July 25 2018

Feeling Better with Chrissy

Los Angeles-Le Bain
We sat down with Chicago house staple Chrissy before he returns to The Rooftop at The Standard, Downtown LA on Friday, July 6th and plays Le Bain in NYC on Saturday, September 1st.
THE STANDARD: You just released a mix for Groove magazine which is really high on energy. Does that match your state of mind this summer? 
CHRISSY: My state of mind is always pretty high-energy—I make dance music after all! For me, this summer is all about being eclectic, throwing a lot of different genres and styles together, and focusing on more happy, uplifting sounds and vibes. I'm so tired of dark, aggressive techno sounds...

What are the top three summer things that give you an extra boost?
Mango sticky rice, bike rides, and walking outside at 8 or 9pm and having it still not be dark yet!

You've been running a monthly party called Feeling Better this summer on The Rooftop. What are the top three things that make you feel better?
A really good song, a good dancefloor, and hugs from my friends.
"Wrapping the party up with a kind of emotional peak..."
In terms of DJing, what's an uncommon thing you learned from running a residency at Smart Bar in Chicago?
When you are a resident at a club, you end up doing a lot of opening or closing sets (as opposed to the peak hour slot, which usually goes to a visiting out-of-towner). I think that really sharpened my skills in terms of getting a party started, building a mood early in the night, and coaxing people onto the dance floor, as well as also keeping people sticking around late, wrapping the party up with a kind of emotional peak, and leaving everybody with a smile on their face. It can be a lot harder than the prime time slot sometimes...

I read you’re now based in SF, but you have lived in Chicago, New York, and you play regularly in LA. Why did you decide to settle in SF?
San Francisco has a lot of really talented artists and DJs doing some really cool stuff, and I am really enjoying the community and my friends here. I left Chicago in part because I wanted to dive into a new scene and mix up my creative process, but to be honest, my biggest motivating factor was that I was sick of snow!

How would you describe the influence and inspiration of being raised in Kansas?
I'd say the rave scene in Kansas City and the rest of the Midwest in the '90s was a huge influence in terms of helping to shape me as a DJ and informing my musical tastes. There was a real eclecticism to those events—the scene wasn't big enough to support a drum & bass night or an all-techno party, so all the genres (and their fans) ended up overlapping and being together at one party. That anything-goes, eclectic attitude toward selecting music has stuck with me up to today.

Chrissy & Hawley's "My Top Twenty" (The Nite Owl Diner, 2016)

Your label The Nite Owl Diner is an ode to the after-parties in 24-hour diners after the club...
I just remember so many times in my teens up until the present where we'd leave the rave (or the club) in search of an after-party, but there wasn't one, so we just went to a 24-hour diners and got pancakes and hung out for a few hours until the sun came up or one of our friends fell asleep in the booth. I think it's an important part of the nightlife ritual that gets overlooked, so I wanted to pay homage with a record label.

Chicago star DJ Black Madonna called you “one of the best DJs ever to walk the earth.” Was it a surprise or were you already aware of it?
I'm always flattered and a little surprised when somebody gives me a shout out or says something complimentary about my work! I love music, that's the main motivator, but it's always nice when other people notice.


On Friday, July 6th, The Rooftop presents Feeling Better
feat. Chrissy and Carlos Souffront
The Standard, Dowtown LA | 9pm

On Saturday, September 1st, Le Bain presents Chrissy
for an extended 6-hour set
The Standard, High Line | 10pm