Crankdat’s move from the periphery to the center of the bass realm of electronica took place in what feels like a blink of an eye. The young Ohio-based artist subtly inserted his name into the mix of bedroom producers looking to strike a chord with the public in 2015 and quickly drew the spotlight to him upon the release of his breakout remix of Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.”
That remix was only just the beginning, and as he’s come to show – Crankdat had a myriad of ear-catching “re-cranks” and originals up his sleeve, which kept his audience hooked and the plays racking up by the thousands. His keen ability to craft memorable future bass tracks, high-octane mixes, and other records that rev up listeners have led to him becoming a veritable success story, one that is even scoring major festival and club gigs within such a short time in the industry.
One such show is his upcoming one at famed Hollywood club Avalon as a Control headliner. Avalon’s Control nights are known for hosting caliber producers who are on the rise, and Crankdat is likely to put on quite the performance. Ahead of his appearance, Dancing Astronaut sat down with him to pick his brain a bit on his booming career, headlining a club while underage, and more.
Additionally, we’re giving away two pairs of tickets to get the in Crankdat’s glory at tomorrow’s show, which will feature support from ATLiens, Castor Troy, and RWDY.
Read our interview below and enter to win tickets here.
You’ve gone from bedroom producer to being rinsed by major festival headliners in a stunningly short amount of time. How do you feel when you hear your songs being played, for example, on the Ultra Mainstage?
It’s always a cool feeling. Forever will be fun to be scrolling through your favorite DJ’s Snapchat and hearing them play your song. Started out as a surreal feeling and still is.
Headlining sets such as this weekend’s at Control are still a relatively new thing for you. Given your high-octane style, have you ever received flak for being “too energetic” as an opening DJ?
Honestly, not really. There have been a couple times though where my set time was re-positioned to be more of a headline slot than an opening slot.
You’re among the rare producers who have become successful enough to earn high profile club bookings at under 21. What’s it like being the main draw at a club event while being under the legal age for entry? [Reader Disclaimer: Control is a 19+ event.]
Forever weird. Luckily I have less than a year of that left. It doesn’t bother me much when I’m performing, but it is kind of annoying getting kicked out of Hakkasan three minutes after I finish my set, haha.
Given the longstanding history of Control as an establishment for producers on the rise, do you have anything special planned to set this weekend apart from other sets?
I plan on debuting some brand new music at the Control show on Friday, everything from edits and collaborations to solo originals. There are a few thing in the works that my team is coordinating at the moment as well, but we’re keeping it secret. One thing I will say is, if you want to hear my remix of “I Hold Still” before anyone else does, you should buy your ticket asap.
You share a name with one of techno’s most well-respected producers. Have you ever been mistaken for the other Christian Smith by booking agents (or otherwise)?
By agents? No, not really. But I do get tagged on Christian Smith flyers and such on social media from time to time.
Over the past year, it seems that one of your set staples has been your remake of Porter Robinson’s menacing “Fresh Static Snow” live edit. Have you ever discussed your homage with him?
Hmmm, I actually haven’t been playing that one out that much as of late. Guess I’ll have to bring it back. I haven’t really discussed Porter too much, but his influence on my craft is endless. There isn’t much else to say other than that his music introduced to me a new mentality of boundary-breaking that I hadn’t been exposed to before.
What projects do you have in the pipeline that excite you the most?
More than I can count. I’m excited about almost all of my new music. I’ve released a bunch of remixes over the past couple years and can’t wait to finally start releasing more original music — my collaboration with Jauz, “I Hold Still”, is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m hoping to drop my first solo original record as early as next month, just finalizing the details on that one. I’m sitting on enough music right now to quit for almost an entire year and just release what I’ve already done. I’m constantly challenging myself to create new material though, so that what does come out is nothing shy of the best showcase of my abilities.
Ahead of the Control show, Crankdat has shared an exclusive Dancing Astronaut playlist, featuring hits from Porter Robinson and Madeon, San Holo, and more.
Discounted tickets to Crankdat at Control are available with the code “DancingAstro” here.