DJ and star producer Chris Lake (who has the #1 song on Beatport "Boneless" with Steve Aoki and Tujamo) has recently embarked on a nationwide support featuring talent from his Rising Music label. On Steptember 14, Chris Lake as well as his talented DJ friends and collaborators Nom de Strip and TJR will be getting behind the decks at Mansion in Miami Beach for what is expected to be a crazy night. We spoke with the three DJs to tell us more about their music and what to expect from the show.
How did this tour come to fruition?
Chris Lake: I've been thinking about something like this for a while now, but for various reasons I was unable to bring it all together. Luckily the planets aligned, and all the artists were available that I wanted, so we made it happen. It's going to be amazing
What do you look in a DJ when you are looking to bring them to your label or to collaborate with them?
Chris Lake: Something unique that nobody else could do! It's so important to stand out in this industry, because so many people are DJ's or producers now, all trying to do something very similar. If you don't have something that makes you different from those people, you're effectively swimming upstream
Tell us a little about about what we can expect from the show
Chris Lake: All the artists are great friends and we all love each other’s music, so expect all the artists to be around all night getting very drunk and causing everyone else to get intoxicated. We're also all trying to outdo each other, so I think it keeps the creativity levels high, so expect something a little different from your normal club show.
How would you describe your work to someone who was not familiar with your music?
Chris Lake: I wouldn't say one song is the same as the other, as I like to produce so many different genres of music, but you can usually expect something with positive emotion, funk, and very very solid bass. I do love bass!
Nom de Strip: I try to find a balance of making my stuff musical but also kind of dark, a little quirky. I start out trying to make everything as simple as possible but it doesn't always come out that way! Everything I do, I try to make as 'danceable' and interesting as I can without overdoing it. The Nom De Strip guise is my opportunity to make cool dance tracks without trying to top any charts.
TJR: Fun, bouncy [and] funky. It's that simple!
TJR and Nom De Strip, What's it like working with Chris Lake?
Nom De Strip: Chris is very easy to work with, we get on really well in the studio and i like to think we're good friends by now! He is a very creative person, full of ideas. My strengths tend to be on the technical side so we go together quite nicely.
TJR: It's been a great experience. Chris has a vast knowledge of the industry so I lean on him quite a bit for advice. He also has a great ear for music so it helps a ton when bouncing music ideas of him.
TJR and Nom De Strip, you both moved away from your hometowns (in Connecticut and Scotland respectively) to LA. Did the move impact your music?
TJR: 100%. I'd still be in the corporate world living the double life of a customer service rep by day and a producer by night if I didn’t make the move.
Nom De Strip: Very much so. I went from producing in my grandparent's spare bedroom, where i essentially produced Skirt for Kylie Minogue, to sharing an awesome studio space with Chris Lake in Hollywood. I now get constant feedback from my team on everything I'm working on, whereas before I could go 3-4 days noodling away on something totally alone. This has been a big help, although sometimes I actually miss the solitude! I am now also working on a much wider range of projects in different genres, I think this helps me to keep things fresh.
What is inspiring your music at the moment?
Chris Lake: I'm loving what Joris Voorn is doing. He's been making some unbelievable music for years now. His latest release is just behind us at the moment on beatport. In my opinion, it deserves to be No. 1. It's so damn good. I wish I made his music, and I don't wish that very often
Nom De Strip: I feel like I'm inspired by the music I don't like, which may sound strange. I like to take my favourite elements of certain styles I'm not so keen on, and mix them together in a way I do like, if that makes sense. I think the day everyone is making music I love is the day I'd have to retire. Everything I make is a reaction to something.
TJR: The stuff that makes people have the most fun the club and personally it's been trap and 100 bpm like DJ Snake, Baauer, Victor Niglio.
Now that the summer is over, what do you declare the song of summer to be?
Chris Lake: Chris Malinchak’s “So Good To Me”. It's effortless and timeless
Nom De Strip: “What's Up Suckaz” [by TJR] or the Calvin Harris remix of “Eat Sleep Rave Repeat”
TJR: For my sets, Icona Pop "I Dont Care" (Sick Individuals remix) did wonders and the Carnage trap remix of “Spaceman.”
What do you like most about Miami?
Chris Lake: Miami rocks! My parties are always memorable there, and the crowds are fantastic. It's just a great place to visit, and I have so many friends there so things normally go a little sideways :) The food is also amazing, the weather rarely disappoints and the hotels are unbelievable What's not to like?
Nom De Strip: I've only been once, for WMC 2008. I don't suppose that's the best time to get a feel for the city but I loved the beach, and I loved the weather. And the Adidas store! Maybe I'll get to see more of it this time, I hope so. I love the series Dexter too, does that count?
TJR: I love that music is such a big part of Miami's vibe. Whenever I'm here I hear all types of music playing out of cars, cabs and restaurants. It's a very festive city.
When you're in Miami, how do you like to have fun/party?
Chris Lake: I'm normally around the pool in the shade, chillin' and eating copious amounts of food! At night, I like heading to Mansion, Set, LIV or if I want to get down and dirty, Space.
Nom De Strip: The same as anywhere, with plenty of booze and friendly locals.
TJR: It's hopping in a cab and going from club to club then usually by the end I can barely walk and don't remember how I got home!
Other than touring, what other projects are you working on?
Chris Lake: I've just done a remix of NAPT - Surrender with Nom De Strip, that will be coming out on Rising Music soon. It's one of the best remixes we've done. I've also just finished my next single, called Helium, which will be coming out next on Ultra.
Nom De Strip: Once the Rising Fall tour is over, I'm hoping to concentrate on pop production for a good while. It's something I really enjoy and I'd like to have a good crack at it without distractions later this year. We are getting in some very talented writers and singers and I want to make the most of opportunities to work with these people.
TJR: Basically just spending as much time in the studio as possible since touring takes a lot of time away from the studio. I love to produce, so I really miss it when I'm on the road for extended periods of time.