This month I had the pleasure to talk to Zenbi (Christopher Porter), talented electronic music producer, DJ and owner of his own successful recording label Zenbi Recordings.
Zenbi has packed crowds from Boston to Budapest, Milan to Miami, and performed at major dance music festivals including BPM, Miami Music Week, Winter Music Conference, Groove Cruise, SodaPop Milano, and ADE.
Check out Zenbi’s latest single “One Chance” with Jan van Lier:
What sets you apart from other DJs/ Entrepreneurs in this industry? (Especially now because the dance music scene is becoming so popular.)
While my amazing hair and striking jaw might (to all my visually impaired fans) be the obvious answer… Jokes.
I don't take myself too seriously – and I'm not afraid to step outside the box to get a crowd going. Seems like two pretty basic things – but the more and more I travel and tour – the less ‘creativity' I see other performers deliver from behind the booth. This era of playing the top 20 songs on Beatport during a set really gets taxing to watch. Which is almost as brutal as listening to one of those 2 hours sets that sounds like the longest track you ever wish you never heard.
How do you feel about the rise of “EDM” in the USA?
EDM is the sexier, more popular cousin to the brand of house music that I ultimately fell in love with. Regardless of whether or not I listen (ok, I really don't) to the likes of Daft Punk, Calvin Harris or SHM – I still respect both their talent and ultimate success. Ultimately, their success brings the “underground scene” one step closer to the ears of a much broader audience – which is in my view a very good thing.
How do you keep your music and brand authentic?
This is a much more challenging effort that I could have imagined even a few short years ago. The short answer to your question, for me, is this – make the music you feel at the time you genuinely love it – and aspire to bring others along with you through this journey of self-discovery and maturation – and let the chips fall where they may.
Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
I'm wrapping up EPs for both Great Stuff and Stereo Productions – with remixes from some very talented producers including Crazibiza, Huxton Whores, Wade, Mario Piu, Miguel Bastida and ALX.
What’s your favorite venue and place to play?
Club Symbol in Budapest, Hungary. For the past few years I have had the great fortune of being able to play the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix Official After Party. Last year I got to play with Hed Kandi and my good friend and former F1 Pilot Sakon Yamamoto – to one of the most appreciative crowd of house music fans you could ever ask for.
Is there any advice that you would give to upcoming artists or kids thinking about breaking into the dance music industry?
Manage your expectations, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Your odds of striking it big like Tim Bergling (aka Avicii) are in my estimation about the same as becoming the next Tom Brady, LeBron James, or Cristiano Ronaldo. I would strongly advise anybody, at least in the early goings of trying to stake out a career in the dance music industry, to keep a reliable day job until you really see yourself on a trajectory that will allow you to make a living pursuing this dream as a full on career. Aside from that – never stop working hard at learning your craft – and I can't emphasize this enough – work as hard as you can on building industry connections.
For more information on Zenbi: