We recently had a chance to catch up with Chris Stussy…
Hey Chris, great to meet you! It’s summer! Is that a good or bad time for you? Do you love or loath the heat?
- Hi guys, thanks for having me. I think there’s no question about it that summer is the best time of the year especially in the Netherlands (not weatherwise haha) but with the amount of festivals we have it’s a very good time for my inspiration towards music.
Why do you love house music so much? Why is it the genre for you?
- I can’t think of anything else I would play to be honest. I respect people for playing techno a lot, but for me there’s just one thing and that’s house music all the way. It’s the elements of a groove, the swing of percussion, the power of a clap, or a good soulful vocal, these things just do it for me everytime.
What are the key things to get right for you when making a tune – the drums, capturing an emotion, a synth line?
- I always start with a clean kick, from there it could go to make a strong beat going, or finding that one sound I get inspired by and hear other sounds working with that. It’s about how you process those things together that makes it totally you. If it sounds good for you, go for it… don’t be afraid or scared to take a little risk with that, this will define your own sound even more, try to be different. I can go on for ages to get my mixdown really tight, theres always something I am not happy with when I tweaked something else, so at some point I have to be honest with myself and ask myself this question, do I really improve the track with adding or removing sounds or is it just done now? Because most of the time “less is more”.
You play some pretty huge stages at festivals round the world – do you scale up your sounds for those to be able to make an impact, do you play harder?
- Of course, you search a bit differently, but still I try to keep this within my own sound. Of course you try stuff out of your comfort zone every now and then, but I have some tracks unreleased that always do the job on the dancefloor, no matter how big the stages are. I definitely have those “secret weapons” ready for these occasions.
- Below some tracks I would play on these bigger stages
Djoko – Close Call (he’s one of the nicest and best producers for me at the moment)
Rossi. – Paradise (also a big new talent from the UK who makes big tracks)
Michael James – Infinite State (i think some people don’t even know this track from Michael, man this always works)
Michael James – Apologies for the Delay (Traumer Remix) a new remix from Traumer, I played this for the first time at my recent 10 hours set at Thuishaven and was one of the highlights of the set… the last break, the tension goes really high!
How did you first link with djebali, where and when?
- That’s a good question. It’s funny, at ADE 2/3 years ago djebali played as a mystery guest at a party in BRET. I was there in the crowd and we didn’t know each other then, but he played some of my tracks and I remember I was too scared to say hi to him at that point. After ADE I was so inspired by his set and him playing my released tracks, I thought it was time to just send him a message and ask if it’s possible to send him some music. 3 weeks later I got a response from him saying he liked the demo’s I sent and he wanted it for his djebali label.
What’s it like working with him? Did you meet up or was it an internet thing?
- Djebali is one of the nicest guys I’ve met along the way and is always really happy. I love to work with him because I know which sounds he liked and what he doesn’t like. I’ve analyzed his music so much that I can just tell you straight away when I hear a track from him. Our first few collaborations were via internet, passing each other the parts and create tracks this way. When I was booked in Rex Club last year I decided to go 2 days earlier then my gig and we had a good 2 days in the studio where we mixed all tracks and created a few new ones together. The workflow was so fast, it felt like we were doing it for some years together but it was really our first time in the studio jamming around. We made Komodo, Hyena and Falcon all in 1 day.
The vocals in the tune – are they just another sound in the mix for you? Or should vocals say something important?
- A vocal can be a good thing for me personally, it can add some soul to it, but with this particular release, I preferred to use less vocals and focus more on the beat itself. Make this more interesting and put more effort into this.
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
- EP coming in September on RUtilance recordings, the label of Dj Steaw. Got an EP coming on a great UK label in October/November, and some other works which I also can’t announce yet.
What is your ideal party, set time, location, crowd, crowd size, venue etc?
- Prime time is everyone’s ideal playtime I guess, mine aswell… My best party was at SASH in Sydney, Australia this year, the crowd was educated so much already with the sounds I represent, it’s like they already knew all my unreleased tracks I made just before the show. Crowd size doesn’t really matter for me, I love to play for big stages, but how nice it is to play for 300 people that all have knowledge about the artist that is playing for them has the same rewarding feeling over and over again. Favorite Dutch crowd I would say Thuishaven 3 weeks ago when Prunk and I did a 10 hour show there, 100% in my top 3 shows this year. My favorite venue would be Shelter in Amsterdam, the sound in there is just so good… if you haven’t been there you should go.
Chris’s collab with Djebali ‘Shades Of Grey’ is out now