We got to know dance master Christofi a little better.
I’ve always been intrigued by the way that dance-pop collaborations come about. It seems like far too coincidental for the path of a great vocalist to cross with that of a phenomenal dance producer, so I have always been compelled to discover the backstory behind the collaborations.
A couple of months ago, we came across Christofi because of Marry You On The Dancefloor, his funky collaboration with FEiN. Now, shortly after the release of his most recent single Higher, we talk to the man himself to find out a little more about him and how he goes about his search for singers.
Could you give us a bit of background about your musical career and how it all began?
I grew up in a family that strongly emphasised music and supported my interest in it. My uncle gave me guitar lessons for years, starting when I was 7, and everything just progressed from there. I really got into dance music and music production/recording around 2007 and I was obsessed with it all. The obsession never faded!
What’s the songwriting process like for you?
Random ideas pop into my head and I record them as voice memos on my phone. Then I make a song out of that random lyric or melody when I can get on Ableton. If not, I just play guitar for a while or, if possible, start from scratch with a singer. Having a second person to bounce ideas off of is amazing when the chemistry is right.
You’ve worked with a lot of different singers – how do you go about finding vocalists?
Finding vocalists has been a really tough thing for me. My collaboration with FEiN opened a lot of doors to singer friends of theirs, which was awesome. Otherwise, I just reach out to singers that I think have a great voice. I have found many that I want to work with but the challenge is making it happen or getting a response.
What do you typically look for in the artists that you work with?
Using FEiN as an example, both of them can sing great, play a variety of instruments very well and can write amazing songs. I think that’s the perfect criteria for anyone you’re looking to work with.
I’m very particular with vocalists but I just want the best for the songs that I spend countless hours producing. I look for a voice that makes me feel the chills and has a unique soulfulness to it. I can usually tell within a couple of seconds if it’s the right fit.
What would you say makes you stand out as an artist?
Although guitar is not uncommon in other genres, in dance music is still is, and since I’m a guitarist, I like to add it in as much as possible. It gives a certain groove that synths can’t. Being able to play my music “live” will help me stand out and I can’t wait to have enough music to do my own live show.
What’s the highlight of your time performing so far?
In high school, I was obsessed with DJ AM. When he passed away, I did a tribute at a pep rally, where I condensed a TRV$DJAM set into 10 minutes, had a friend play drums, synced the visuals, etc. It was in front of my whole school and technically my first “live” DJ performance. Everyone called me “DJ Christofi” after that.
What’s next for you?
I just won the Insomniac Discovery Project for EDC Las Vegas 2016, which is something I am extremely excited about. They’re putting me on an amazing stage, in front of an A&R panel to present my music and possibly getting future tracks signed to them. Besides that, I have a lot of new music coming out this summer!
Which one of your songs best summarises your sound for new listeners?
I think it’s my newest one Higher. It encompasses what I’ve been trying to accomplish for a really long time. I love soulful female vocals over uplifting house music. I think it has my own style, with a guitar riff going through most of it, but is also reminiscent of some of my favorite artists as well. And most importantly, it has the 3 elements I mentioned above: Energetic, Happy & Groovy. Expect more of that style in the future!