At 24 you might expect a DJ and producer to be setting out on their journey in the industry, finding their feet and seeking opportunities in the big wide world of clubland.
Charlotte de Witte, however, has been forging an impressive path since the age of 17, her brand of dark, minimal and brooding techno earning her respect and adoration from both industry figures and music fans alike over the last seven years.
With a new EP released at the end of June, and a busy summer of festivals and shows ahead of her – including debut performances in Ibiza, and in Morocco at Oasis Festival – we spoke to Charlotte to see how she's feeling about this hugely exciting time in her career.
Congratulations on the release of your Wisdom EP. What has the reception been like so far?
Thank you! The feedback on the EP has been very good! I’ve been playing those tracks for a couple of months now and I noticed that people were actually waiting for the release to happen to be able to buy them, which is amazing!
We’ve received some great feedback from other artists as well and just today, I found out that we’re climbing the Beatport Techno Top 100 Chart. Couldn’t wish for anything better!
That’s three EPs already this year, are we right in thinking there are another two still to come?
Ha. That seems about right. I really wanted to focus on improving my producing skills this year, which resulted in me having quite some tracks. I’m very lucky to have found platforms on which I could release them.
There’s another EP planned for late September/early October and a second one for December. I’m afraid I can’t say anything more about it for the time being.
It seems like a busy year for Charlotte de Witte. Is there ever a time when you’re not making new music?
I underestimated the impact touring would have on my life a little. During these last couple of months, it has become harder and harder to find studio time. It’s not always easy finding the right balance but so far, it all works out.
I do try to visit my family once a week. And my dog, Risoul, since I miss him very much.
Your recent tweet about playing Awakenings showed genuine gratitude and appreciation. What makes that festival so special?
I’ve been to Awakenings a lot of times in my life and it’s a Valhalla for techno music. Being able to play there is a confirmation that things are moving in a very good direction and it energises me so much to be able to play at such a festival. I was actually honoured to play there, especially because I had to wait for my time to come for quite a while.
Are the any other ‘bucket list’ festivals or shows that you dream of playing?
The list is limitless. I love travelling and experiencing new cultures, so every festival in another country is something to look forward to. Festivals like Time Warp, Sonus Festival, Movement Festival, Kappa FuturFestival, Dimensions Festival, DGTL, Loveland... are all on my wish list. Fingers crossed!
In terms of home-country festivals, this summer alone you’re playing Dour, Tomorrowland and Cirque Magique, and you’ve played Rock Werchter, Pukkelpop and I Love Techno in the past. Are there any Belgian festivals you’re still yet to play?
I think that by now, after all these years, I can cross off most of the Belgian festivals on my list.
I just played at Rock Werchter which was unique since they usually don’t book DJs on their festival. I didn’t expect there to be so many people, so early. Half an hour before my set started, people couldn’t enter the stage anymore. There were ten thousand people. Ten thousand. It was absolutely crazy!
How are you feeling about making your Ibiza debut this summer? Have you got any further dates on the island planned, beyond the 10 July appearance at DC10?
Yes! I’m also playing in Ibiza on 5 July and on 30 July; Studio Brussel, the radio station where I host my weekly show, has invited me for a live session in their villa.
I have some other dates in option for September but those aren’t confirmed yet. It’s just a very lovely island and it offers a wide variety of things to do and to enjoy.
As far as we can tell, this summer is also bringing a debut Moroccan show. Are you looking forward to playing at Oasis Festival?
Yes, definitely! The venue and surroundings look amazing and so does the lineup. I’m bringing some friends with me and I know the guys from FMLY well, they’re lovely, so I’m definitely looking forward to it!
Is there a particular country or city that you dream of playing that you’ve not had the chance to yet?
I’d love to travel to Australia, New Zealand and South America and, by the looks of it, that’s all happening after summer. I can’t wait for it all to happen and I’ll definitely try and take some time off in between gigs to discover those cultures!
How does Risoul manage when you’re performing all over the world?
Risoul is, with his 15 years and counting, a very old dog. When I moved away from home, I had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave him at my parents' place since he would be happier there.
There’s a big garden and he knows his way around by following his nose. He wouldn’t be happy at an apartment in Ghent or Brussels with his owner away during the weekends. I try to visit him once a week for an extended cuddle session.
It’s hugely disheartening, for everyone, to see comments like those from Konstantin. Are opinions like these sadly still something you have to contend with regularly? Or have you generally seen an overall improvement in attitudes in recent years?
Yes, definitely. It does happen from time to time that people make shitty comments about female DJs but in my experience [it happens] much less than it used to.
Which other DJs and producers should we all be looking out for at the moment, maybe some we might not know all that much about?
Cosmin TRG, Avgusto, Aggborough and One Track Brain to name a few.
And what are the tracks that are making it into all of your mixes at the moment?
Perc feat. Gazelle Twin – Look What Your Love Has Done To Me (Original Mix)
2000 and One – Get Down (Len Faki Hardspace Tool)
Cosmin TRG – In Your Body (Original Mix)
Finally, what more can we expect from Charlotte de Witte in 2017, and beyond?
Two other releases to begin with and a touring schedule that’ll bring me to beautiful places where I’ll be able to meet lovely people. I’m very excited to see what the future holds!
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