20 year old producer, Christian Smith is a rising EDM star who gave up his athletic career to pursue his music career full-time. Under the alias Crankdat, Smith has taken his re-imagined trap style across the world on his latest “Gear Up” tour and delivered an astounding banger of a performance at Global Dance Festival 2017. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Christian before his set at Global to discuss his latest tour, success and the future of Crankdat.
OneEDM: So you’re getting ready for your set. Do you have any pre-show rituals that you do?
Christian: I usually try to isolate myself and get in the zone.
OneEDM: I’ve read that you are not only an artist but a pretty stellar athlete as well. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Christian: Yeah I was once. In high school I did track and field and I was a discus and shot put thrower. I was okay at shotput but I was actually ranked number two in the nation as a discus thrower and got recruited to go to Kent State University which is a school in Northeast Ohio, and they are in the top 10 throwing schools in the country.
OneEDM: So what made you decide to pursue music full time?
Christian: January of 2017 was my first semester off. I was in school last fall and my schedule was atrocious. I was getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night. It really took a toll on my physically, mentally and emotionally and I felt like what I truly wanted to do, which was music, wasn’t in the spotlight. So with all of the opportunity I had in front of me, I decided I had to just accept it and go with it and leave whatever behind.
OneEDM: Well I would say you made the right decision. You have become very successful with your music already, traveling all over the world. How has it been since you decided to give music your full attention?
Christian: It is definitely very stressful but I am much happier. I had to grow up very fast and I am definitely still doing so. But it’s great. I love the abiliity to determine my own future and determine my own success, that’s the best part for me, which is kind of how it was doing athletics so it transcends quite smoothly.
OneEDM: What is it like growing up in the music industry, being just 20 years old?
Christian: I am not really a partier, so I had no problem getting away from that nature of things with college and what not. It’s an instance where you do have to grow up quickly because you go from dealing with your friends and your professors who are essentially your boss – to now you’re your own boss. So you have to take this new standpoint of being the prominent leader of your life and that’s not really something I had to do in any degree before.
OneEDM: You’re Gear Up tour extended to a few dates in Asia – China, Viet Nam and Thailand, what was that like?
Christian: Definitely one of the best experiences of my life. Also one of the worst because the last three days of tour, I was in China and I had the flu. I was in bed all day for each of the three dates. I didn’t get to see much of Thailand because I was in a resort but Viet Nam was incredible. I would absolutely recommend to anyone who is thinking of going there. It was very eye-opening seeing the way people conduct their lives and hold their values and morals differently than from how we do in the U.S.
OneEDM: Did you get to try any interesting food while you were over there?
Christian: I tend to avoid the interesting side of food, but the street food was sick. The Pho was amazing. After my first show in Hanoi we got a Pho on the side of the road, it cost 65 cents and was probably one of the best meals of my life.
OneEDM: So moving on to your music. You have a lot of amazing re-mixes. What is your favorite re-mix that you have done and why?
Christian: From a creative stand point I would say the San Holo-Light remix because I introduced a lot of elements into that song that I hadn’t before and that led me into a different direction musically which you will see in the very near future, but aside from that I re-mixed a song from my buddy Graves – “Say Things.”
OneEDM: Are we going to get to hear any of these re-mixes tonight?
Christian: Absolutely, I have a lot of fun things in store for tonight’s set. My sets are always a lot of fun, at least to me, which is all that really matters.
OneEDM: Is there any particular style of clothing you like to showcase on stage?
Christian: I come from an athletic background so I don’t really mess with street wear, I pretty much just wear athletic sh**t all the time.
OneEDM: What are your goals moving forward? Any dream venues or collaborations?
Christian: I really want to work with Tyler Nightmare. I think that sonically and creatively we go down a very straightforward road so I think that would be a great collaboration. As far as shows I would like to play- Ultra has been a goal of mine since I first got into this.
OneEDM: Your future is looking bright! We can’t wait to watch you throw down on the Tundra stage. Thanks so much for sitting down with us.