AJ Christou has already accomplished what many artists strive to achieve. A master on the decks, skillful producer and successful label owner, the exciting UK talent has garnered support from many of the biggest names in the industry and rightly so. With Loco Dice and The Martinez Brothers fully championing his music, he is set to become one of the main players in tech music.
AJ Christou’s entry into the music scene started with a weekly residency at the renowned Sankeys in his hometown Manchester. Firing out captivating sets from the age of 17, AJ’s drive and talent was instantly noticed by many. He briefly relocated to New York in 2016 to focus on producing and was signed to Cuttin Headz within a year. His EP ‘What you think’ was an instant club smash and was shortly followed by a remix of Jesse Calosso and Jean Pierre’s ‘Under the Covers’ EP on Leftroom. More recently AJ teamed up with Caleb Calloway to release their ‘Sweet Senses’ EP on Rawthentic and featured on The Martinez Brothers album series- Remixed Part 3.
AJ Christou also founded Celesta Recordings in 2015, a label focused on underground minimal and progressive techno. Within 3 years the label has accumulated some of the world’s biggest artists including Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, wAFF and Davide Squillace.
Fresh off the release of his “Right Now EP“, Viralbpm sat down with the rising music maker for an exclusive AJ Christou interview to talk about latest releases, upcoming tracks, Celesta Recordings, favorite producers and many more.
V1. Thanks for speaking with us today AJ. You’ve collaborated again with Caleb Calloway on your brand new “Right Now EP”, just a few months after releasing “Sweet Senses EP”. What makes collaborating with Caleb so special?
AJ Christou: All good guys thanks for having me, So when me and Caleb first decided to collaborate we made bunch of tracks, we made the Sweet Senses EP and Right Now EP all together then decided to split them into two EPs. There are a handful of producers out there that I haven’t successfully managed to collab with because sometimes it just doesn’t flow but with Caleb it was really easy we agreed on everything and the tracks were finished really quickly. You can tell there’s a great synergy between us.
V2. Talking about this EP, how would you describe the project as a whole?
AJ Christou: I really like this project because every mix is different, Ours is more upbeat with a constant groove, Christian bought that minimal vibe and Heartthrob had a slightly darker more techno approach.
V3. The EP was released through Celesta Recordings, so obviously we would like to know something more about the label and what makes it standout from other labels in general.
AJ Christou: I am never really signing the same style of music, if you look at the catalog we release a variety of different music, I am not always looking for a club track, I also think the artists Celesta works with are very niche. There is a lot of thought that goes into our artwork too I am really proud of the theme we have developed, I think all of these factors make us standout.
V4. The label featured some superb releases from great artists like Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, wAFF and Davide Squillace. How do you pick the releases or decide to approach artists in general?
AJ Christou: When I first started the label I would approach artists I was really digging for originals or remixes, I got sent a lot of demos too, Now I work closely with the same artists that have released with Celesta from the beginning and I get sent a lot of music too from some amazing producers, we have the strongest year to date ahead of us. It’s a dream right now.
V5. Any future plans regarding releases, records or collaborations in 2019 you can already reveal to us?
AJ Christou: I am working a lot with my bro Joey Daniel this year we have a string of releases pending. I am also working closely with Matteo Spedicati we just signed an ep to a very big label which I will be announcing over the next month or so.
V6. You’re also known for making some great live sets, most recently for Loco Dice’s Desolat event in London. What do you love about performing the most?
AJ Christou: I love everything about performing, I love trying to read the crowd I love creating different vibes and energy thru the music and I love DJing, its addictive.
V7. If you had to choose between performing live and producing your own tracks, what would you pick?
AJ Christou: I’m going to have to go with DJIng on this one, I was a DJ before being a producer.
V8. Do you believe that in order to be a successful artist, you have to be both a DJ and a producer?
AJ Christou: I believe in this day you do need to be a producer to get noticed because its very easy to DJ nowadays with the technology available. I also think that now you have to develop to have a label too, you will see this year that a lot of artists are starting labels, its become part of it and I think its great because a lot of artists will be able to really express themselves and release records that might not necessarily be for other labels
V9. Is there something in particular you would like to accomplish as an artist or with Celesta Recordings in the future?