HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Chris Fortier

Celebrating the US release of 'Balance 007' , Miami 2005 gave Higher-Frequency the chance to catch up with the Fade founder Chris Fortier and label mainstay Steve Porter for an exclusive chat about where they are and what's in store.

Born and raised in Florida Fortier is no stranger to the MWC, and his rise to fame over the last ten years as seen him become a world headlining Dj, well at home at the big events. Spurred to fame by his residencies at New York's 'Twilo' alongside the likes of Dave Seaman, Fortier started Fade in 1995 to push himself as a producer in his own right. With the further success of the label, Fortier discovered the young Dj prodigy Steve Porter, whom he signed and who while enhancing the reputation of the Fade Sound has found himself also a member of the big league playing alongside Sasha and Sanderklienenberg, and being played by almost everyone else. With both having residencies and endless tours across America and the world, we jumped at the chance to sit down with them for a few words. >

> Interview & Photo : Matt Cheetham (HigherFrequency)


HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : So hows it going in Miami ?

Chris Fortier : Yeah, it's going good, lots a fun, busy, busy night. Last night, I got the Launch party for my new album.

HRFQ : Oh the Balance...

Chris : And it is carrying on most of today,too.

HRFQ : How many times have you been to Miami ?

Chris : Well this is like the 13th year or something.

HRFQ : And you have been every year ?

Chris : Oh yeah, you have to come. I grew up in Florida, I live in NY now for the last 5 years, but I grew up near Orlando. That's where I started DJing in 1994, so yeah coming to Miami, that's what you do, you know.

HRFQ : How long has it been going now ?

Chris : I think it is 20 years this year.

HRFQ : Really !? Has it always been electronic music ?

Chris : Yeah, that's what it is, dance music. It started out like, for record pools in America. It's kind of a thing that all the major labels used these pools for a free promotional thing for the major labels to that stuff. It started off by these pools getting together to discuss how to make the industry better and it just grew and grew.

HRFQ : Why do you think it happened in Miami ? Why not somewhere else, why not NY ?

Chris : Well I think the guys who came up with the idea for it were from here, their offices were in Fort Lauderdale. I think they came up with the idea to do it here, let's do it in March, invite people down, you know, from NY, where it is snowing- it snowed yesterday - and get people out of the cold and into the sunshine. People talk about moving it, but if it is not a partying tactic by the music conference people to the people of Miami, then it is just crazy rumours. Some people were talking about wanting to moving it to Vegas you know, but I like it here you know,

HRFQ : What is your best Miami experience, both professionally and having fun ?

Chris : erm...that's hard, every year is different. We've had big parties, always played good good parties. The first time coming down here we had first records out, maybe ten years ago, yeah we remember those times, you know getting to meet people who were playing my records when I was just started, and then just some of the best parties I have been to just going out, Danny Tenaglia 4 years ago, that was just magic. There have been some good ones with Sasha and John. A lot of the time I admit it is a blur, you go to couple of places after a hit, and then I'm not sure where I am at after that. So it is hard to remember it all.

HRFQ : So do you think it is fundamental for most people who are serious about dance music to come here ?

Chris : Yeah, definitely I think you should come. This is a definite thing if you are trying to promote your product, you know, meet people, a lot of times you are dealing with people by email, never on the phone now, so this is a chance to get to meet those people and they get to see you. A lot of people complain and say they don't do a lot of business here, but for me it is strengthening those relationships. You may not sign a track or get a track signed, but the face to face meetings are important. They are important to re-establish, and keep the foundations strong for what you are trying to do for the next 12 months.

Chris Fortier Interview

HRFQ : So what other events are important dates in your calender ?

Chris : Well, January and February are most important because I am off. And you know the summer months the end of the summer, the festivals start,in the UK and Europe. That's it. There are other things too, other events are getting bigger, they are going to start something in London this year, 'London Calling' and two actually, another one, 'Strange Day', something like that,

But like I said, it is essential to go to this thing and the Amsterdam Dance Fest is becoming something you should go to now. It's growing even bigger, and the London thing hopefully, you know over time, to keep your network really strong, and sell records and build your profile, these kind of things are going to be crucial to be attending for aspiring DJ's or for when you have something you are trying to market or sell.

HRFQ : Ok...hows it going with your label ?

Chris : Good. Going really good, actually. Giving heavy focus with the digital download, worldwide CD release is going to be in June, thats going really well we are moving into another level with the label developing artists a little bit more more than we used to instead of doing just singles we've got album artists now, and Steve is really the only person but we are looking to do more with that, but it's getting really good we can't complain, it's really exciting, enjoying it, it is a creative outlet for me, I never set up the label for money, it's a way to have creative outlet for me to do something with the music which keeps me involved and excited about finding fresh music.

HRFQ : Are digital downloads becoming a big part of your business these days ?

Chris : I wouldn't say they are big business but they are sort of...we sell some more records by far, but I think they are important to supplement or get that little bit of money from people who usually just steal it of whatever. That's better. People want to but the real thing, there are people who want to support it and that is great and you want to give them what they want, and they want to be satisfied, especially it makes it so much easier around the world. I mean everyday we are growing on that level. I don't know if it will take priority, I hope not, 'cos I'm looking for...

HRFQ : You are a vinyl Junkie at heart...

Chris : I hate CD's. I don't like playing with CD's.

HRFQ : Have you tried anything like Final Scratch or anything like that ?

Chris : I've tried Final Scratch. I demo'd it the other day. I use Ableton in the studio to make music, but I don't actually use it to DJ. I don't like CD's I play them you know, when they are a means to an end but... a lot of people who only play CD's they are having their catalogue collection converted to CDR, I'm not interested. I'd rather

HRFQ : You mentioned that you used Ableton Live for producing, is it Ableton Live 4 ?

Chris : Right.

HRFQ : Do you think thats been improved quite a lot with this latest version ?

Chris : Yeah I think it has, 'cos you have the MIDI now and that's an extra thing and I am learning stuff all the time about what the capabilities of the programs are and getting better. It's only the 4th edition and it has kind of exploded over one edition, and it is being used in a way that a lot of people didn't expect, even people from Ableton didn't even realize what people were going to do with it musically. So, I mean it is a scratch pad for me the way I actually use it, 2 for 1 tracks, it is a lot of editing, and pre production, middle line stuff, then I can put everything into pro tools.

HRFQ : So what else have you got planned this year ?

Chris : I have my CD Album 'Balance' that comes out.

HRFQ : Is that coming out soon ?

Chris : Yeah April 19th in Australia, I don't know if it is the same in Asia, May in Europe, and the USA in a couple of days. And we are just going to tour that, you know the world tour, starting off in Australia, and America in the summer, Asia for September, basically that's as far as we are right now. Working on the Album and everything for the tour, and then back to the city working on tracks of my own. I spent 6 months working on the album, so I have to spend six to seven months making tracks or remixing.....

HRFQ : So you are trying to get back into it ?

Chris : I have a list of several things I haven't done yet, which I'm trying to get done.

HRFQ : What must everbody who is coming to Miami for the first time do ?

Chris : Well if they are here for the first time, it depends what they are into, but they should see Tenaglia playing.

End of the interview

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