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Friday, October 25, 2013

Interview with Queens Our City Radio's Chris Colby

Thanks again to Barbara Sobel for arranging this interview with Chris Colby. A great interview regarding today's music scene, its artists, indy dance music and getting back to melodic music for the dancefloor.


Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: Chris, thanks so much for taking the time to talk and to Blab It to Beaverhausen! Hopefully, we'll all get better acquainted and find out more about you through this interview.
Chris Colby: No, thank you, Beaverhausen, for the invite. I always love to talk with friends and fans to let them know more about me.

DBB: I see you've been with Sobel Nation as a mixshow dj for over a year, and with Queens Our City Radio as a promoter for the Dance station since it started just about two months ago. How did that all come about?
CC: It is all because of Barbara Sobel from Sobel Promotions. I met her through Facebook. I was talking with friends and promoting my gigs and mixshows that are posted on my website, www.djchriscolby.com and on my podomatic site www.djchriscolby.podomatic.com . She was promoting some really awesome Sobel Nation artists' music, I asked to be added to her promotion list; next thing I knew, I have a mixshow on Sobel Nation Radio every Friday night at 10:00 pm est. I have become friends with many of the artists and remixers at Sobel Nation and, of course, with Barbara. We are all like one big family. Along comes Our City Radio and my podcasts gets picked up by them. A few months later, Barbara says she is going to be manager of Queens NY Our City Radio and asks if I would like to apply for a Promoter position. It is a new company and it is focused at music and indie artists. I play many indie artists and already do promoting of artists that I like and am friends with. So I took that on for about two months and was recently offered a promotion to Personality of the dance station. I cannot wait to start this position; it will definitely make for an interesting turn in my career in the music industry.

DBB: Tell us about the Queens Our City radio mixshow.

CC: Every Saturday night at 10:00 pm est time, I have a mixshow that is aired; this is a one-hour prerecorded mixshow of non-stop dance music. A lot of the music I play is either one of the Sobel Nation artists or remixed by a Sobel Nation remixer. These shows, although they are pre-recorded, are from live gigs where I have been the DJ. Listen to Sobel Nation Radio anytime at http://sobelnationradio.org/stations/sobel-nation-radio1

DBB: Where do you hale from? What music influenced you growing up?
CC: I have always lived in Pennsylvania USA. I lived in Montgomery County and now live in Delaware County.  I did have a pit stop in the City of Philadelphia for over 10 years. Music that influenced me? I have a wide range of musical likes. As a young child, I listened to classical. I am not sure what started me with that as none of the rest of my family listened to classical. My Father always had big band and swing music on in the house. Then came the rock & roll of the 60's and 70's followed by bluegrass and The Grateful Dead. One day, I woke up and heard the club scene of the later 70's and early 80's the likes of Donna Summers, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Love & Kisses, O'Chi Brown. so many amazing artist of the era. At that point, I just kept growing with the sounds and artists that have brought us to EDM / House that I play today.

DBB: You started dj'ing in the mid-1980s in the Philadelphia area. How do you feel about the music of that by-gone era?
CC: I loved the dance music of the later 70's and 80's. Whitney Houston, Madonna, Miami Sound Machine, Janet Jackson, France Joli. I loved and played it all. At times, I still go back and play the classics. Without the sounds that created the dance floors of those years, we would not have the music we have today.

DBB: How would you compare it to the Disco Era of the '70s and the classic House Era of the '90s?

CC: The dance music scene just continues to grow and evolve. The music of the 70's and 80's built the foundation while delivering some amazing beats and memories. The 90's with artists like M-People, Inner City Kim English, Josh Wink, Deborah Cox, Christina Aguilera, Inaya Day. I could go on forever; they revived the dance music scene.... Such cool, smooth beats and lyrics that had meanings that would get the floors moving in a single mass even when there were thousands of people dancing at the same time. We would become one with the beats. The music of the '90's was such feel good music.

DBB: What elements do you feel create a great dance tune? And what kind of dance music just turns you right off?

CC: I love excellent meaningful vocals when combined with a pulsing bass beat. Clean crisp remixes with the right blend of vocals to extended instrumental sections tying the beats together to make the people of the dance floor shake their moneymakers. Music I don't like is hard because I could say I don't particularly like Urban, DubStep or even Country but the right song by the right artist mixed the right way and I find myself saying I like that and will find a way to squeeze it into my rotation.

DBB: On your Dj site, you wrote: There is so much great dance music out there (whether you call it club, dance, pop, techno, EDM or house) that never gets to the masses of dance music lovers as it should. My feeling is it does not matter what chart it does or does not appear on it is the feeling you get deep inside when you hear it. Could you develop that thought a little further for us and briefly describe your dj aestheic?


CC: There is so much good dance music out there; it is almost impossible to hear it all. Inspiring artists have it so easy in this era but yet so hard at the same time. Some artists happen to make it to a point where everyone knows their name and even if you do not like the style of music, you know the words. Everybody plays them and every song they release makes it to the top 10. Many of these artists deserve to be heard because their music really is very good. Other artists ~ both signed and indie artists ~ are not promoted or picked up by the masses, and their music is just as good if not better. They are just not pushed by the big music industry. I look for and listen to all the music. Of course I hear the big stars but the indie artists at times are what my fans and dance floors want to hear. Once the dancers and music enthusiasts hear the unknowns, many times they will come up to find out who it is, where they can get it and then they start to request it. With this wide range of dance styles, I play from House to rap, hip-hop to country as long as it has a beat for the dance floor. I will try it out on the crowds. Makes for an interesting dance evolution from start to end. Whether you hear a one hour set or a full night of my dance floor ~ I take you on a journey.

DBB: Are you currently based in New York City? If so, at what point in your life did you move here?

CC: No, but I am often in New York. At times ,I am in Queens, NY more than I see my own home which is in the suburbs of Philadelphia PA. But, as any music lover knows, good music is good music and if you like a particular style or genre, it wouldn't matter where I was located or where the station is located; you listen to it for the music. Although the more I learn and see of Queens, New York with its large multicultural population, I look forward to learning more and working within the community.


DBB: What are some of your current favorites you're spinning?
CC: This is really hard because I really like so many songs and artists. I always feel like I am going to miss one that really should be mentioned or that people will think the first one I mentioned is better than the last,  which is not true. It is just what comes to mind at this particular moment. Five minutes from now, a totally different list may come to mind.
1) Let's Go Back to the Dance Floor - The Village People
2) L.O.V & E - Eric Alan
3) Applause - Lady Gaga
4) Hot Beat - Ernest Kohl
5) Work Bitch - Britney Spear
6) Pound the Alarm - Nicki Minaj
7) Venus - Paul Oakenfold ft. Azealia Banks


DBB: Once more, your mixshow on Our City radio is every Saturday night at 10 pm est. Tell us more about how we find you and what we can expect.
CC: You can go to queens.ourcityradio.com/channels/dance any time but my show [oroginally] airs on Saturday nights at 10 pm est. It is a great time slot as so many people are getting ready to go clubbing or do something to enjoy their Saturday nights, and this is a great way to kick it off and get ready for the club sounds. The shows are non-stop beat-to-beat that have some of the hottest music of today along with some songs from the past.

DBB: Chris, thanks so much for your time. We will certainly be listening to your on Our City radio direct from Queens, NYC. Any last shout-outs to dance-music fans and readers from around the world?
CC: I want to thank Barbara Sobel for everything and to all of the artists for the hard work they do to bring us the music that is the backdrop for so many memorable times in our lives. Also any artists looking to get their music heard, contact me and if you are an indie artist of any genre, I will help you get your music promoted for free around the world no matter what genre you create music in. Thank you to all of my colleagues and supporters, keep the emails and posts coming. The more I hear from you, the more I want to do for the music industry and you.

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