at getting back to wherever I’m staying. It’s more about what happens before I go to bed… 😉
– Do you feel as though it’s going to be hard to ‘break through’ for a second time?
A little bit. I mean, I have quite a few fans who are really looking forward to my new music which is encouraging, but at the same time as Hardstyle has grown, there’s a lot more ‘new’ fans who may not be familiar with my music. It’s going to be a bit of a struggle to cut through the ‘noise’ but for me, it’s a matter of working hard, looking forward and not focussing on other people.
– You’re a bit of a funny cunt online, is there a reason why?
Because I am a funny cunt in real life too! Nah, to be honest I’ve noticed that some people think that they’re anonymous when they’re using Facebook; when they get too full of themselves it can be funny to point the finger and remind them that they’re just one of us! Saying this, there’s a line that I wouldn’t cross, it’s not my intention to single people out of hurt their feelings. Above all, it’s healthy to have a friendly banter online with your colleagues and fans.
– What did you eat for breakfast today?
I had a sandwich with cheese, it was pretty boring.
Thanks to Chris One for chatting to us today and huge congrats for being signed to The Magic Show! We wish you the very best with your upcoming tracks and hope to catch you performing soon!
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