Features

Chris Lake: Here to make people dance

He’s been touted as the ‘best thing to come out of Scotland since Mylo’ by none other than Pete Tong, and is fast being recognised as one of the absolute shooting stars of the dance scene. He’s dominated dance charts all over the world, and over the past 24 months has produced or remixed a stack of mainstream dance floor monsters. As ITM caught up with a most modest Chris Lake though, it is obvious that this is a journey has only just begun.

“It’s been a crazy couple of years, and I didn’t expect things to go like this. I’ve worked hard for a lot of years to get noticed, and to try to get my productions to a standard that they may even get released,” he said. “I am self taught, I have many bad habits, and have to figure out how to iron them out myself. I’m very pleased when I get a track finished and sounding good, as I usually have to overcome hurdles along the way. I’m just pleased my music is getting good recognition now. It’s all I have ever wanted.”

It started off all innocently enough, born in Norwich in Eastern England, raised in nearby Lingwood, before moving to Northern Ireland, and ultimately settled in Scotland, but music was always pumping through Lake’s veins, and the inspiration obviously came at a young age. “I had very musical grandfathers who helped develop my music side when I was young, and encouraged me to learn the keyboard. I got into synths when I was about 13, and every since, music masking has been either a serious hobby or my work. I live and breath music.”

Today, he finds himself well on the way, if not already there, to being part of the crí¨me de la crí¨me of the DJ world. Interestingly though, and despite the fame and the hectic lifestyle and having played at some of the world’s biggest parties, ask him about his preparation before a set, and it remains the same. “I have no influence before a set. Honestly, my preparation for a set is having a shower, getting dressed, and not forgetting my CDs before I leave the hotel. I start thinking about my set when I get to the club, and I just figure out what I want to play, and adjust it accordingly – depending on how the crowd reacts. I am there to make people dance – and I try my best to make that happen in my own style.”

Lake has remixed for some big names, and his recent collaboration Aqualight with Sebastien Leger has the hallmarks of being a dance floor smash this European summer. He enjoyed every moment of working with Leger, whom he labels “a massive talent” and someone he has “a lot of respect for as a producer and a person.” Mixing it (literally) with some of the best, does he ever feel like pinching himself? “Totally, although I still have a lot more hard work ahead and I haven’t achieved all my goals by a long shot. Because of that, I try to focus more on my goals, than on my past achievements.”

Ask what those goals actually are, and you get a clear insight into a mind that is loaded with ambition, drive, and if there is such a thing in either the entertainment industry or even the sometime fickle and hit or music industry, the man has set himself a career path of sorts, and advertisers worldwide – take note. “I don’t think I’ve done it all. I want to write an album, and write many more styles of music. I would also like to write music for other people in the future, and I REALLY want to do music for a cool TV advert!”

As we continue to look forward, Lake feels that the debate regarding CDs or vinyl will always have the latter as the sentimental favourite, but with technology the way it is, CDs are rapidly leaving it behind. As for what the next big trend musically will be, with electro-house dominated in recent times, for Lake the debate has a simple answer: “No idea. I guess the dancefloor will decide.”

Counting down the days to the Future Music Festival in March, and with it, the arrival of Lake and a solid cast of others, the Scot is similarly looking forward to this return to the land downunder. “Last time I played, the crowds were great, the people were very friendly and very appreciative, so I am hoping for more of the same,” he says. “I am really looking forward to my return.” And call it quirky all you like, but asked what he’s most looking forward to in Australia: “A lot of funny sayings that I have never heard before. The one that gets me all the time is How you going Chris?. I think that one is funny, and every Aussie says it…!”

Needless to say, if you see him around at Future Music, be sure to ask him how he is – in a way that only we know how.

The ‘Future Music Festival 2007’ CD, mixed by Chris Lake and Derek {K}, is out now through EQ/Stomp. You can catch Chris appearing at the festival nationally throughout March:

Sun 4 Mar – Supreme Court Gardens, Perth

Sun 11 Mar – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

Sat 10 Mar – Brisbane Turf Club, Brisbane

Mon 12 Mar – Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide

Sat 17 Mar – Randwick Race Course, Sydney