A Sit Down With DJ Crizzly
As the sun set on Sherwood Forest in Michigan and warm hues began to glow bright in the sky, the Tripolee tent at Electric Forest glowed brighter. Chris Lee Marshall, better known by his stage name and nickname, Crizzly, was cutting through the colorful atmosphere with an aggressive fusion of dubstep and hip-hop music. The product of both genres combined into one song was dubbed the name crunkstep by the young DJ/producer, whose branding consists almost entirely of his love for pizza. He has made his claim to fame by putting out dubstep remixes of popular rap and hip-hop songs like Chain Hang Low by Jibbs and Fuckin Problems by A$AP Rocky.
"I like experimenting with a lot of different things but I still play the same tracks that I made a while back and I still believe in those tracks."
What`s your relationship with hip-hop?
I listen to hip-hop religiously. When I got to bed, when I wake up in the morning, coffee, when Im on the flight to the shows, when Im in the shuttle. If theres an aux cable and you give it to me, Im going to throw on some fire.
So what about the actual music? How would you describe the genre?
Its dubstep, its loud music, a lot hip-hop. I had really mixed taste while I grew up, I was listening to Depeche mode and Ramstein at the same time. Like it was nothing, I had a Ibiza CD too.
What do you think separates EDC from other events?
Quality. You get what you pay for and more. The lineup is stacked; you have Bassnectar, Borgore, Delta Heavy, Figure, and Krewella, all on one stage. And thats just all my friends (laughs) but the other stages are stacked too! Shout out to Tiesto!
Space jam, good burger, men in black, wu tang.
How would you classify your music?
Ive always played Trap or always played hip-hop or some type of element of rap and stuff, but I mean, when it comes down to it, its more like hyphy, more energy. I call it crunk-step just because its more about put your hands up, screaming, yelling, and getting rowdy.
Whats your usual pre-game ritual? Are there certain things you always do before a set to get yourself in the zone?
Man, theres almost always not enough time to do anything ritualistic besides shower and then get to the venue before I miss my set. I guess sometimes Ill do some push-ups, jumping jacks, suicides or whatever, just to get the heart rate up, because usually Ive been sleeping all day on a plane.
So far youve only done remixes, are there any plans to officially collaborate with rappers in the future?
Definitely. I met with this dude, a hip-hop DJ, in Texas. And hes been super open to the idea of hooking it up with a big time rapper because he knows everyone so hes all into that idea so its just a matter of time.
Do you prefer touring or producing?
I prefer producing, but touring is awesome in its own way. Yeah, I would much rather be at home naked, not having to worry about anything and just chilling, watching Netflix. Thats heaven to me. But coming out here every once in a while is awesome. I get bored of being home, but Im definitely not home enough. But when I am home, its just chill mode.
Favorite story from your touring experiences?
One time the power went out and they kicked everyone out of the building, then the power came back and everyone rushed inside and got crunk. i broke someones nose crowd surfing that night too.
If you could put together your own festival or tour who would you put on that lineup?
Everyone already named. I could also shout out DJ Scout. Hes been killin it on Warped Tour. Nit Grit too. I mean all my friends end up being DJs, so if it could be any one it would just be someone Im friends with. If you can tour with any one it would just be awesome to tour with friends. They are all there and we keep in touch. Its one big EDM DJ family.
What do you have to say to some 15-year-old kid out there whos just starting to mess with beats? What kind of advice can you give them?
Just do what you love, thats all that matters. I think a lot of younger kids from this generation are used to seeing people on Facebook and Instagram posting how good theyre doing and that makes you jealous right off the bat. Its kind of a negative thing to see people posting all the time about their successes as it puts people in a position of looking up to other people and wishing they were there. I never started doing this because I saw other people and went, Oh, I want to be there. I just did it out of love and a lot of people lose sight of that. Its a labor of love and you got to fall in love with the work and not where its going to take you. Its about putting in and not expecting anything really.
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