This man is someone that always pleases the crowd, he is a winner of “Best American DJ” and just a amazing person all the way around. He has been in the game since 1997 and continues to stay true to a sound he believes in. He is ever so busy with constant touring and producing, not to forget compilations that he puts together on his own label. He has recently put out the compilation mix “Pharmacy: Phase 4” compilation which I may say my self is amazing! We had a chance to sit with the legendary Christopher Lawrence and ask him a few questions about his journey into becoming who he is today, his influences and his take on the scene today!
Q : How and when were you introduced to electronic music?
A: I had been clubbing since I was sixteen in the underground San Francisco
scene. I went to my first acid house and techno party in 1990 and never
turned back. I had never experienced music that spoke directly to my soul
before. I knew immediately this is where I belong.
Q: When did you decided to start djing/producing and how did you go about it?
A: I had always collected records. Shortly after I started going to the
underground rave parties in San Francisco, I began buying all the acid and
techno records I could. The other DJs at the time weren¹t playing the music
that I liked the best so I taught myself to DJ so I could play house parties
for my friends. My popularity grew and soon I was doing beach parties and
warehouse break in parties. As my following grew so did the paid gigs. It
was really all by accident.
Q: What was your first professional gig?
A: My first paid gig was an underground party at a club called Big Heart City
in San Francisco in 1992. My crew got seventy-five dollars to split between
us. That turned out to be twenty-five dollars each. I thought it was the
greatest thing ever. I was getting paid to play my favorite records. I went
out the next day and bought more records with the money I had earned.
Q: Which artist(s) did you look up to that influenced your music?
A: I was influenced by the early trance and techno pioneers like Sven Vath and
Carl Cox. Later I was influenced by progressive house DJs like John Digweed
for his integrity and professionalism.
Q: How do you feel the scene has evolved from 1990¹s?
A: Don’t get me started. The biggest change is the digital revolution that
enabled anyone to be able to produce quality music in their home studio. It
also allowed all DJs everywhere access to the music being produced. The
advent of the home studio and the internet blew the whole electronic music
scene wide open. The downside is that I think too much emphasis is placed on
social media and not enough on the music. Another huge change is that people
used to go out to hear a good DJ because the DJ would take them on a
journey. Today the quality of a DJ is irrelevant. Most people just go out to
hear a popular producer play the hits. People don’t want to be surprised on
the dance floor. It has become less about the music and more about the
bottle service. I am so grateful for the underground scene which still
rewards good DJs and appreciates quality music.
Q: How would you describe the evolution of your music since 1990’s?
A: Although my sound has been influenced by many different genres as they come
and go, my core sound has remained consistent. I still believe that powerful
music with a good groove and twisted melodies is the key to a great set.
Q: What are the best crowds to play at around the world? (describe/elaborate)
A: The best crowd to play to is the crowd in front of me. When I look out at
the dance floor, it all comes down to that moment for me and for the people
that have come to the show that night. As for some of my favorite places to
play, Argentina would have to be at the top of my list. Buenos Aires is my
home away form home. Los Angeles is another favorite. It’s where I came up
as a DJ and my following has stayed with me over the years and the events
here are always off the hook.
Q: What do you like about the scene? What do you think needs to change about
A: I love the variety of music styles that have evolved over time and I am
impressed by the quality of music production today. Sadly, the scene has
been corrupted by the greed of the EDM machine. Festivals have become devoid
of musical diversity and clubs cater to the bottle service crowd. Even once
respectable artists are chasing the EDM dollar. It makes me sad when I
listen to the Beatport trance top 100 and hear how trance has become the
worst caricature of itself. Thankfully there are still DJs and producers
making quality tech-trance and psy-trance. I suppose it is like anything in
life, if you want the good stuff you have to work to find it.
Q: What is your opinion between mainstream festival vs. underground parties?
A: There is a huge difference. A mainstream festival will be dominated by DJs
playing the same EDM records over and over while they talk on the microphone
about their latest track or hot babes. No joke, that’s what three DJs in a
row did at a recent festival. That’s the complete opposite of what a party
is about. An underground party is all about the music. The DJ is just a
conduit for the music not a clown making a spectacle of himself in the
spotlight. The stars of the underground party are the people on the dance
floor – the experience they have with the music and the relationships they
have with others on the dance floor.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years in terms of your music and label?
A: I expect to see Pharmacy Music continue to grow as the artists on the label
grow. I am so proud of the label and the incredible talent of the producers
in the Pharmacy family. I hope that I continue to grow as an artist and DJ
as well. Music is my passion.
Make sure to check out the new compilation from Christopher Lawrence, its a amazing journey from beginning to end!