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Crankdat Interview : Meet The 20 Year Old EDM Phenom Who Turned Down A D1 Scholarship To Pursue A Music Career

Christian Smith, aka Crankdat, just turned 20 years old and recently dropped out of school to pursue a career in music full-time. He was a Division 1 athlete on a full ride athletics scholarship at Kent State University and was ranked nationally in Track & Field. At the tip of 2017, he decided to make the leap and give music his undivided attention. This month, he will making his festival debut at Number Fest in Ohio, his home state, where he will be playing on the Mainstage. Last year, he attended the festival as a fan. Since then, he has accumulated ~150 million total streams on his music and received heavy support from his idols including The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Skrillex, Diplo and many more.

I had a chance to ask him some questions this week about his decision, his future, and a few other random things we wanted to know.

Hey Christian, Nice to chat

1st Question – What made you finally make the decision to drop out of school to pursue your music career? Was it a certain milestone reached our a mindset?

I finally decided to drop out when I began to quit progressing in all of the things I was trying to juggle.  My grades slipped, (A's to A-‘s, I know I need to chill) my athletic performance was not progressing at the rate that I wanted it to, and my musical career was coming to a standstill.  I wasn't getting the proper sleep needed to be able to grind away at all of the commitments I had.  The last thing I wanted to do was become a jack of all trades and a master of none, so I swallowed my pride and cleared off my table of everything except for what I WANTED to do.

2nd Question – What would you tell fellow producers out there in maybe not a similar situation as a full scholarship, but trying to decide on juggling school with producing music?

As far as fellow producers deciding as to whether or not they need to drop out – you probably don't need to drop out.  Most artists in my position would have dropped out 30,000 soundcloud followers ago perhaps, but in reality, school and music can be juggled.  Just put the drinks down and get to work.  If you sleep properly, there are 16-17 hours available in a day, and that's more than enough to be able to do everything you need to do to excel.

3rd Question – What did you parents say when you told them your decision?

My parents were supportive of me the whole time.  They knew that what I was getting into would be better for me from a lot of standpoints, and they never once gave me trouble or backlash for making this decision.  I actually moved back in with my parents – and love it for that matter.  I built a studio here my senior year of high school so I have all the means necessary to get work done, and I get to spend a lot of time with them.  Chances are that the next time I move it'll be far across the country, so it's nice to be able to stay at home up until that point.

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4th Question – Who were you're biggest musical influences growing up?

Growing up I was into some suburban-white-boy hood-shit… there is a serious demand for hip-hop and rap in my area and I latched right on to that.  I was really into T-Pain… still am actually.  I'd love to make a song with him within the next few years.  I like Lil' Wayne, Tyga, Drake, the whole YMCMB crew, etc.  At the same time, I was into all the David Guetta music with Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida, etc.  There wasn't much flexibility in my musical taste either.  That all started to change when I discovered ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites' in 2012.  You can guess what happened from there.

5th Question – How excited are you for your 1st festival, especially being on the mainstage, in your homestate?

I'm really stoked.  I've been re-working and re-routing my entire set to have a TON of unreleased music, all very festival friendly and quite different from a lot of EDM out right now.  I think a festival crowd is the perfect environment to debut that style, and #FEST will be its first victim!  🙂

6th Question – What does the future have in store for Crankdat?

Only time will tell!  All I can promise is what I can provide myself – and that is new and original music as well as sick Merch.  Both are coming very soon.

7th Question – What is you favorite all time TV Show & Movie?

My favorite TV Show is probably The Office.  My favorite movie has to be a tie between Avatar and Inception.  Depends what kind of mood I'm in.

8th Question – Pizza Or Tacos?

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Pizza.  Don't @ me.  @ Snails instead,  and tell him I think Pizza is better than Tacos.  I'm sure we'll bear-wrestle over it later.  Make sure to call Worldstar.

The Light by San Holo

Secrets by Mija

Trap Queen by Fetty Wap

Messiah by Alison Wonderland

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