A young and thriving star on the rise in the ever-growing electronic music scene, Christian Smith aka Crankdat has hit the ground running and is not turning back any time soon.
At a mere 20 years old, Smith has bumped his way into the game with his hard-hitting mixes and original works, taking a step alongside some of the industry’s best. The support and friendship of fellow DJ/Producers like Jauz, Marshmello, Ghastly, Kayzo, NGHTMRE, and Slander have allowed Smith to step further into the spotlight. Appearing this year during Ultra Miami’s 20th Anniversary on stage with Jauz, and more recently hitting EDC Las Vegas in all its glory, Smith has seen his limitless potential continue on the up & up.
It is not all due to the support of others though, as we of course need to recognize Smith for all that he has brought forth in his Crankdat life form. Playing instruments like the piano and trumpet at an earlier age helped shape his musical inclination and fine tune some skills way before he ever began messing around with production or DJing.
A huge and extensive North American tour took the Ohio-native on a coast-to-coast whirlwind in recent months. Making stops in cities like Denver, Seattle, Houston, San Diego, Philadelphia, Orlando, New York City, Atlantic City, Vancouver, Salt Lake City, and many more, the ‘Outcast Tour’ has certainly been one of Smith’s most major highlights of 2018.
Read all about Crankdat’s latest music, recent EDC Vegas performances, tour schedule, biggest musical influencers, and upcoming news in our recent Nocturnal Times Q&A below.
The Nocturnal Times: How and when did you first begin your exploration of dance music?
Crankdat: I first started getting into dance around 2012 when one of my friends in high school showed me Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex!
The Nocturnal Times: Did your upbringing impact your decision to pursue a career in music? Were you musically inclined when you were younger?
Crankdat: My upbringing didn’t particularly impact my decision to pursue a career in music, but I did play piano and trumpet when I was younger. I know for a fact that helped shape my musical abilities. Thanks mom.
The Nocturnal Times: Your latest remix of Famous Dex and A$AP Rocky’s “Pick It Up” was just released a few days ago, what inspired you to remix this track?
Crankdat: When I heard the original song, I was really drawn in by the melody. However, it was very receded and wasn’t at all a focal point of the song. I thought that if that melody had some harder instrumentation behind it, it would be really cool! So I went ahead and did it.
The Nocturnal Times: Have you received any feedback or comments from the original artists, and if so, what did they have to say about your electronic twist on their song?
Crankdat: I actually have not gotten any feedback from the original artists. Hopefully they like it.
The Nocturnal Times: It’s EDC weekend! What can you share with us about your EDC Las Vegas 2018 experience?
Crankdat: What an amazing experience. Having not done many festivals, this was absolutely unreal to be a part of. The bassPOD is one of the sickest stages I’ve ever seen. Also, I got to see some of my friends who I haven’t seen in months, which was great. Being awake until 6 am PST was tough though, can’t lie lol.
The Nocturnal Times: You performed a b2b set with Dirty Audio on Saturday as well as a solo set on Sunday. What were some of the notable differences between the sets? How can you best describe the vibes of each performance?
Crankdat: So the Sunday set actually turned into a b2b with Ghastly, but I did play a solo set on Saturday at the Trap Nation art car. The differences were probably just different pacing, I’m really uptight about having a lot of breaks of different calibers in my sets to give the crowd a breather at the perfect moment. That’s a little more difficult to navigate in a b2b. The set also had a lot more Dirty Audio music than I would normally play (obviously hahaha)
The Nocturnal Times: Are there any big projects in the works for the next upcoming months, perhaps any tour planning, album releases, etc.?
Crankdat: Can’t say too much. BUT, I will say that I had most of May off touring and will be taking most of June off as well. That time will be spent making music, so there will be a lot in the pipeline…
The Nocturnal Times: Looking into the next year or two, what is your vision for yourself as an artist and what are your long-term goals?
Crankdat: I’d definitely like to release a lot more of original music and establish a very clear profile of who I am and who Crankdat is for the fans. I have been spending a lot of time on that this year and will continue to do so throughout next year as well.
The Nocturnal Times: You work very closely with some prominent influencers in the electronic music industry, including Jauz, Ghastly, and Marshmello. Would you say they are big supporters of your work and musical endeavors?
Crankdat: Absolutely and that is very crazy to say. I was a fan of these guys since before Crankdat even had a profile picture on SoundCloud. It’s very cool to see them supporting my music, and aside from that they’re great friends of mine now, I’m very fortunate, they’re all great guys.
The Nocturnal Times: Marshmello, in particular, seems to constantly support your songs in his own live sets and mixes. What are your thoughts on his appreciation towards your music?
Crankdat: It’s great. I have so much appreciation for Mello and so much respect for what he’s doing for the scene. He really is the hottest act in the world right now, so to have him support my music so avidly is a true blessing.
The Nocturnal Times: A little birdie told us there’s a collaboration between you and Marshmello in the works. What can you tell us about that?
Crankdat: Again, can’t say too much, but I will be getting on a plane to hang with him in the coming weeks. You can probably assess what we’re gonna do 😉
The Nocturnal Times: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Crankdat: Hopefully still being Crankdat, just a bigger Crankdat! 5 years is a long time, I can’t particularly say. But I love what I do and I hope and pray I still have the opportunity to do so in years to come.
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