So, to start off – coronavirus. Not how we thought we'd begin this interview, but it seems unavoidable when even Resident Advisor's front page splash is dedicated to Covid-19. As an artist who tours constantly, how has the outbreak affected you and your schedule?
The impact the virus has is massive, on a global scale. I don’t think anyone saw something like this coming. It’s very hard to see how everyone is getting affected by this, in all sorts of sectors. But this is something beyond our control and we have to stay strong and listen to the authorities, together, and conquer this thing as soon as possible.
In light of the outbreak, some are already predicting a future where all major events are streaming only, without live attendance, though in all honesty, these sorts of shifts have been happening before already – not just various "from the studio" livestreams, but also events such as Marshmello playing Fortnite. Do you see live events going in this direction?
Could be yes, but I don’t think that the existence of one of them should lead to the extinction of the other. Both can perfectly coexist. In my experience, nothing quite lives up to the real dancefloor experience. That’s what made me fall in love with electronic music many years ago and still draws me to the clubs.
“This is something beyond our control and we have to stay strong and listen to the authorities, together, and conquer this thing as soon as possible.”
Also, Covid-19 – good techno DJ name or not? Asking for a friend.
Not sure it would be a good artist name, but I’m curious to see how many “Coronavirus EP” will pop up soon.
We were amused to see that your official bio lists "one of the strongest social media profiles in music today" ahead of accolades such as DJ Awards or your BBC Radio 1 residency, which seems quite a shift compared to, say, 10 years ago, when awards were paramount. How important are social media to a musician's success today, and more specifically yours?
Social media bring an artist to the fans, and the other way around. I have a love/hate relationship with social media, it’s often more demanding than it is fun, but I notice how people appreciate the fact that there’s some sort of communication going on. Showing people what you’re doing means bringing them closer, and I think that’s important.
Considering you seem to have the whole social media thing down to a T, any advice for up-and-coming artists on managing social media?
Oh well. I’d say to not overthink it. Not every single post has to be a serious one. Take it light. It’ll help you to also spend less time on it. Besides that, I try to keep my social pages healthy by posting quite frequently. I have a folder on Dropbox with pictures and videos that haven’t been posted yet, in case I wouldn’t have anything specific to say. That also ensures I spend less time worrying about social media.
As mentioned, you tour constantly, which must get quite strenuous. What keeps you going when it gets too much – if it ever does? It's hard to imagine you just plonking down on the couch and refusing to go play.
Touring is by far the most beautiful thing in the world. Travelling the world by myself completely shaped and changed me into the person I am today. But to every upside, there’s a downside. It can be very intense too. There’s no more social life at home, you live a completely different life than basically anyone you know which can make you feel isolated and lonely. I never truly felt like this, but dealing with the exhaustion and constant pressure isn’t always easy. In the end, I realise I’m a very lucky person to be able to do what I do. And even though I’d rather sleep some more when the alarm goes off in the middle of the night to go to a show, seeing all those happy faces in the world, who all bought a ticket to see me, completely changes my vibe and make it all very worth it again. I completely love this life.
“Touring is by far the most beautiful thing in the world.”
Beatport recently split its Techno chart into two sub-departments. Do you approve of compartmentalizing further, or should it all be just Techno? Some might say the split helps tracks of a certain style stand out more, but on the other hand, it could limit artists in their discovery of new styles, sounds, etc.
I don’t really have an opinion here. Whatever works for them. People will never agree on how to divide Techno anyway. I guess its a means to bring more Techno to the people, which can be interesting for new artists out there.
You're known to be a foodie, so let's wrap up with this – if you could eat anything anywhere, what would it be, and where?
If I would be anywhere in the world right now eating anything, I would be on a sunny beach somewhere with a light breeze of air, feet in the sand, with a piña colada and some nachos with guacamole.
Besides being one of the biggest names in Techno music today, Charlotte de Witte was also the champion of 2019 festival season. Read more about it here > Techno Invasion: The Most Booked Artists of the Festival Season
Cover photo: Marie Wynants
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