With the drums and bassline worked out, he adds a few layers of percussion onto his next track. He is in his studio, where yet again Chris Staropoli a.k.a. That Kid Chris lays down the foundation of another track. He doesn't bask in the success of the last track well done. He moves on to his next moment. Always looking for a new beat, and another project, Chris always seems to keep busy.
TKC's influences range from Rock and Hip-Hop to some of today's house music veterans. "When I was really young I was a Rock head. With my first stereo setup, I would listen to Zeppelin, Stones, The Beatles, and Floyd. Later on I got into dance music with guys like Jellybean, Todd Terry, Lil Louis, Danny T, Junior. In between the rock and dance stuff, I was heavily into early hip-hop. Run DMC, Beasties, Rakim, etc. I still love all kinds of music." His parents would allow Chris to DJ their house parties as a young child. And in doing so, he started to amass his huge record collection. And over the last 18 years, hard work and adoration have paid off for Chris.
What has Chris been up to these days? Currently he is the A&R guy over at Tweek'd Records. He just did a few remixes for songs on Jive and Atlantic Records. He is also starting his own label TKC MUSIC (in partnership with Tweek'd). "I have been working with Tweek'd and we decided it would be cool for me to have another outlet to release stuff with Tweek'd as a label partner. I'm planning on a lot of cool collaborations and remix swaps." His first release off of the label is Be Fly "This Dream." The label is so new that there isn't even a logo for it yet. Mixes of the track will be handled by the man himself, along with a definite remix by Austin Leeds.
I asked Chris if he could hint to who else he would be working with his label and he shares that "Victor Calderone, Austin Leeds, Jaime and Kemist" will be called into duty to do some work with the label. His latest remixes include. "Raise your Voice" for Fatal Music, "Boost your Metabolism" for Cevin Fisher and Kelee. With no current release dates for the remixes, the only thing he could share was to start looking for new stuff after the holidays and towards February. While he is starting his new label, remixing, producing and DJing, he also adds he is working on a double mix CD for Tweek'd. The CD is due out around March, right around WMC. In regards to WMC, a Tweek'd party or two are in the works.
When faced to answer if he preferred producing or DJing over another, he chose "both, as they feed off of each other". And no one knows this better than TKC. He has played for the crowds at Electro Parade in Portugal, Crobar in New York, and Nerve in Miami. Asked where the vibe is these days, Chris tells me that, "The vibe keeps getting better and better in Europe. In places like Portugal they really know there stuff there, they know how to party. Miami has had a dope scene for a while. But I must say that New York has gotten really hot over the last year. NYC is back!" He plays to the crowds with playing a lot of CDs because they are so much lighter and so much of what I play is unreleased tracks it's not on vinyl yet." Tracks from such producers as Victor Calderone, Chus and Ceballos, Dimas and Austin Leeds are in heavy rotation.
He has remixed almost a countless number of records and producing key tracks such as, "Sacred Dance," "Feel Tha Vibe," "Tonight," and "Jungle." When asked how he approaches the studio, he tells us "I like to start with the beats and the bass with remixes. You always have problems with tempo. So I try and do those first. The last project I did was 101 BPM."
In regards to what his favorite track is, Chris compares it to "asking a parent who their favorite child was." "I try to have fun with all the projects. You have to enjoy what you do. I enjoy remixing for the major labels. Because of the challenge to transform say an r&b or rock track into something that will work on the dance floor." Each remix is a different animal. While using Digital Performer on his Power Mac setup, he utilizes the makie 32x8. "I'm always learning. It never ends." Always growing with his musical talents, Chris picks the brains of veterans like Victor Calderone for support in the studio. "We've done a few projects together at his place. He's like a cousin to me. He uses Logic and Pro Tools. Logic is also an excellent program."
When asked who would make up TKC's dream team of producers, he quickly replies, "DT/Victor/Vibe."
More than happy to share a little advice to the up and coming producers Chris advises "Practice makes perfect, you can never stop learning when it comes to this. There is always ANOTHER LEVEL."
Some essential productions from Chris include:
TKC Dirty Sex Lajja
TKC Reflections Tweek'd
TKC Tribal Warpath Henry St. Music
Astrid Suryato Rain Water Strata Records
Alcatraz Give Me Love Yoshitoshi