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Cristoph on “O2C” North American tour, recent releases, and more

Hot on the heels of wrapping up a monumental summer run packed with performances at numerous coveted venues and festivals, Newcastle, U.K. native Cristoph is embarking on his debut “O2C” (open-to-close) North American tour. Unfurling its wings this month, the autumnal journey will see the progressive house giant introduce his innovative live open-to-close show concept across 15 of North America’s elite music hubs, touching down in Brooklyn, Chicago, Denver, Toronto, and many more.

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With zero openers, gimmicks, and an extended open-to-curfew play time on each stop, Cristoph intends to take crowds on an intimate journey on each tour stop. The tour run will see him clock in over 71 hours of tunes, an impressive feat for only 15 shows.

Here is Cristoph to tell us more about the concept, his recent releases, and everything else he’s been up to this year.

Congratulations on the announcement of your “O2C” Fall 2023 North American tour! Can you shed some light on what inspired the “open-to-close” show concept and how it differentiates from typical electronic music events?

Thank you! Over the past year or so I have played quite a few longer sets and I have really enjoyed them, when I was first playing gigs at home I often played all night long or at least around 4 hours several nights a week so I guess it’s going back to my roots a bit too. With more and more shows having an increased amount of DJs on their lineups it sometimes means that set times become less and it changes the dynamics of what you want to play or get to play a lot of the time. Playing Open To Close will allow me to dictate the night entirely and really dive deep into my music folders.

Your recent rework of Eli & Fur’s “Last Train” has garnered significant attention. How did that collaboration come about, and what was your approach to putting your signature touch on the track?

I have been a big fan of their work for a while now. We have spoken a lot over r the past couple of years and they asked me to come on board the remix package for their album and gave me a choice of a couple of tracks. As soon as I heard ‘Last Train’ I loved the vibe of it and wanted to have a go at remixing that. Luckily enough the girls were happy with my choice and let me jump on it. I didn’t really want to take into that real peak time driving record, I wanted it to keep the emotion their vocals bring so I messed around with some piano chords and went from there really.

With such a busy year and your relocation from the U.K. to the U.S., how have you managed to maintain a balance between personal life, touring, and producing?

I won’t lie, it’s been a really tough one, to be honest. Earlier on in the year my brother sadly passed away, and as many people know both him and my dad were my real heroes in life and brought me through into the music industry. Soon after we trialled relocating to the States as this is where I am touring the heaviest at the moment so leaving my mam and sister was difficult. I settled quite well though and really enjoyed it so we decided to make it a more permanent move after the summer. I absolutely love touring so the hectic schedule, the non-stop flying etc hasn’t bothered me too much and I am able to produce music to a certain level that I can test out and then tweak back in the studio when I return to Newcastle. I am going to have to find a studio over here in America I feel though.

Your dedication to fans is evident in your work. How do you envision fostering and deepening that connection in the coming years, especially with the growing demand for your performances?

The support I receive from people really does take me by surprise, it’s so surreal for me and I can’t ever see that changing. Even the word ‘fans’ just feels like a dream. Without those buying tickets, buying/streaming my music then I wouldn’t be where I am today and I fully believe I won’t be able to reach my goals in life without that support. I truly am grateful for everything so because of this and my awareness of their importance in my life and career I will strive to make the connection deeper and stronger as time goes on. My dad used to always tell me talent can get you to a certain level but being a good person can take you beyond that and I try my best to keep that with me through every walk of life – especially here.

The support I receive from people really does take me by surprise, it’s so surreal for me and I can’t ever see that changing.

The “O2C” tour promises an experience “like no other”. What do you hope fans will take away from this unique journey with you?

It’s not very often I play all night and get to showcase all sides of my musical tastes so to be given the chance to create a tour out of this is a dream come true. After the show in LA at Academy the whole concept was mentioned by my team and promoters around the country and I am always up for a challenge and want to keep evolving as an artist and this is a perfect way to show that. A lot of thought and planning has gone into every aspect of the tour – not just about the music side and I hope everyone sees that after they experience it.

Delving into your early influences, how do acts like Masters at Work and the sounds of Sasha & Digweed manifest in your current productions and performances?

Without a doubt the way those mentioned DJs influenced my performances. You can see the concentration throughout their sets – especially the longer b2b’s they play. The journey’s they go on, it’s never about them but always about the music. I’m not the most self-confident of people so tend to just try and sit in my own little zone and create a vibe that will become memorable for those in attendance. Production wise I always find them to be forward thinking and creating new trends, yet still being true to themselves. This is something I feel like I need to work towards so will always take influence from them.

Your meteoric rise in the U.S. music scene has been commendable. What were some of the challenges and triumphs of relocating and adjusting to the U.S. music industry?

Thanks. To be honest, the greatest challenges were just getting my head around how things work in everyday life here compared to back at home in Newcastle. I’ve always found there to be a cool underground scene for the more melodic sound and it seems to be growing all the time which is great to see. A lot of America seem to be very open to listening to unknown DJs and music and not just chasing whatever is most popular at the time.

How do collaborations challenge and elevate your artistry?

It’s always interesting to see how another artist works and produces their vision. Their production process, their own little tricks for certain elements – but this is the beauty of the industry, there’s never a right or wrong just someone’s opinion. Taking this on board and learning new things will always keep you evolving as I feel the knowledge we can acquire from one another is limitless.

The beauty of the industry, there’s never a right or wrong, just someone’s opinion.

Lastly, looking back on your storied career, what advice would you give to aspiring DJs and producers looking to make their mark in the ever-evolving world of electronic music?

Music is an art, so just as I said before there is no right or wrong only people’s opinions. Taking this on board you need to take all ‘criticism’ as constructive and use it in a positive manner to help you improve. We are all learning every day. Also to have fun, the last thing you need to do is place too much pressure on yourself that it affects you mentally, life is far too short to overlook happiness.

Thank you.

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