This week we had the pleasure of getting to know a talented Bespoke Musik resident, Christian Voldstad. His sets consist of an eloquent combination of melodic and ethereal dance music that begs to be heard on either a remote island while sipping on something relaxing or a dancefloor with a crowd of people moving to the steady rhythms. Far from the usual banger noise we get, his musical output is something more than pleasant, possessing beautiful harmonies blended with delicately laced tones.
Born and raised in London, Voldstad and his family ended up immigrating to New York City when he was 13. He was exposed to electronic music early on, but it wasn't until his family moved to America that he really began to appreciate the breadth and variety of genres. It was in NYC, that Christian embarked on his exploration of nightlife culture and eventually stumbled into the underground.
"I still remember my first underground party, a Cityfox label showcase thrown by BlkMarket. I loved the rawness of the party, no fancy LED screens, no bottle service, no dress code, just people and music. I was hooked."
Christian ended up working in music marketing and DJing on the side as a hobby. He learned to play the piano, trumpet and baritone horn early on, but had yet to apply those skills to dance music. It wasn't until years later that he began to get back into production, revisiting the keyboard once again. All of this whilst still pursuing a Masters in Digital Marketing. His first All Day I Dream party, and seeing Lee Burridge perform, opened his eyes to the melodic and captivating side of dance music culture. And he never looked back.
"I remember going to the first All Day I Dream rooftop parties and being amazed at how Lee was playing beautiful music in such a beautiful setting, bringing it out of the nightclub or the warehouse and up into the sky."
His first trip to Miami furthered his understanding of the many different ways a DJ can move people on the dance floor, according to Christian, "variety is really the spice of life."
"I'm always impressed when artists are able to incorporate proper instruments into their work and love what David August, Francesca Lombardo and Nicolas Jaar have done with regards to orchestras and such."
As Christian continued playing in NYC as a free agent, he was eventually found by Rocky of Bespoke Musik who asked him to open for Powel at one of their events. This was even before Christian new how to use CDJs, working extensively with vinyl throughout his early DJ years. He dragged all his records to Lot 45 in Bushwick and performed to essentially an empty room due to the unreliable L train service which was suspended at the time. Rocky ended enjoying his set so much that he asked him to be a resident right then and there.
"...and after giving him a giant bear hug I ran around like an idiot for the rest of the party. Working with Bespoke Musik has given me so many opportunities that I never thought would happen. I am eternally grateful for the faith and confidence the team puts in me. Sometimes it's a little nerve wracking, I still get really nervous before every set, but so far so good!"
Recounting his most memorable moment as a DJ, Christian went on to tell me about his first time DJing at Burning Man. He was playing the Trifucta art car, which was a big bus converted into a mobile club. The bus was basically driving around the desert with people going crazy onboard.
"The ride was so bumpy I had to hold on at all times. When I had to mix my friend Seth would hold me up so I could work the mixer. It was madness, someone stumbled into the equipment at one point and turned off the audio, and someone also climbed up the outside the booth to yell at me for a track ID. Burning Man is always special for me and has really influenced the way I play, last year I ended up playing an 8 hour set as no of the other DJ's showed up, that desert sunrise is really something else."
Christian, Bespoke Musik and the entire melodic/sunrise genre is definitely up and coming with some distance to go, however skill and talent cannot be overlooked no matter what genre. His efforts in music production and style have made him a shoe in for moments that beg a delicate and surreal atmosphere. His main goal is to provoke the crowd to smile and dance, it's a simple pleasure that goes a long way.
"I always get my ideas about music from the setting and the people. Generally I think about the venue and what kind of music I want to play there, but it's hard to get inspired sitting in my living room. It's only once I get there and see the crowd and the vibe that I actually decide what I'm going to play. Sometimes I do try and plan ahead, maybe there's a certain track or EP that just came out that I really want to play, but when I show up I get carried in a completely different direction."
With a beautifully bright future ahead, we tapped Christian Voldstad to supply us with a guest mix that definitely hits all the right marks. Listen below:
If you loved Christian's motif as much as we do, check him out at his upcoming shows: