This week in the Artist Spotlight we have a very good friend of ours, Russ Christopher. Russ has been spinning House Music for over 14 years. Over that time he’s obviously had many experiences and stories to share. Below you can read the interview he did with House Music Saved My Life and you can also catch him live back at #Afterlife on February 21st.
How did you first begin DJing/Producing?
Well, 15 years ago, a buddy of mine said he was a DJ. I went to his house and tried it and immediately felt the need to take this new adventure and go with it. I did for a long time meeting new people, finding out other ways of doing things. Figured out how to scratch, which I still learn new things here and there. Then watched the times change and followed a little, getting more and more into it. When the production time came along, I’d sit in with Billy the Kid, Gus E Gruv (Gus Calderone), Tony 2 Much (as most of you know him, Tony Arzadon), and watch, and watch, and watch, hearing the same thing over, and over, and over, and over…. Then edit…. And over, and over…. You get it. I’d sit there for HOURS trying to figure it out. So one day I bought a Mac and ProTools and tried to learn. Well its harder than it looks, and finding that out didn’t take long. My cousin (Gus) and Josh The Funky 1 own a record label (Funktion Recordings) and I decided that I want to help run it and make music for the rest of my life. So I looked into going to Full Sail in Orlando and off I went. That didn’t work out for too long before I came home, fully discouraged about everything musical in my life. Then one day Jesse Seely, ripped me a new asshole about how much talent I’m wasting and basically got me back into DJing all over again. Knowing and hanging out with the arguably the biggest/best DJs in the city, and at that time some being the biggest in the country, it wasn’t hard to get new music and play a little bit here and there. I can go way more into detail. But this question will turn into a book… but over 14 years… I have some stories…
Who is your biggest influence(s)?
Welp. To name a few….. Billy The Kid, Josh The Funky 1, Gus Calderone, Tony Arzadon, Bad Boy Bill, CZR, Steve Smooth, JJ Flores, Derrick Carter, Donald Glaude, Cajmere, well… I guess this list goes on and on. But that’s a few
What’s your favorite record of all time?
Oh god…. MRE – Bodyrock.
What was your favorite party of all time that you have played?
Ugh…. Ummmmmmmmmm……. Get Wild at Oasis 160, I think that was the name of it. And Atmosphere at Vibe Night Club, that was a fucking blast!!!
Who do you want to collaborate with in the future?
Well since I don’t make music. I guess ill answer this with who id like to DJ along side… and that’s just about anyone I named in the influence part of this. I can listen to any one of them play all night, and I’d have no problem opening for them either… That’d be a lot of fun… Or hell, even all of us in one night. (hint hint bobby) haha
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you at a show?
Going into Boom Shaka by Andre Basho, getting the crowd going, and I was about to do doubles of the record and the needle skipped across the entire thing, so I grabbed it off the turntable and shattered against the wall…. People judged me. oops
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
Hockey, hockey, some more hockey. And I like cars, fast ones. So going to the race track and anything with cars is always an option. I also like food, cooking it and eating it (clearly) and chillin at home with my family.
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
Ill keep my opinion on this a secret, but I will say that there are a very few people that I feel help this scene, by either promoting or DJing. Its not hard to tell who they are because when I’m out. Im normally at their shows or parties.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
Calling it House Music again?
What do you think about all these “frauds” in the EDM scene using ghost producers, buying likes and purchasing their own tracks on Beatport?
Stupid. If music is good enough, it’ll speak for itself.
Is there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
Anything House Music Save My Life does. Or United2nite. You guys have really impressed the hell out of me with the way you’re trying to take the scene back with people that actually understand music and want to have a good time without being in the spot light at a VIP table or anything. Good music, good people and a good time is all it should be about. Other than that though? I don’t really pay attention unless I see a flyer with someone worth going out to see.